The Namib Desert curves along the Atlantic coastline in southwestern Namibia. The name Namib means "vast place" in the Nama language, which is fitting for the 1,200 mile expanse of desert sprinkled with mountains. It stretches from the northern Usiab River to the town of Luderitz in the south, with the Namib Escarpment making up the eastern boundary and Atlantic Ocean to the west. The region is the oldest desert in the world, having experienced arid conditions for 55-80 million years. Fog banks from the Atlantic help cool off the coastline, to create a welcoming environment for coastal settlements like Swakopmund.

Notable destinations within the Namib Desert include the Sossusvlei salt pans and dunes, the famous Dune 45, the Dead Vlei and the Sesriem Canyon. Dune 45 is a regal peak of red sand deemed to be the most spectacular dune of the thousands rippling across the southern part of the region. Dead Vlei is dramatically stark landscape of petrified trees in a white clay pan, surrounded by vivid orange dunes and clear blue skies. Sesriem Canyon is a maze of red rock with a rare permanent water hole amid the bone-dry landscape. These natural wonders make for a memorable traveling experience in the Namib Desert.

Across the southern region are majestic sand dunes, ranging in color from striking orange to pink, which rise out of brilliant white salt pans. In the Sossusvlei area, some dunes stand just under 1000 feet tall. These dramatic landscapes hold hidden pockets of tungsten, salt and raw diamonds. Several rivers slice through the swathes of arid land creating mostly seasonal oases for the unique wildlife of the region.

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