Namib Desert, Namibia (GC14W63) — Geocache of the Week

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Photo by Kilroyman

Geocache Name:

Namib Desert, Namibia (GC14W63) by Mausebiber

Location:

Sossusvlei, Namibia
S 24° 44.400 E 015° 17.310

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

D2.5/T2

Why this is Geocache of the Week:

The burnt orange dunes of the Namib Desert aren’t exactly right around the corner for most geocachers. Actually, they’re not right around the corner for anyone. The name Namid comes from the Nama word for ‘vast’—those who are lucky enough to take a scenic flight above the desert know just how fitting the name is.

GC14W63 is an EarthCache. If you happen to be in the area—that is, in the Mars-like sand dunes of Sossusvlei, in Namibia—this Sunday, October 11, you’ll earn the International EarthCache Day 2015 souvenir for finding it. The sand dunes at Sossusvlei are the largest in the world at around 300 meters tall, and they’re being coaxed northwards by prevailing winds from the south. According to the EarthCache description, geologists say this desert could be the oldest in the world. The almost electric colors of the dunes are caused by the slow oxidization of iron in the sand; the more bright orange the dune is, the older it is.

This EarthCache is Geocache of the Week not only for it’s well-organized, informative, and clear cache page, nor merely for its spectacular vistas, but because it holds true to the original purpose of the EarthCache. An EarthCache site is a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth. The sand dunes of the Namib desert are utterly unique. They’re fantastic. They’re old. They are at once imposing and delicate, timeless and mutable. The dream landscape they create defies civilization (you try building a cottage on a pile of sand).  And—this may be the understatement of the year—they’re well worth a visit.

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Photo by Team Hermann

What geocachers have to say:

“We loved visting the Namib Desert whilst on our family holiday to Namibia. We stayed in the Sesriem Camp and got up very early to watch the sunrise over the dunes. Thanks for this lovely EarthCache.” –GCMTWood

“On of the highlights of our Namiba trip was the visit of Sousuvlei. The dunes are just fantastic. We enjoyed the stay and even climed the big daddy dune. What a great view from there. Thank you very much for this Earthcache and greetings from Switzerland.” –foolish5

“What a fascinating place in the middle of an ocean of endless dunes. We stopped here during our three weeks lasting tour through Namibia and this was definitely one of our favorite places. The red colors in different increments, the merciless heat despite winter mode, the seemingly absence of life and the huge amounts of dead sand – what a spectacular view to remember, what a unique feeling to deal with, what an unforgettable moment. You have to visit Sossusvlei to imagine and understand these feelings. We will be back as soon as possible, also to enjoy these exceptional moments once again. These days here were such a great experience, so we need to say thank you for bringing us here. Thanks a lot for this cache, for the listing and for your efforts. Regards from Germany!” –do.se_gotcha

“We had 2,5 weeks in Namibia. The countryside is awesome, fauna and flore interesting and the people are so nice. Thanks to geocaching we have found a lot of places I wouldn’t have visited otherwise. A nice EarthCache leading me deeper in the canyon then I expected!” –MMXX

Photo by giddo

Photo by giddo

What the cache owner, Mausebiber, has to say:

When did you first visit the dunes near Sesreim? Have you visited again since then?

“My wife and I were in South Africa and Namibia first time in 1990, again in 1993 and our last visit was in 2007. Unfortunately we have not visited this beautiful country since then, but we are looking forward to go again within the next 2-3 years.”

What do you like about this spot, and what do you think attracts other people?

“This is a very unique place.  If you go early in the morning, you can feel the cold of the night and once the sun comes up, its rapidly getting warm.  Very few places where you can feel the power of the sun this extreme.  On the other hand, it is very quiet, only the wind is singing while it is blowing over the dunes.  When you are on top of a dune, your view can carry for miles and miles and all you see is the beauty and the colors of the desert.  There is nothing but vastness, nothing will disturb the view.  Out of a sudden, your thoughts are free, you feel the peace of the area, you just feel happy.  There are very few places where I had a similar feeling.”

What’s been your reaction to all of the nice logs and Favorite Points?

“Of course I like the logs where people report about the beauty of the place and about their experience. I answer each end every mail I receive and thank Cachers about their visit. At the same time I wish everyone a very nice vacation and happy caching for the future.  Sometimes a little email conversation takes place where we share some experience.”

Is there anything you’d like to say to the geocaching community?

“Namibia, located in the south of Africa, a land of contrasts and beauty. The cost region is cold and windy while the inner part is hot with mountain ranges. There is the oldest desert, the Namib and the Fishriver canyon which is the second largest canyon of the world. In the northern part close to the Angola border is Etosha National Park. With its size of almost 9000 square miles and over 100 species of animals and 300 species of birds, it is one of the largest parks in Africa. If you like lost places, you have to visit Kolmanskop, an old German diamond field. The people are friendly and helpful and the scenery just breathtaking. We enjoyed every second and sure enough, we will come back to visit this remarkable country.”

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Photo by saharaa

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Photo by PermonHroch

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Photo by pfitschipfeil

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Photo by pfitschipfeil

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Photo by Kilroyman

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Photo by Kilroyman

Photo by saharaa

Photo by saharaa

 

Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

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