Namibia

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Tom has led multiple trips to Namibia, Africa to study the Namib Desert - the world's oldest desert.  The Namib Desert has been in existence for some 43 million years, remaining unchanged in its present form for the last 2 million years.  Evidence of humans living in the Namib through time extends back to the early stone age era. The most documented of mankind's existence can still be seen today in the many rock paintings, stone circles, tools and pottery that have been discovered over the centuries. The most famous rock paintings are at Brandberg and Twyfelfontein. The Topnaar are a well-known clan of long-term residents of the Namib.   Mullikin’s team studied the harsh environment of the Namib, which challenges both man and mammal alike. Carnivores are no exception and three of the larger species – black-backed jackal, brown hyena and spotted hyena have adapted to life in the desert. Spotted hyena live in the central and eastern regions, travelling in small groups where gemsbok, mountain zebra and occasionally Namib feral horses are taken. Black-backed jackals often scout the beaches in large groups for marine carrion, Cape fur seal pups and breeding birds. Brown hyena search for smaller items of food, usually alone and also take seal pups, eat insects and fruit as well gemsbok and springbok carcasses. Mountain zebra, chacma baboons, kudu, klipspringer, Cape fox, gerbils, steenbok and a healthy population of leopard are also resident.

Tom has visited with Zachi Nujoma, the son of the founding President of Namibia Sam Nujoma on one of their expeditions to Namibia.  Their visit together was a remarkable experience, where they discussed visions for the future of the nation and environment.