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  • Brian D. Hinson

The Dunes of the Namib Desert


Part 2 of a series on Africa travel. Black Lives Matter.


The sand dunes in Namibia are the tallest in the world and stunning in their reddish hue. The westerly winds help them reclaim the sea, swallowing ships once sunk offshore. The bones of these old freighters now haunt dry land, half covered in the sands of the Sossusvlei.


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The Namib Desert, the oldest on earth having formed about 18 million years ago, is a fascinating place. The stately oryx, a hefty antelope with two long, straight horns, can be seen wandering at the edges. We even witnessed a solitary elephant bull, likely exiled from his herd, making his way to some destination at a hard pace. Patches of green brush thrive, making a popping visual contrast with the red dunes.


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This place is not just for the hiking and the sights. Rent a dune buggy for some additional excitement. Or go sandboarding down the towering, steep dunes. An air tour in a small, single-engine aircraft is breathtaking. Flying over the coastline above the ships claimed by the land is the most exciting option. And the most expensive.


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Namibia is safe, stable, and friendly. The points of interest are easily accessible. Windhoek, the capital, is rather compact but offers all the modern conveniences and some truly great game fare on the menu. This was my first nation bagged in Africa, and it’s a truly remarkable place.


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