Living Desert - CoolTravel - Around the World
Living Desert - CoolTravel - Around the World

Maarten Schäfer

We wake up as the first morning light filters into our tent. We are camping in the Namib Desert, one of the oldest deserts in the world that was formed over a period of millions of years. At breakfast we meet Tommy, a sand dune and desert specialist with over 40 years of experience. “For millenia, the Orange River carried sand from the Lesotho Highlands to the Atlantic Ocean,” he explains. “Ocean currents transported these sands northward and deposited them on the shore to create these dunes. From here, vigorous winds drove the sand north-east. This ‘marching’ of the dunes continues today at a rate of 20 metres a year.”

We head off in Tommy’s truck, in search of the life hidden in these sands. “It looks like nothing can survive in the desert,” he says. “But that’s a false impression.” Initially, we have no idea what to look out…

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