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  • Sossusvlei is a common tourist destination in the southern part of the Namib Desert, Namibia. 

    Deserts, though they are very harsh, are a delicate ecosystem with a surprising amount of life living around and underneath the dunes. Keep this in mind when roaming around and driving in the area.

    The Namib Desert is the oldest desert in the world and stretches over 1,500 km from the Orange River in the south into Angola in the north. There is a wide range of landscapes in the Namib, from gravel, to rocky mountains to huge dunes in varying colours of sand.

    Sossusvlei is a salt and clay pan created by the Tsauchab river that flows through the Sesriem Canyon every 5 to 10 years. Even in very wet years it does not reach the Atlantic Ocean but drains away between the dunes of Sossusvlei.

    The mud from the river stacks up at Sossusvlei and after some 1000 years the river searches its way through the next row of dunes. This is how the place called Dead Vlei was created, here the river used to drain away many years ago. Because of the lack of water all the trees in this valley have died, so the meaning of "Dead Vlei" becomes clear.

    What makes the sight of the Dead Vlei so remarkable is that there is not even moisture enough for normal decomposition to occur. So all the trees here, though dead, have been nearly perfectly preserved for centuries.

    This is the first from three galleries I've got from my trip to Namibia!