Explore the world’s oldest living desert

Dune Ecology Activity

The essence of the Dune Ecology Activity

One would picture the oldest desert on earth as a completely barren and lifeless landscape, but the exquisite Namib Desert is a flourishing ecosystem, with more life than one would ever expect.

Head out on foot with an expert guide to the edge of the Namib dune sea to explore its spectacular dunescapes. Hear about how the oldest and second driest desert on earth came to be and observe the many small and some uniquely adapted creatures that have managed to make this harsh environment – literally called “the living desert” – their home. Watch as your guide reads the signs in the sand and join him as he tracks diurnal lizards, endemic dune larks and even, if you are in luck, a Grant’s golden mole.

The NamibRand Nature Reserve hopes to protect and conserve the unique ecology and wildlife of the south-west Namib Desert. These efforts are critical in facilitating seasonal migratory wildlife routes and in protecting its rich biodiversity. Guests can keep a look out for the staggering range of wildlife in the form of Jameson’s red rock rabbits, Cape hares, black-baked jackals, Cape foxes, brown hyenas, aardwolfs, African wildcats, and potentially even the secretive but ever-present leopard.

After dark, under a blanket of stars, there are a number of nocturnal hunters that become active such as the web-footed gecko, dancing white lady spider, Peringuey’s adder, hairy-footed gerbils, barking geckos, and more.

These creatures are not alone as they battle against the elements. The Namib Desert is host to a number of unique alien desert-adapted plants. Catch the photogenic quiver trees in bright yellow bloom, the fascinatingly bizarre Welwitschia plant that lives up to 1,500 years and the scintillatingly poisonous false ink cap mushrooms.

During this activity, our guides will show you how the desert is teeming with life in places you would least expect it.

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Only available as part of a planned itinerary