Idea #533 – Exploring the Namib Desert and hiking the Big Daddy Dune
The desert of Namib or erg of Namib is a coastal hot desert, situated in the southwest of Namibia. The zone, subjected to dry or semi-arid conditions since at least 80 million years, is considered as the oldest desert of the world. The desert conditions which reign are the consequence of the cold sea current of Benguela of Antarctic origin there, which mass of oceanic air off the coast of Namibia cools. When these air masses reach over the hotter continental lands, their reheating causes their dilation, preventing them from releasing their humidity in the form of rain.
The desert occupies a surface about 80 900 km ². It extends over more than 1 500 km along a wide north-south coastal strip from 80 to 160 km which goes along the Atlantic Ocean. In the East, a zone of semi-arid transition is lined by a mountainous plateau. In the South, the desert of Namib bottom gradually with the Kalahari Desert. The desert is crossed by several short-lived streams which are dry practically always. In the part in the South of the river Kuiseb is an immense zone of mobile dunes which extends over 300 km southward. Some of these dunes – such those of Sossusvlei – reach 300 m of top and appear among the highest dunes of the world. At the foot of dunes is vlei, flat areas rarely filled with water. The most famous are Dead Vlei with its trees died below the huge dune Big Daddy.
Where is it?
Namib Desert, Namibia