Desert Namibia on World Heritage List

Dessert Namibia along the sea.

Dessert Namibia along the sea.

The Namib Sand Sea in Namibia is one of the eight natural and man-made wonders included recently in the United Nations educational and cultural agency’s World Heritage List.

The Namib Sand Sea   in Namibia was also honoured for the first time with an inscription to the natural site list as the only coastal desert in the world that includes extensive dune fields influenced by fog.

The Namib sand dunes are the oldest sand dunes in the world and were formed about 30 million years ago. Covering an area of over three million hectares and a buffer zone of 899,500 hectares, the site is composed of two dune systems, an ancient semi-consolidated one overlain by a younger active one.

The desert dunes are formed by the transportation of materials thousands of kilometres from the hinterland, that are carried by river, ocean current and wind. It features gravel plains, coastal flats, rocky hills, inselbergs within the sand sea, a coastal lagoon and ephemeral rivers, resulting in a landscape of exceptional beauty. Fog is the primary source of water in the site, accounting for a unique environment in which  endemic invertebrates, reptiles and mammals adapt to an ever-changing variety of microhabitats and ecological niches.

The Committee also decided to inscribe Kenya’s Lewa Wildlife conservancy, an extension to the Mount Kenya National Park which houses the continent’s second largest peak and a migration route for elephants.

More information is to be found on the site of The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO




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