Namib Sand Sea named World Heritage Site

25th Jun 2013

Namibia's unique desert has won it a place in the latest coveted list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Namib Sand Sea is the world's only coastal desert that includes vast dune fields affected by fog.

The site covers an area of more than three million hectares and a buffer zone of 899,500 hectares.

It comprises two dune systems - an ancient semi-consolidated one overlain by a younger active one.

The desert dunes are created by the movement of materials thousands of kilometres from the wilds that are ferried by river, ocean current and wind.

It features gravel plains, coastal flats, rocky hills, a coastal lagoon and ephemeral rivers, resulting in a landscape of staggering beauty.

Fog is the main source of water here, making up a unique environment in which endemic invertebrates, reptiles and mammals adapt to an ever-changing range of microhabitats and ecological niches.

The list gives added kudos to destinations and acts almost as a seal of approval to holidaymakers drawn to cultural and natural sites.

Namib Sand Sea is Namibia's first natural site to be inscribed on the World Heritage List.

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