Place: Dead vlei
Location: Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia
Visited: April 2009
In the central Namib Desert, in the heart of the Namib-Naukluft Nationa Park lies a strange and alien landscape. Found among the towering red dunes of Sossusvlei lies a barren landscape dotted with hundreds of petrified 1000-year-old Camelthorn Trees. The region is known as the Dead Vlei (Dead Marsh) and it is found amongst the tallest dunes in the world, reaching some 400 meters or 1,312 feet high, taller than the Empire State Building. Dead Vlei was once like Soussusvlei, with the river draining into it and nourishing the desert life and even trees, but no longer. Some 900 years ago the climate dried up, and the sand dunes cut off the Dead Vlei from the river. It became so dry that not only did the trees die, but it became too dry for the trees to decompose, and they simply scorched black in the sun, monuments to their own destruction.