Fairy Circles

In the modern world of advanced research, innovative technology and information networks, it is refreshing to know that nature can still keep some of her secrets.

Mysterious bare circles in the sand dot the landscape along the edge of the Namib Desert stretching from the north-western Cape into southern Angola. These bare patches have been named “fairy circles.” The circles, which support little flora, are an integral part of the distinctive landscape of NamibRand Nature Reserve. Dune valleys and grassy plains are often speckled with fairy circles, making NamibRand the ideal place to view these unique phenomena.

While numerous scientists have researched these circles, no one has yet been able to ultimately determine their cause or purpose. Various theories of their origin have been suggested, including euphorbia poisoning, animal dust baths, meteor showers, termites and underground gas vents.

Wolwedans has come up with the innovative ‘adopt-a-fairy-circle’ concept, whereby we encourage guests and nature lovers to ‘adopt’ one of the thousands of mysterious fairy circles that are unique to the Namib Desert for NAD 1000. A numbered disk will be placed in your specially chosen circle and you will receive a certificate acknowledging your donation and recording the exact GPS-coordinates of your fairy circle.

The funds collected from this initiative flow directly into the NamibRand Conservation Foundation (NRCF). The NRCF in turn allocates 30% of its funds to the NamibRand Desert Research and Awareness Centre (NRAC), which promotes and assists with environmental conservation, education and environmental management research on the Reserve. A further 30% of funds supports the Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust (NaDEET), a non-profit organization, aimed at empowering Namibians to make decisions for a sustainable future by offering a hands-on, experiential environmental learning programme for schoolchildren and other groups visiting the Reserve. The remaining 40% of the budget is allocated to other environmental management and conservation projects in the larger southwestern Namib region. 

 

NamibRand Conservation Foundation
Dark Sky Reserve