The Namib Desert is a harsh and forbidding place where survival is a constant struggle for its inhabitants: insects and mammals, plants and humans, all have to make adaptations in order to live in this inhospitable environment. It is this very starkness that gives the desert its unique beauty, its rippling dunes rising higher than any others in the world (they are visible from outer space). The Skeleton Coast has claimed the lives of many shipwrecked sailors over the years, while the eerie ghost houses at Kolmanskop, their rooms empty except for the advancing sand, bear witness to the relentlessness of the elements. The landscapes in this region are bizarre and haunting: the quiver tree forests near Keetmanshoop in the Kalahari; the Organ Pipes in the Kunene Region; the brooding presence of the Brandberg with its straggling welwitschia plants.
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