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Plants of Namibia

The Namib desert appears to be bare of plant life, however, lichens grow in great diversity on west facing slopes and surfaces where they are able to draw moisture from the sea fogs. If it were not for the fog, the plants would have no source of water. Lichens are a combination of algae and fungi, so technically they are not true plants, and it is the fungus that forms the body, called the thallus. They lack common names and usually occur on the central Namib's gypsum crusts, in huge numbers and a variety unknown to the rest of the planet. Some of the intricately branched Namib lichens almost resemble corals, whilst others look like dried leaves.

Lichens grow where there is a combination of light and high humidity; the light to provide energy for photosynthesis, and the moisture to keep the association between fungi and algae hydrated. This goes someway to explaining their abundance in the Namib, where large amounts of sunshine, fog and dew provide the daily light and moisture requirement.

Lichens grow extremely slowly, but stabilize the surface and prevent soil erosion. These plants are now recognized as a vital component of the Namib environment, and most areas are protected. They provide food for a variety of invertebrates and even springbok at times. It is estimated that some of these lichen fields are hundreds or even thousands of years old, as they can survive long periods of drought. However, the plants die if they are disturbed. Unfortunately, vehicle tracks are one of the most evident threats to lichen fields, and once they are damaged, require decades to grow back. The bright, orange-coloured lacy lichens on the surface of pebbles are often carried away by visitors wanting a memento of the Namib. This is to be discouraged, as the lichen will gradually fade and die when removed from its natural habitat. The most extensive lichen fields are found north of Swakopmund..

Plants of Namibia

Alternative Space

An art gallery turned guest house - the Space is truly alternative and worth a visit if you are interested in philosophical conversation, innovative thinking and staying somewhere out of the norm.

Atlantic Villa

Offers a variety of suites, luxury rooms and self catering units. Ideal for the business traveller or holiday maker

Brigadoon Cottages

Very centrally located, includes traditional guest house accommodation as well as two separate self catering flats

Cornerstone Guesthouse

Small, peaceful guesthouse in a well established part of town

Desert Sands Boutique Self-Catering and B&B

Centrally located self catering apartments offering a good selection of units (choose from studio, one, two or three bedroom units)

Gecko Ridge Guest House

15km outside of Swakopmund this elegant. pet friendly, guest house offers amazing views over the Namib Desert. Accommodation is in either guest house rooms or self catering units

Meerkat Guesthouse

Luxury accommodation with a personal touch.

Meike's Guest House

A well established owner managed guesthouse where emphasis is placed on environmental issues

Namib Guesthouse

A small owner run guest house which places an emphasis on offering quality personal service

PebbleStoneHouse Bed & Breakfast

Fresh, light & airy bed and breakfast in an upmarket and fairly centrally located area

Sams Giardino

Well established, Swiss managed guesthouse which is always a popular choice. Offers good quality accommodation & occasional wine tasting nights

Sandfields Guest House

An intimate and sophisticated family-run boutique guesthouse offering comfortable accommodation. A highlight is that each of the en-suite rooms has a private fireplace.

Sea Breeze Guest House

A very popular choice, offers excellent rooms at extremely reasonable prices. Possibly best value for money in Swakopmund

The Stiltz

Absolutely unique! Built on stilts into the Swakop River - many units offer great views. Feels more like a traditional country lodge rather than an establishment in a busy tourist town.

Swakopmund Guest House

A well appointed guest house in the center of town

Swakopmund Luxury Suites

A variety of well appointed suites in a central location

Villa Margherita

A newer addition, situated in an old historic building near the town center. Expect attention to detail and Italian flair.

Vogelstrand Guest House

A family operated establishment which prides itself on offering guests both personal attention and privacy

Accommodation in Luderitz