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Travel Namibia 31n10 Experience history q Exactly one hundred years ago, diamonds were discovered in dunes south of Walvis Bay. A rush of prospectors headed for some of the Namib's most inhospitable areas, desperate to strike it rich. Few did and today the sand- blown remnants of their settlements still litter the national park, ghostly reminders of the hardships these pioneers were willing to endure. A 4WD trip to the coastal area between Meob and Conception Bay ( Diamond mining area No2) is a real privilege. The abandoned sieves and cartwheels are rapidly deteriorating and soon the Namib will shroud them completely in sand, forever burying the hopes they initially represented. n For more information go to www. uriadventures. com the honey sands. The golden mole swims through the sand surfacing at night to forage for insects. The shovel- snouted lizard has perfected a thermal dance to avoid its tail and feet spending too much time on the hot sand. And the translucent palmato gecko collects condensed fog droplets from its head with its long tongue. The larger animals have also learnt Namib survival skills. The springbok can be seen grazing in the morning when the dew decorates the hardy desert plants while the oryx catches breezes on the top of dunes, shallow veins in its nose cooling its blood like the radiator system of a car. Black- backed jackal, brown hyena and ostrich are also familiar with the desert wisdom and roam the hostile environment. Escaping the intense heat and withstanding extreme conditions, desert life emerges in the cool hours to sip the ocean mist, surviving against all odds. From the smallest of beetles to the proud oryx, life endures, magnificently.

32 Travel Namibia Undiscovered Namibia Namibia's hidden depths