Sossusvlei
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Sossusvlei
The Namib, the world’s oldest desert
Home to some of the highest dunes on the planet: 380 m
The river that vanishes into the desert
The Namib is the oldest desert in the world. It stretches over 2000 km north from the Orange River to Angola. Sossusvlei (‘Sossus’ = ‘blind river’) is home to some of the world’s highest dunes.
Sossusvlei is also the place most commonly associated with Namibia. Its red dunes stretch as far as the eye can see (up to 380 m high, coloured red by the clay-rich sand) and the desiccated trees in the vleis (salt and clay pans), which decay slowly due to the arid environment, are typical of the region. The vleis were created by the Tsauchab River, which most probably flowed into the Atlantic 50 km away. Very rarely, a torrential downpour will see the vleis disappear under water – a spectacle that very few get to see. .
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