The country of the world’s oldest desert, and its endless amazing sights – Part 1
A large part of Namibia is covered by the world’s oldest desert. The name of the country means a “vast place” in the language of the indigenous people, a fitting description for the land that stretches before us. Today, however, the vast sea of sand that has been named the Namib Desert has become an important tourist resource for the country. The spectacular views of the desert and wilderness, the many activities that can be done only on the sand, and the charming German-style streets continue to attract many travelers. This is one of the most magnificent ports of call on the southbound route of Peace Boat voyages.
A city in the desert, with wildlife
Peace Boat cruises call at Walvis Bay, Namibia’s gateway to the sea. It’s a compact town with low-rise buildings. Visit the bird sanctuary behind the city and see flocks of flamingos in a pale pink hue. If you board a sightseeing boat from the harbor, you’ll see fur seals and dolphins, and be in close proximity to wildlife. On the other hand, if you drive inland, the landscape changes dramatically. The Namib Desert, filled with cream-colored sand, is a sight to behold. The view is astonishingly powerful, and you will hear cries of wonder here and there.
Swakopmund, Namibia’s second-largest city, is home to colourful buildings – influence of the former colonial power of Germany. You can also enjoy shopping here.
You’ll be dazzled by the variety of natural wood crafts. The local African designed items are especially popular as souvenirs.
The cold currents off the coast of Walvis Bay have resulted in cooler water temperatures and an abundance of plankton. This makes the city proud of its seafood.
Head barefoot to the top of the dunes
There is a sand dune called Dune 7, about 10km from Walvis Bay. The elevation is a little over 300m and you can easily climb to the top. It’s all sand underfoot, making a unique challenge to walking – especially as the sand gets in your shoes! Without being sure who starts it, many people take off their shoes and start climbing barefoot. By the time the sweat runs down your forehead, you’ve reached the top. After gasping for breath at the spectacular view and catching your breath, it’s time to descend. The sandy terrain makes it less painful to fall down, so many people run and slide on their hips as they descend, experiencing the Namib Desert with their whole bodies.
As you get out of the car in the parking lot, the Dune 7, a mountain of sand, looms right in front of you. It’s one of Namibia’s most famous sights.
The Namib Desert was created about 80 million years ago. After a long period of time, only plants and animals that could adapt to the harsh environment remained.
Namibia’s dry air and clear skies make it one of the most incredible countries in the world for stargazing. Everyone looks forward to the starry night sky after we depart from the port.