12-day road trip South Africa – Namibia.
Day 7-8: Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia
This part of the trip is my favourite. The two nights that we spent in The Namib-Naukluft Park went by very quick, so, if it is your first time here rather stay a day or two longer as there really is a lot to see and to do.
The Namib-Naukluft Park is a national park of Namibia encompassing part of the Namib Desert (considered the world's oldest desert) and the Naukluft mountain range. With an overall area of 49,768 km2, the Namib-Naukluft is the largest game park in Africa and the fourth largest in the world.
The most well-known area of the park and surely Namibia's most iconic landscape is Sossusvlei, which is the main visitor attraction in Namibia. The rust-red dunes, bleached white pans and deep blue sky are instantly recognisable, and symbolise the country's vast, dry, uninhabited expanses. The dunes here are some of the highest in the world, and the tallest in this area - at a whopping 325m - is the appropriately named Big Daddy. The most popular for climbing and widely photographed Dune 45 is 80m high. An early start also displays the dunes at their most picturesque. The rising sun causes one side to glow a fiery red, while the other is entirely in the shadows. The sand here is five million years old, and is comprised mostly of tiny grains of coated in a thin layer of iron oxide, giving the Namib its distinctive red colour.
The park gate is just past Sesriem, and is open between sunrise and sunset. From here, the 65km drive to Sossusvlei takes about an hour. Entrance fee for foreigners is 80N$/person and we advise to take a guided tour if it is your fist time Sosussvlei. You can however choose to drive and walk on your own.
As mentioned earlier there are a lot of outdoor activities you can do in the Namib-Naukluft Park. Additionally to visiting Sosussvlei by car we explored it by plane for the most magnificent views.
From air and during a quad biking tour you will see Fairy circles - circular patches of land barren of plants, varying between 2 and 15 metres in diameter, often encircled by a ring of stimulated growth of grass. There has long been debate about the causes of the circles. The investigation and development of theories have included numerous theories both mundane and supernatural.
We had a closer look at Fairy Circles while quad-biking where we also had a great chance to a sunset in the desert which is too beautiful for words!
A surprising collection of creatures survives in the hyper-arid region, including cheetahs, karakals, oryxes. We were lucky to see all of them at the Hammerstein Lodge and even touched a cheetah.
Two nights were really too short for so much beauty!
But as much as we wanted to stay we had to continue with our road trip and made our way to the Capital of Namibia - Windhoek:-)
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