Exploring Namibia's Desert: The Welwitschia Drive Guide
Tucked away in the northern corner of Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia, the Welwitschia Drive offers breathtaking desert landscapes. This scenic route meanders southeast of the coastal town of Swakopmund, unveiling the mesmerizing moon-like expanse of the Welwitschia Plain.
Journey Length and Landscape Highlights
Spanning approximately 50 km (31 miles), this drive is renowned for its unique flora, most notably the endemic Welwitschia mirabilis, which is exclusive to the Namib desert regions of Namibia and Angola.
Vehicle Recommendations for the Drive
Navigating the Welwitschia Route requires some sturdy wheels, given its unpaved nature. Opting for a 4x4 vehicle is advisable, as the road, though easy, is heavily corrugated and can offer a rather shaky experience. On the rare occasions when the Swakop or Kuiseb River carries water, the route becomes impassable.
Duration and Exploration Points
Before embarking on this adventure, ensure you have a permit for the Namib section of the Namib-Naukluft Park from the NWR. The entire drive, inclusive of exploration stops at various points of interest, takes around four hours. Along the way, you'll encounter 13 sequentially numbered beacons, each signaling a unique attraction. The journey's pinnacle is an encounter with one of Namibia's largest and oldest welwitschia plants.
Pic: Von Freddy Weber, - Übertragen aus de.wikipedia nach Commons., Gemeinfrei, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3103313