In the heart of the Namib Desert stretches the Sossusvlei, a dry pan surrounded by gigantic red dunes which constitute the most striking feature of this area. Nearby is the famous Deadvlei, another clay pan where Camel thorn trees grew before a change of climate around 600/700 years ago isolated the pan from the flow of the Tsauchab river. The black skeletons of these dead trees are scattered in the pan, making a dramatic contrast with the orange of the high dunes surrounding it. Landscape photography opportunities here are amazing but not only that, as the dunes are inhabited by some desert adapted species of wildlife, including Gemsbok, Springbok, Ostrich and Chacma Baboons. Cheetahs also visit the vlei occasionally.
Further north-west lies the remote and untamed wilderness of Damaraland and Kaokoland. This vast area encompasses many different habitats, from dunes to rocky outcrops and savannahs where large numbers of Springboks, Mountain Zebras, Gemsbok concentrate. Crossing the region are many seasonal rivers that only fill during the rains. As the water dries up, vegetation consisting of desert-adapted species of plants remains, attracting wildlife at the peak of the dry season. The main features of this region are the stark and dramatic beauty of its landscapes, its remoteness and isolation, and the variety of the wildlife. It is amazing to follow the Elephants or Giraffes along the dry river beds, or as they cross stretches of bare soil or rocky slopes. Large predators such as Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs and Brown Hyenas live here also, though they are elusive and hard to find. Many smaller but equally fascinating species of wildlife and birds live in these arid lands, including Meerkats, Bat-eared Fox, Jackals.