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I was lucky enough to see a few of them at the Cheetah Conservation Fund. I especially loved hearing them. Their chirp-like sound as they impatiently waited for lunch was not what I expected from a cat!
No one knows exactly how old it is but scientists have identified that sand has existed in the desert for over a million years!
It has a population of ~2 million in a country that is twice the size of California. Only Mongolia is less populous.
Named so in previous times for all the whale and seal skeletons lining the coast, there would have been a few humans ones there as well. It’s famous for shipwrecks due to blinding fog. Over 1000 ships met their end here. The Bushmen refer to it as The Land God Made in Anger, while the Portuguese refer to it as The Gates of Hell. But it’s not all bad news though, it’s also home to one of the world’s largest seal populations with almost 100,000 seals!Sand-boarding. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
It became independent in 1990 – just over 20 years ago.
– including the Himba, a nomadic and traditional people whose ways have changed little over the years due to their seclusion from outside influences. They only came into contact with Western influences a mere 15 years ago. I was really looking forward to my visit to a Himba village and learning ancient beauty tips from the women, but had mixed feelings after my visit.
The result of this has many community based tourism initiatives that provide social and monetary benefits to the communities and an authentic experience for visitors. Love it!
They’re not a separate species, but he IUCN has identified them as a high priority. They’ve adapted to their semi-desert environment by developing a smaller body mass, longer legs and larger feet – enabling them to travel for miles across sand dunes to reach water. Heck they’re even known to slide down the dunes to reach water. I searched for a video, but couldn’t find one. Wouldn’t that be something to see! You can find out more about desert elephants here. Note: I didn’t see a desert elephant but I saw large herds of African elephants in Etosha National Park!
The easiest, but perhaps scariest is lying down and heading down the dune headfirst. You can reach a speed of up to 80km/hr! The second is standing up, which is slower, but more difficult to master. I definitely preferred the head first version. You’ll understand why after reading this post – hint – I was really bad!Dune 45. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Big Daddy is the largest dune in Sossusvlei measuring ~325m and also visit Dune 45, known as the most photographed dune in the world. I learned that climbing up sand dunes is breathtaking, but exhausting, perhaps even more so than hiking up mountains!
I Loved tracking this critically endangered animal and (gulp) did so on foot! I only realized afterwards when we were back in the jeep and ran into a pride of lions, that our guides were unarmed!