The Namib Desert in the south-western African country of Namibia has endured arid or semi-arid conditions for at least 55 million years and is therefore the oldest desert in the world.
The name Namib comes from the Nama word for a vast place.
The Namib Desert is stretching from the Uinab River in the north to Lüderitz in the south, from the Namib Escarpment in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west and covers an area of around 81,000km². The desert is roughly 1,600km long (north - south) and between 50 - 150km (east - west) wide.
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The Namib Desert is the only desert in Africa inhabited by elephant, rhino, giraffe and lion.
The Namib-Naukluft Park, encompassing part of the Namib Desert and the Naukluft mountain range, is the largest game park in Africa and the fourth largest in the world.
In the Park more moisture comes in as a fog off the Atlantic Ocean than falls as rain, with the average 106 millimeters of rainfall per year.
Although not typical, one of the most famous inhabitants of the Namib Desert is the welwitschia plant. Individual Welwitschia plants are estimated to be upwards of 2,500 years old, have crowns of more than 1m in diameter, and leaves that stretch up to 2m long. The plant is considered to be the longest-living member of the plant kingdom. Back in the days Charles Darwin called the plant platypus of the plant kingdom.