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THE INSIDE TRACK ON… NAMIBIA

A destination on a page

WHY VISIT? Namibia is a true one-off. It is named after the world’s oldest desert, which extends for 80,000sq km across a coastal belt moulded by 50 million years of arid conditions. The Namib abounds with unusual dry-country life forms: the bizarre gymnospermous welwitschia, the Peringuey’s adder, the rapier-horned oryx and Africa’s last desert-adapted rhinos and elephants. The majestic scenery reaches its apex at Sossusvlei, where the world’s tallest dunes tower like rippled apricot mountains above cracked pans. The dry climate has helped preserve some of Africa’s finest ancient rock art, while the dramatic Atlantic coastline is renowned for its concentrations of seals and marine birds. More conventionally African, there’s Etosha National Park, one of the continent’s top destinations for wildlife viewing and photography.

Desert mirage. Sossusvlei after exceptional rains in 2006
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