what to see / Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest Situated 42km west of Khorixas, the Petrified Forest exists in an old river channel and is described as ‘an occurrence of fossilized trees’. It is a large assemblage of petrified tree trunks scattered over an area of approximately 300m by 800m. This petrified wood, app. 260 million years old, is the result of a process called solidification, whereby huge tree trunks were first embedded in sand deposits and thus cut off from oxygen. Silicic acids then replaced the original wooden material on molecular level, thereby retaining the identical organic patterns, but replacing them gradually with quartz minerals. Research has shown that the original trees belonged to at least four different species of Gymnospermae, or cone-bearing plants which flourished between 200 – 300 million years ago. It is illegal and prohibited to remove any, even the smallest piece of petrified wood from this area. Namibia’s unique heraldic plant, the Welwitschia... read more  Read More