The Namib Desert, Southern Africa : 1, 000 foot dunes and crashing waves along a nearly uninhabited coastline along the desolate coast of Namibia, 1,000-foot-tall sand dunes [ over 300 meters ] descend into the sea.

At low tide, intrepid adventurers can drive along the beach, past towering yellow dunes on one side and the South Atlantic's churning waters on the other. This is the Namib, the world's oldest desert and the perfect place for a long road trip. 

After almost three years of Covid-19 restrictions, it's hard to imagine a place where you can feel more free.

''Namib'' means a ''vast place'' in Khoekhoegowab, a language spoken in may parts of Namibia. It's astonishingly easy to get lost in this almost entirely uninhabited expanse of sand, where you might travel for days without seeing another human being.

In the Namib-Naukluft National Park, travelers can go back in time at the Deadvlei, where 600-years-old trees stand eerily lifeless, preserved by the dry air; challenge themselves to climb the 100-story Big Daddy Dune; observe desert-adapted wildlife like oryx and springbok; and even see mysterious fairy circles. [ Jen Guyton ]


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