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Namib Desert

Namib Desert

Because of its ancient history of arid conditions, the Namib Desert is widely considered to be the oldest desert in the world. Stretching from southern Kaokoveld in the north to the South Africa Karoo in the south, the Namib is more than 1,000 miles long and up to 100 miles wide. The desert is perhaps most famous for its sand dunes. Especially in the Sossusvlei area, these dunes are some of the largest in the world, with some exceeding 1,000 feet.

Where the Namib Desert touches the Atlantic coast, regular morning fogs blanket the land as ocean breezes are forced down by hot eastern winds. Unique plant and insect species have adapted to this climate. The combination of dense fogs and strong ocean currents have made the Atlantic waters of the desert coast legendary for their perils. The Skeleton Coast in northern Namibia is littered with the decaying evidence of thousands of unsuccessful ocean voyages.

Moving north from the sand dunes, the terrain transforms to rocky desert, gravel plains, and dry riverbeds. In this harsh environment, small populations lizard, gecko, gerbil, mole, hyaena, and jackal subsist.

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