The Southern Region consists of Canyon land, Deep South, Kalahari Desert, Luderitz and surroundings.
Southern Namibia presents some of the principally spectacular landscapes in the entire Namibia . Bordered by the dry savannah of the Kalahari in the east and the unique Namib Desert in the west, you find the geological history book of the earth at the Fishriver Canyon . From the early gneisses, also called arch rock with some 5 billion years of age, to the more recent sedimentary formations up to 20.000 years ago the Inselbergs, the terraces, the vast plains tell a story of their own.
The Namib Naukluft Park , which covers an area of 50 000m², is Namibia 's most versatile conservation area. It contains key features such as Sossusvlei, Sesriem, Welwitschia Trail, Sandwich Harbor , Naukluft Mountains and the Kuiseb Canyon . Besides a number of rudimentary camping sites in the Namib section, there are a large number of private accommodation establishments adjacent to the park.
Internationally known, as a photographer's dream is Sossusvlei with its monumental dunes, the highest of which has been measured from its base as being 325m. They were formed by multi-directional winds, and are at their highest where the Tsauchab River empties itself into the vlei. When it has rained sufficiently, the Tsauchab River fills the main pan, drawing flamingos and other aquatic birds to the area.
At the entry to Sossusvlei is Sesriem Canyon , where centuries of erosion have incised a narrow gorge of about 1km in length. At the foot of the gorge, which plunges down 30m to 40m, are pools of water that become replenished after good rains.
With its massive and varied rock formations, Naukluft Mountain is a geologist's paradise. The intermittent layers of horizontally folded igneous rock; quartzite, dolomite and shale are impressive with their giant symmetrical patterns.
The incorporation of the Ai-Ais Hot springs Resort , Fishriver Canyon and Huns Mountains in 1989, into one conservation area of 346 117 ha, led to the establishment of the Fishriver Canyon Park. The main attraction is its isolated and otherworldly landscape and wealth of interesting xerophytes plants such as the "halfmens" or elephant's trunk.
Eroded over many millennia, the Fishriver Canyon is the second largest natural gorge in Africa . Set in a harsh, stony plain, with drought-resistant succulents such as the quiver tree, this spectacular natural phenomenon with its full length being 160km - 27km wide and a depth of 550m.
The 90km Fishriver Canyon hiking trail is regarded as one of the major challenges of Southern Africa and takes about 4-5 days to complete. Accommodation is available at Ai-Ais Hot Spring Resort and at Hobas campsite.
Kolmanskoppe is situated 20km east of Luderitz , a coastal town along the Namib Desert that was established following the discovery of Diamonds in 1908. Within a span of 40 years Kolmanskoppe lived, flourished and died. The ghost town's crumbling ruins bear little resemblance to its former glory, its stately homes, now demolished by the wind, gradually becoming enveloped by sand dunes. It is its ghost-town atmosphere that is the main attractions for tourists visiting Luderitz. In 1980, the mining company Namdeb restored a number of buildings and established a museum.
About 72km south west of Maltahöhe, situated amongst rolling red hills, is Duwiseb Castle , a solid rectangular structure of red sandstone. Built by the legendary Baron von Wolf for his American wife, Jayta, the castle was completed in 1909. Today the interior of the castle and much of its original furniture and artworks, including firearms dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, can be viewed.
A much-favored topic for photographers, the Quiver Tree Forest , can be viewed on Farm Gariganus, 14km north east of Keetmanshoop. Across the road from the Quiver Tree Forest is " Giant's Playground ", an impressive jumble of massive dolerite boulders.
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