It is a wonder of nature that wildlife can survive and thrive within the Namib Desert. It’s southern regions fall within the NamibRand Nature Reserve and provide the breathtaking sceneries which surround Wolwedans. With temperatures soaring above 50ºC on hot summer days and dropping to below zero on cool wintry mornings, local inhabitants of the animal kingdom are bound to adapt in various ways in order to sustain themselves.
The evasive golden mole has no eyes, the impressive oryx can withstand weeks of scorching heat without drinking any water and the scavenging lappet-faced vulture scours the landscape for carcasses and waterholes. To each creature, a unique ability and a special skill is bestowed. Consider the resourcefulness of the yellow-haired dune ant, who cleverly collects honeydew from aphids, strategically defeats colonies of termites and carefully hoards bird-droppings from its surroundings. Even the most minuscule of beings, has its place within the world’s oldest desert.
One is always tempted to observe the obvious, and yet with a little bit of patience, the desert reveals its most fascinating secrets. For instance, at first glance a patch of slightly unlevel ground holds no interest, until –in the sudden blink of an eye- its surface is rattled and a three-striped skink lizard hurtles across the dunes. The skink’s wonderful armour of red/brown scales and dark-edged stripes provide it with the perfect camouflage, rendering it almost invisible to the untrained eye. Even its prey of beetles, flies and grasshoppers are often caught unawares.
The element of surprise is key in the hunting rituals of many predators. The crafty yellow burrowing scorpion is a case in point. The wily arthropod is nocturnal and lurks in its chosen location until an unsuspecting cricket hops by. Although seemingly merciless, the thoughtful arachnid carries its young on its back to protect them from other predators.
Experience the riveting life of a desert creature for yourself and make Wolwedans you next holiday destination.