The Moon Landscape
The Moon Landscape, remnant of an ancient mountain range and also known as “badlands”, is a forbidding valley of hills near Swakopmund.
Chiselled over the centuries by wind and the waters of the Swakop River, this breathtaking landscape truly brings to mind the surface of some celestial body other than earth.
There are a number of well situated viewpoints but caution is advised as there are no safety barriers.
A number of unusual species of plants and animals are found only in this desert. One of these is Welwitschia mirabilis, one of the most unusual species.
Welwitschia is a shrub-like plant, but grows just two long strab-shaped leaves continuously throughout its lifetime. These leaves may be several meters long, gnarled and twisted from the desert winds. The tap root of the plant develops into a flat, concave disc in age. Welwitschia is notable for its survival in the extremely arid condition in the Namib, sometimes deriving moisture from the coastal sea fogs.
Pictured here is the largest known Welwitschia, nicknamed “The Big Welwitschia”. This magnificent specimen stands 1.4 m tall and is over 4 m in diameter.