Oldest Welwitschia

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At over than 1500 years old, this is the oldest known Welwitschia Mirabilis in the world — one of few plants that grow in the harsh conditions of the Namib desert, an area with very little moisture and high temperatures during the day.

Most of its water comes from fog — brought in from the Atlantic ocean during mornings, which condenses to droplets on its leaves before dropping to the roots underneath.

Despite its appearance, it has just two leaves that are split at the ends. These provide shade for part of its roots — preserving moisture.

When there is excessive sunlight, the leaves change colour to prevent them from absorbing too much heat.

Around it is a fence to prevent visitors from damaging its root system, which is said to spread all around it — close to the ground's surface.

What to do thereSight seeing, game drives, picnics, hiking.

Best time to visitAny time of the year.

Location of Oldest WelwitschiaOn the northern end of Namib Naukluft national park and deep within the vast expanses of the Namib desert.

How to get thereBy vehicle, with 4x4s being recommended though not necessary.

References1. By Thomas Schoch - own work at http://www.retas.de/thomas/travel/namibia2003/index.html, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=650590

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