Earth from space: Dune 45

The Namib is the oldest desert in the world, stretching over 2000 km along Africa’s southwestern coast from Angola, through Namibia to South Africa. Sand dunes dominate the desert – some reaching over 300 m in height.

The blue and white area is the dry river bed of the Tsauchab – which only sees water following rare rainfall in the Naukluft Mountains to the east. Black dots of vegetation are concentrated close to the river’s main route, while salt deposits appear bright white.

Running through the river valley, a road connects Sossusvlei to the Sesriem settlement. At the road’s 45th kilometre, seen at the lower-central part of the image, a white path shoots off and ends at a circular parking area at the base of a dune. This is Dune 45, a popular tourist stop on the way to and from Sossusvlei.

Image credit: KARI/ESA