Namibia was our big splurge. There were things we wanted to see and limited time so I booked a 4WD with a driver, Herman, for all day. We shared it with Gail and Mark, a couple we met on the South America cruise three years ago. We visited the old German town of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and then drove across the dunes of the Dorob National Park in the Namib Desert to Sandwich Harbor.
The Namib is the second driest desert on earth, after the Atacama Desert along the east coast of South America. And it is dry for the same reason, an Antarctic current runs up the coast. The cold air above the current cannot hold enough moisture to form clouds that are high enough to create rain. While this desert gets only about 2 inches of rain a year (half of that fell last week) it does get a lot of morning fog as hot desert air meets cold Antarctic water. This has led to the evolution of plants with broad leaves that get their water from the fog. This Antarctic water it is nutrient rich, which makes the area good for fishing. The nutrients make for abundant bird life in the lagoons.
Sandwich Harbor is about 60 KM south of Walvis Bay. At low tide you can drive there along the beach, at high tide you can see it from the top of the dunes that can climb to more than 100 meters. We drove out along the water past an abandoned settlement and then climbed dunes to about 110 meters for a great overview. On the way back we checked out the wildlife.
I live in an area with dramatic scenery where land meets sea. This is an area of dramatic scenery where land meets sea but it is completely different. Dry not wet, brown and blue rather than green and blue. And the mountain that shift with the winds and tides. WOW!