For around half the year, especially in summer, you’ll head out of your hotel after breakfast to find Swakopmund or Walvis Bay enveloped in thick fog. As the prevailing southwesterly winds are further cooled over the Benguela Current, the air condenses to form cloud and fog. Blown inland, the humid air becomes trapped beneath the less dense hot air, forming an inversion layer. This compact white blanket of low-lying fog is an extraordinary sight as it creeps over the mainland, hovering over the desert, generally reaching around 60km inland (though sometimes twice that distance) until it’s dissipated by the strengthening sun. Though responsible for many shipwrecks on the Skeleton Coast, this coastal fog helps maintain the milder temperatures at the coast and, crucially, is the lifeblood for much of the Namib Desert’s flora and fauna, providing five times more water than is provided by rain.

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Namibia features

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