Namibia, located in southwestern Africa, is a surprising country with almost every corner. The country, named after the ancient Namib Desert along the Atlantic coast, has the beauty to be speechless. Kunene, where local tribes are to the north, Orange river and South Africa to the south, Kalahari, the world’s hottest desert in the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the oldest deserts of the world extending parallel to it, are a completely different world.
The Namib Desert, the world’s oldest desert along the Atlantic, spans an area of 50,000 square kilometers. This is even longer than the distance from one country to the other. Namib means very big in native language. The desert, which is a hot, dry and barren land, feels as if it is not a piece of the world.
The geography of this oldest desert in the world is so dry that annual rainfall rate is around 2 mm in the driest region and 200 mm in the region with the most rainfall. The Namib Desert, which has been under the arid and semi-arid climate for almost 80 million years, is considered to be the True Desert in some sources due to the very low rainfall it receives.
The temperature throughout the ocean is generally constant throughout the year and around 9-20 ° C. However, the temperature varies depending on the interior. Especially in the summer months with the effect of scorching sun temperatures exceeding 45 ° C, it is possible to come across freezing cold at night.
The Benguela cold water stream, which transports cold water from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean to the west coast of South Africa and Namibia, interacts with the hot moisture on the upper surface of the water, which cools and then dew first and then fog. Therefore, more than half of the year, a continuous fog belt is seen along the ocean shore.
With its huge red sand dunes, Sossusvlei is home to the most impressive places of the Namib Desert. Deadvlei is the most photogenic place in the region. The Orange River, starting from Lesotho and crossing South Africa to the borders of Namibia, poured red sands in front of it for millions of years, piling up in the south of the present Namib Desert.
Thanks to the cold Benguella currents of the Atlantic Ocean, the sands drifted to the north of the coastline, and the tides that followed the sands to the shores. It is the result of years of oxidation of high amounts of iron in the red color of the sands. In Deadvlei, which presents a black image roasted under the sun, the silhouettes of acacia trees have been incredibly barren for more than 1000 years. As you climb to the top of the dunes, one of the most unique landscapes in the world stands before you.
The largest of the dunes formed by the rise of the sand accumulated by the strong winds blowing along the sea for centuries reaches an altitude of 400 meters and a width of 32 km. The most famous and the most famous of which is allowed to climb on the Dune 45, Sossusvlei from Deadvlei to 40 km on the way to take this name. Today, these piles of sand stand before you as one of the most spectacular dunes in the world.
There are almost no human settlements on the Namib Desert. In some small groups there are mostly tourist settlements. The small settlement in the south, Solitare, began in 1948 with the establishment of the first farm. After the intervening years, a small shop, oil station, hotel was opened.
Although the Namib Desert is quite hot, dry and barren, there are creatures that have survived despite all the harsh natural conditions. There are a large number of endemic living species in the area far from human settlements. The water that makes life possible in the Namib Desert is in the form of fog. The fog belt by the ocean is carried into the desert by southwest winds. In the early morning, dew droplets are formed on the leaves due to the difference in temperature.