Chris Nel reflects amonst the dunes, Living Desert Adventures, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Namibia

The Little 5, Living Desert tour, Namibia

In Africa, Namibia, Our Journeys, Road Trips, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

Namib Desert, Swakopmund & Walvis Bay

Namibia is not all about the ‘Big Five’ (Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard & Rhinoceros), there are the little creatures too.

A Desert Chameleon ambling towards us, Living Desert Adventures, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Namibia

Living Desert Adventures operates a selection of tours into the Namib Desert; our choice was their Living Desert Tour. They collected us directly from our accommodation at around 8 am for our 5-hour ‘Little 5’ tour, in one of their 4×4 safari style Land Rovers.

Before entering the Namib Desert, we were all introduced to each other as there were three truckloads of us eager trekkers. The primary tour guide, Chris, was all ready to do the tour in German when he realised there were two infiltrators in the camp, (Gary & I), who only spoke English. So he had to do the whole excursion in German and English, it was terrific fun, and everyone had a sense of humour, so he mocked the British and the Germans.

The area of the Namib Desert that we were entering is along the dune belt between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. Before joining the desert, the three guides had to drop the tyre pressure on the trucks as it was going to be sand, sand and more sand.

All of us cosseted away we set off about the dunes to track down the elusive ‘Little 5’. The guides are very conscientious about the conservation of the Namib Desert and take particular care not to damage the gravel plains.

Seeking ‘micro’ wildlife requires an expert or two.

It wasn’t long before our first desert dweller had been tracked down and we all jumped out for our first lesson on desert life.

A Palmato Gecko or Namib sand gecko, Living Desert Adventures, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Namibia

The guides had found a Namib Dune Gecko.

While Chris was explaining the habitat of these gecko’s and the diversity of the desert, the other two trackers would disappear off to find more of deserts inhabitants.

The guides are incredibly observant and would spot the tiniest of animal life, where to everyone else it was just sand.

A desert chameleon in a dollar bush, Living Desert Adventures, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Namibia

The next stop they found a Fitzsimons Burrowing Skink, which I held, as Gary made the excuse he was taking the photos.

A Fitzsimons burrowing skink or Legless Lizard, Living Desert Adventures, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Namibia

The tour wasn’t just about the wildlife

Next up it was the fantastic plant life that lives in these harsh conditions. Where the temperatures by day rocketed up and by night, they plummeted.

The beautiful dunes of Walvis bay, Living Desert Adventures, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Namibia

The geology of this awe-inspiring landscape is breath-taking, with dunes as far as the eye can see.

The tour progressed across the undulating terrains, and again we were introduced to some more fascinating wildlife. This time it was a Namaqua Desert Chameleon, this creature looks prehistoric.

A Desert Chameleon stalking lunch, Living Desert Adventures, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Namibia
A Desert Chameleon scampering away with lunch, Living Desert Adventures, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Namibia

Also Chris found a Shovel Snouted Sand Diving Lizard.

A Sand-diving lizard or Shovel Snouted lizard, Living Desert Adventures, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Namibia

Chris and the two other guides made it fantastic fun and were very informative and encouraged interaction as much as possible.

On our trip, we had one gentleman that was unable to keep getting in and out of the truck. However, this didn’t stop Chris from making him part of the group, so to ensure he wasn’t left out, where possible Chris would delicately take the ‘Little 5’ to him.

On our way again

But not for long, next we found a Sidewinder snake. These are really small, as you can see in the photo next to a footprint.

A sidewinder snake compared to a normal footprint, Living Desert Adventures, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Namibia
A sidewinder snake darting for cover, Living Desert Adventures, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Namibia

Also the guides found a Reticulated Desert Lizard, which has tiny little claws.

A Reticulated Desert lizard,Living Desert Adventures, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Namibia

Not content with the intricacies of the wildlife, Chris suddenly revealed a magnet and demonstrated to us the presence of iron in the sand.

As the tour was reluctantly drawing to a close

We were treated to a white-knuckle dune ride in the trucks. Sliding down the dunes and building up enough steam to vertically climb up another dune. It was fantastic fun although one elderly German had his eyes shut the whole time and had turned a very washed out shade of grey. 😱

Janis and the Land Rover, Living Desert Adventures, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Namibia
The Land Rover and the view, Living Desert Adventures, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Namibia

One last time out of the trucks for refreshments and the opportunity to ask questions. We has one last chance to enjoy the magnificent vista across the Atlantic Ocean.

The view of Walvis Bay and the Atlantic Ocean,Living Desert Adventures, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Namibia

A highly recommended and informative tour.

Chris Nel reflects amongst the dunes, Living Desert Adventures, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Namibia

Inspired to visit the desert?

The Little 5 tour is just one of the many things you can do from a base in Swakopmund. Start planning your adventure now, why not?

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The Little 5, Living Desert tour, Namibia

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Visited Namibia? Did you seek out it’s amazing wildlife? Including the Little 5?

About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight.Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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The Little 5, Living Desert tour, Namibia was last modified: February 7th, 2018 by Janis