Africa’s Namib Desert is a harsh place, home to shifting, barren sand dunes, jagged mountains, and gravel plains. The vast desert covers nearly 100,000 square miles and stretches along some 1,200 miles of the coast of western Namibia, in southern Africa. In the ancient 55-million-year-old desert, the world’s oldest, rainfall is scarce (less than 2 tenths of an inch per year in the west), and there is no surface water and just a few dry riverbeds.Tte Namib is home not just to the big cats like the desert Lions and leopards, but also to an impressive array of plants and animals like gemsboks (oryx) and springboks, hyenas, bat-eared foxes plus a large number of small rodents and reptiles like the Side Winder adder and a stunning diversity of beetles — which, like desert vegetation, have devised techniques to condense water out of the western desert’s distinctive, eerie, and life-giving morning fog. The temperature gets up to 104 degrees during the day and goes below freezing at night.
© Ramdas Iyer Photography