The Namib Desert is Alive

One of the best shore excursions on the entire trip is seeing the “Living Namib Desert” via 4×4 vehicles driving through the sands outside Swakopmund, Namibia.

The coastal dune belt seems barren and lifeless at first glance, but it is in fact very much alive, if you know where to look. There are a fascinating variety of specially adapted plants and creatures that are able to survive in this desert area, utilizing the daily life-giving fog that rolls in from the cold Atlantic Ocean. 

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 We saw the following creatures endemic to the area including sidewinder snakes (Peringuey’s adder), the palmato or Namib dune gecko (Pachydactylus rangei) with its transparent skin, beautiful colors and webbed feet that function as snowshoes. Other creatures we saw were the black scorpion, sand snake, Namaqua chameleons, and beetles. 

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Everyday this beetle stands on his head in order to capture the dew from the fog,

allowing the water to run down to his mouth. 

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Beautiful, non-poisonous sand snake

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Namaqua chameleon, loves to eat beetles, and can see what is behind him.


The mysterious and beautiful ever-shifting sand dunes are captivating

but they are seemingly impossible to photograph.

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This snake, a poisonous, sidewinder (Peringuey’s adder)

is a master at camouflage. In less than a minute it can completely disappear from view.


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This little animal is a shovel snouted lizard that will hang onto your earlobe if you let him.


Along the way we learned about the geology structure and formation of the desert. The landscapes were dramatic and colorful as we continued our scenic drive.

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4 Responses to “The Namib Desert is Alive”

  1. November 30, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Sand dunes are very beautiful. Almost seem unreal. The creatures are interesting but I am not fond of then. The one looked like our SW Horned Toad. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. Mary Ann

  2. To each his own, dearies. I must admit I was not disappointed to miss this land trip to view cold-blooded creepy crawlies. Insects, I love yes: butterflies ! Snakes: I think the Bible tells us to be offended by these creatures, and I can really go with that …

    Nonetheless, thanks for sharing the photos of the dunes — extraordinary !! And, the payoff is the not-reaily-discernible life within that environment …

    Onward …. to swamps, or such !!

  3. Breathtaking everything.

  4. Awesome, Thank you! Great photos!

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