Sesriem Canyon Was
The initial formation of the canyon began about 30
million years ago. Much of Namibia was buried by desert sands up to
200meters deep which later formed the Tsondab Sandstone Sequence. A
Climate change then brought semi-arid conditions. Rivers were formed that ran from the
massive escarpment of the Naukluft and Zaris Mountains to the east.
Following primordial deluges large amounts of sand, boulder debris and
dissolved limestone were carried down from the highlands and deposited
on the desert floor. In times of a lower flow rate of the river, layers
of sand were deposited. When the river experienced stronger flow rates
small boulders, dissolved lime and limestone debris were transported and
deposited over the sand layer.
About 2 million years ago the coming of an ice age in
the northern hemisphere lead to a drop in the sea level. Following this
the subsequent increased flow rate of the Tsauchab River began to cut
its way deep through the conglomerates and sandstone beds
of the Sesriem Canyon area thus forming the canyon.
While walking through the Sesriem
Canyon you can easily see the thick and distinctive layers of
sedimentary rock and conglomerates. You will hear the constant cooing of doves that
nest in the crevices of the canyon walls and see a variety of trees and
plants in the canyon bed. The pool water is a bit muddy, but when
temperatures are 40°c plus !