Namib Naukluft National Park
Superlatives are not hard to find when talking about the Namib Naukluft National Park. Africa’s largest game park covers much of the world’s oldest desert which also has the world’s tallest dunes, standing up to 300m tall. The park covers nearly 50,000km² ranging from the Atlantic Coast in the west to the Naukluft Mountains in the extreme east of the park.
The red sand from the Kalahari washes down the Orange River and is piled into the arid vastness of the Namib by Atlantic winds and waves. In this sea of sand you will find a surprising variety of animal and plant life. Gemsbok, springbok, spotted hyena, jackals, snakes and geckos are fairly common in the park. Some of the highly specialized desert dwellers include the fog-basking beetle and the Welwitschia plant which is considered a living fossil. Life in the Namib depends on fog from the Atlantic rather than rain.
Visitors can access famous areas such as Sossusvlei, Sesriem Canyon, the Naukluft Montains or Sandwich harbour. While vast areas of the park are inaccessible to visitors the unique geographical features, 4×4 trails, mutli-day hikes and the unique fauna and flora make the Namib Naukluft National Park a favourite destination for photographers, adventurers and those who just love the serene silence of the desert.
The majority of the Namib Naukluft Park is covered in a sea of red sand. With the horizon covered in towering dunes and overpowering silence everywhere the Namib Desert offers a very basic and calming getaway for photographers and 4×4 enthusiasts.
The rugged mountains to the east of the Namib Desert provide a stark contrast to the flowing red dunes. Among the semi-arid vegetation of the Naukluft Mountains you will find streams and waterfalls as well as a variety of wildlife including mountain zebra, Oryx, springbok, baboons and dassies.
The park offers a 4-day hiking trail which can be extended to 8 days and 120km for serious hikers. The 4-day hiking trail covers the easier part of the Naukluft Hiking Trail from the main campsite to the Tsams Ost Shelter covering 58km. The full trail is for experienced hikers only, but the untouched wilderness and awe-inspiring view make this hike one of the most rewarding in the country.