12 Swakopmund, desert

the strange Welwitschia mirabilis
the strange Welwitschia mirabilis

12.03.14, Swakopmund, desert and Welwitschas

I was collected for the desert trip at 8.30 the next morning. There were already 3 elderly ladies in the vehicle and one (82) seemed to know the driver from earlier times. He had been a cattle farmer but had now passed the farm on to his children. He spoke almost non-stop throughout the journey but it was interesting to hear how the life had been before and since independence. This caused no problem with the traffic as we only saw one other jeep all day. The desert known as the moon-landscape consists of granite rocks in various black, pink and brown shades rising out of the sand.

Because it had rained a little previously the plants were greener than usual and some were even in flower including the strange and rare Welwitschia mirabilis. This is an ancient and primitive plant with a centre like a slice of a tree trunk surrounded by long flat leaves, with the flowers on short stems between the two. The only animals to be seen were small lizards and the black beetles. We were provided with an excellent lunch seated at table and chairs and returned via the sand dunes. One of these had of course to be climbed but only one of the ladies made it to the top despite it being much lower than the one in Sossusvlei. Nearby we spotted some springbok and flamingos.

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