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Namib Desert

Mo├žamedes, Angola

The Namib is a coastal desert in southern Africa. The name Namib is of Khoekhoegowab origin and means "vast place". According to the broadest definition, the Namib stretches for more than 2,000 kilometres along the Atlantic coasts of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa, extending southward from the Carunjamba River in Angola, through Namibia and to the Olifants River in Western Cape, South Africa. The Namib's northernmost portion, which extends 450 kilometres from the Angola-Namibia border, is known as Moçâmedes Desert, while its southern portion approaches the neighboring Kalahari Desert. Having endured arid or semi-arid conditions for roughly 55–80 million years, the Namib may be the oldest desert in the world and contains some of the world's driest regions, with only western South America's Atacama Desert to challenge it for age and aridity benchmarks.

Very hot with high temperatures, during the day it reaches a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius, and at night it varies between 10 to 15 below zero. Formed by numerous dunes, slopes and plains, permeated by intermittent lakes and valleys, which by the action of the wind is constantly changing and changing. Its area exceeds 30 thousand km² and is integrally part of the Namib – Naukluft National Park, in Namibia, and constitutes the largest game reserve in Africa.

Among the plants on the site stands out Welwitschia mirabilis, which can live for over a hundred years, whose leaves absorb moisture from the air, as well as aloe-quiver, which can reach four hundred years. Among the animals, we highlight the desert viper, the African elephant, the pink-faced inseparable, the oryx, as well as some species of lizards, among other animals that manage to survive in the harsh climate of the region.

The culture of the tribes of the Namibe desert, with habits and ways of living or dressing still practically ancestral, totally dependent on pastoralism, is another reason that explains the tourist potential.

The most representative tribe of Namibe are the Mucubais, who have very curious habits. They are shepherds, but now they are embracing agriculture, due to the drought that is felt in this place.

Due to local characteristics, the desert is mainly inhabited by the Himba, Tjimba and Mucubal tribes, but with the bulk of the population close to the sea. There are also the Vatua, a people that are ethnically subdivided into the Kwepe, Kwisi and Kuroca tribes.

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