Namibe Desert Day Trip

After a couple of days of beach bumming, we were getting restless and decided to go on a desert day trip organised by the Lodge.  Although it did involve a lot of driving, for the most part on bumpy tracks, it was very interesting. It’s an area that is very geologically rich with many different types of rock formations. At times, you wonder where you are. The presence of   canyons everywhere reminds you that once water was abundant  but now all there is sand, rocks and blue, blue sky!

Welwitschia Mirabilis

We got to see one of the biggest and oldest Welwitschia mirabilis!  These plants are endemic to the Namibe desert which is one the oldest and hottest deserts in the world. It’s not a very beautiful plant at all but it’s very resilient. During its entire life, each plant produces only two leaves, which often split into many segments as a result of the leaves being whipped by the wind. Some of the largest plants  are over 1500 years old! If this plant could talk, imagine all the stories it would tell!

From its size (more than 1,60m wide), this is one very old Welwitschia mirabilis!

The Skeleton Coast

The area derives its name from the remains of shipwrecks caught by offshore rocks and fog.  Apart from a few seagulls, we only saw seal carcasses, whale skeletons and shipwrecks!  I guess when the Portuguese sailors called it “the gates of hell”  they weren’t far off!

shipwreck

On the one side you have a very nervous sea and shipwrecks and on the other dunes and more dunes. At some point, both meet and it’s really beautiful. I’m a desert girl, I was born in the desert and spent many holidays climbing  and rolling down dunes. One of the things on my list of “must see before I die” was where the desert meets the sea. I’m happy I did and I must say it was really strange because it was hot and cold,  dry and wet, calm and rough…really just opposites that matched so well.

Purple dunes…

And there in the middle of all this arid land, a little haven of greenery.

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