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Travel Region Namib-Naukluft

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Located in Namibia :: Namib-Naukluft  :: Solitaire Area
Category: Places :: Travel Region


STRETCHING FROM THE SWAKOP RIVER in the north to the Aus/Lüderitz road (B4) in the south, the Namib-Naukluft region is comprised mostly of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. It’s the fourth largest park in Africa and includes sections of the still restricted Diamond Area.

A huge part of the region consists of conservation areas. Besides the Namib-Naukluft National Park, you’ll also find the Naukluft Mountain Zebra Park as well as the Gamsberg and Namibrand Nature Reserves.

The word Namib means ‘open space’ and this is a strong theme in this breathtakingly-beautiful landscape. The Namib Desert, with its towering orange-red sand dunes, is one of the world’s oldest deserts. The colour of the sand developed over millions of years as iron in the sand oxidised, like rusting metal.

The Namib Desert was the first natural site in Namibia to be inscribed on the World Heritage List, an honour bestowed in 2013. According to UNESCO the Namib is composed of two dune systems, an ancient semi-consolidated one overlain by a younger active one. The desert dunes are formed after soil and sand material is transported thousands of kilometres from the hinterland, by river into the ocean; then, these materials are washed ashore and distributed by the wind. The dunes themselves are formed when an obstacle (for example, a bush or some rough soil) breaks the force of the wind, and causes sand to be deposited. The Namib features gravel plains, coastal flats, rocky hills, inselbergs within the sand sea, a coastal lagoon and ephemeral rivers. Fog is the primary source of water, accounting for a unique environment in which endemic invertebrates, reptiles and mammals adapt to an everchanging variety of microhabitats and ecological niches.

Lüderitz, in the south, is the main town of the region and is a tourist hub. It’s a beautiful, historical town from where most guided 4WD desert trails and extreme hiking trails begin. Close to Lüderitz is Kolmanskop, a ghost town with a rich diamond mining history. This is a fascinating open-air museum and popular tourist stop.

As you travel east from Lüderitz towards Aus, you’ll come across one of the few populations of desert-dwelling feral horses in the world. There’s a special lookout point at Garub Pan where you can view these beautiful wild horses of the Namib.

The biggest tourist attraction within this region is without doubt Sossusvlei. Although the name is used to describe the area, it in fact only refers to the dry salt pan stretched out amongst the undulating red sand dunes. The Sossusvlei dunes are regarded as some of the highest in the world.

The gates to Sossusvlei open at sunrise and close at sunset. There is a 4x2 parking area just before the vlei; beyond this area a 4x4 vehicle is a necessity. Guests can either walk from there to the pan (about 10km return, through deep sand) or make use of the 4x4 shuttle service to and from the sites. It’s best to visit Sossusvlei early in the morning when the red colour of the sand is strong and bright and the light and shadows offer breathtaking views. Otherwise, visit in the late afternoon when the sun isn’t baking down.

Major Attractions:
Namib-Naukluft National Park with the iconic dunes at Sossusvlei and nearby Deadvlei, which are of photographic significance.
Namibrand is one of the largest private nature reserves in Southern Africa and boasts breathtaking Namib Desert landscapes and a variety of wildlife.
The Naukluft Mountain Zebra Park is a hiking paradise.
The Gamsberg Mountain within the Gamsberg Nature Reserve resembles the famous Table Mountain
in Cape Town and is 2 346m high. The Reserve is ideal for activities like star gazing, hiking and bird watching.
The 1 200m high Flying Fox Cable Slide northeast of Swakopmund provides a huge adrenaline rush.
The Solitaire bakery has become famous for its excellent apple strudel and confectionary.
Natural attractions include a Quiver Tree Forest near Keetmanshoop and endemic Welwitschia, also known as living fossil plants since they live 1 000 years or more.
The Flintstone Caves offers interesting rock formations and a braai area.
Kolmanskop once was an important diamond mining town, but is now a fascinating ghost town.
The Sesriem Canyon is a fissure in the sandstone carved 30m deep in places by the Tsauchab River.
Commonwealth War Graves near Gibeon.
German geologists Henno Martin and Hermann Korn hid in a shelter for eight months to avoid
South African internment during World War II.
Seeing the Namib Desert from a hot air balloon is quite spectacular.
The Duwisib Castle was built by German Baron von Wolf for his bride in 1909 and today it gives an
insight of the colonial times.
The Moon Landscape is extraordinarily dry and barren, yet with interesting colours and undulations.
Attractions in or near Lüderitz include the memorial to Adolf Lüderitz, after whom the town was named; the Bartolomeo Diaz cross, erected when he landed there in December 1487 and (only accessible at low tide); Haus Goerke, the 1910 mine manager’s residence (tours offered daily); the Lüderitz Museum which covers the town’s history and the diamond mining industry; and, Felsenkirche (Church on the rock), a national monument built in 1911.
Neuras is one of only a few wineries in Namibia and it is open to the public.
The feral horses at Garub Pan are one of the main attractions of the region.
HESS is an international telescope with high optical sensitivity.

Address :  Namib Naukluft, Namibia
Cellphone Reception :  Intermittent Main Cellular Network :  MTC. Cell One

Destination Information
Police Hospital Petrol Diesel Gas Refill Shops Shopping Centre Bank ATM Foreign Exchange Butchery Bakery Liquor Pharmacy Airport
Petrol Type :  LRP/ULP

Game Viewing Game Drives Quad Bikes 4WD Trails Tours and Excursions Hiking Trails Guided Walks Mountain Biking Horse Trails Fishing Swimming Boat Trips Bird Watching Stargazing
Night Drives, Picnics, Surfing, Sailing, Whale or Dolphin Watching

Travelling Information

Petrol costs are from R8.99 to R9.79 per litre. (25-Aug-11).

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