Southern Region

Southern Region                     
Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Namib Desert in the west and the orange dunes of the Kalahari in the east, Southern Namibia is a land of wide open spaces and solitude. It offers a diversity of unique attraction ranging from historical buildings and ghost towns to fossils and quiver tree forests.
The main attraction of the Southern Region is the spectacular Sossusvlei, a clay pan, formed when the shifting dunes of the Namib smothered the course of the Tsauchab River. Surrounded by majestic star-shaped dunes with curvaceous lines, the pan and the surrounding dunes are especially breathtaking in the early morning hours. The pan can be dry for up to a decade, but after heavy floods, it can hold water for almost a year. Nearby is a spectaculare Dead Vlei with ist pure white clay floor and dead camel thorn tree trunks reaching skywards.
Sesriem, the gateway to Sossusvlei, is named after a 30 m m deep canyon carved through the layers of conglomerate by the Tsauchab River. The name is translated as " six thongs " - a reference to the fact that pioneer farmers had to use six ox thongs to lower buckets to the pools in the narrow canyon. 


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Namib Rand Nature Reserve  --  largest private game reserve.
Namib Rand Nature Reserve, 60 km south of Sesriem, is Namibia´s largest private reserve. Namib Rand´s diversity of landscapes represents virtually all facets of the Namib Desert. Visitors to the reserve  are more than likely to encounter Gemsbok ( Oryx ), Hyena, Hartebeast, Zebra and some of the more than 120 different bird species recorded. The mysterious " fariy circles " are an ubiquitous feature of Namib Rand.

Haven to outdoor enthusiasts
Adjoining the dune sea to the east is the Naukluft massif with its deep valleys,canyons, undulating hills and sheer cliffs. A sanctuary to the sure-footed Hartmann´s mountain zebra, the rugged mountains are a haven to outdoor enthusiasts, offering walks, a challenging 8-days hike and a 4X4 trail. Game to be seen include Gemsbok, Kudu, Springbok and Klipspringer.

Duwisib Castle
Duwisib Castle is another well-known attraction in the south of the region. Built in 1908-09 by Captain Hans-Heinrich von Wolf, the castle nestles between rolling hills, southwest of Maltahoehe. It is open to day visitors, while campsites are also available.

Fish River Canyon  -- thermal springs  --  hiking trail.
Awe-inspiring is perhaps an understatment when describing the raw beauty of Fish River Canyon which ranks amongst the largest canyons in the world. The most spectacular section is 65 km long and the canyon reaches a depth of 549 m. The Ai-Ais Resort is renowned for its thermal springs and mark the end of the 85 km long Fish River Canyon Hiking Trail, one of the top hikes in Southern Africa.
The Fish River Canyon conservation area and the adjoining Richtersveld National Park in South Africa have been designated Namibia´s first transfrontier conservation area. The Orange River, which forms a natural boundary between the two countries, offer pleasant conditions for canoeing and rafting.

Wild Horses
Travelling westward of Aus towards Luederitz, the landscape is characterized by seemingly never ending plains mergering in the distance with the horizon. This is the home of the wild horses of the Namib, one of the few populations of desert-dwelling ferall horses in the world.

Luederitz  --  known for its diamonds.
Built amongst rocky outcrops along the southern Namib coast, Luederitz owes its existence to the discovery of diamonds in 1908. With its wealth of German colonial buildings, Luederitz has survived time and elements, unlike the former mining settlements at Kolmanskop, Elizabeth Bay, and Pomona which became ghost towns.
The area surrounding Keetmanshoop is renowned for its quiver tree forests, dolerite rock formations eroded into weird shapes and fossils of prehistoric fish. Travelling north towards Windhoek from Keetmanshoop the voöcanic rim of  Brukkaros is a distinctive landmark.

Hardap Dam Resort  -  angling and water sport.
Hardap Dam Resort, just north of Mariental, lies on high cliffs overlooking the country´s largest dam. In addition to being a popular angling and watersport destination, the game park offers visitors an opportunity to see a variety of games species in their natural habitat.