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Digital Subscriptions > Travel Africa > April-June 2016 (74) > Deserted


Photograph from the book Terra D'Africa

This is a fascinating and remote landscape in north-west Namibia, where the desert elephant roam. Here you’ll find dunes of golden sand that the wind has carried from the sea and laid on the slopes. There are vast areas of scree and gullies formed by gushing streams that swell in the rainy season and are forever changing their course. The main rivers are nearly always dry, filled with sediment that ranges from grey to brown. Iron deposits in the rocky banks have turned them rust-coloured and shadows emphasise the cracks and crevices. The sparse vegetation is mostly found along the riverbeds, where it has more chance of surviving the long periods without rain. The desert elephant has adapted to its environment. Compared to others, it has longer legs and wider feet suited to its sandy surroundings, and it can go without water for several days.

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