|However, don't make the mistake of thinking nothing exists in the Namib desert. |
It gets a few millimetres of water (from sea fog) and supports a few scrubby bushes, oryx, steenbok and the weird welwitschia plant...
Tatty, old, scraggy, ground-covering things that look like neither a tree (apparently they are a type of pine tree, to which it is closely related) nor a cactus. Welwitschia was discovered by Friedrich Welwitsch in 1859 - he had been sent into Namibia (or German South West Africa as it was then called) to locate new species of plants. He found a doozey.
Experts reckon this specimen is more than 1000 years old. Records claim some welwitschia have lived for up to two thousand years.
|Something of an irony in that the only sponsor of the welwitschia way - the long drive out to this remarkable desert fortress - is a uranium mine!|