Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Namibia Part 4: Namib Desert

On November 16 we headed towards Sossusvlei and Deadvlei to see the amazing sand dunes and the salt/clay pan. This was one of my favorite days on our tour of Namibia.

I love how you can see the mist/dust in the background and the impala grazing in the corner

Hot air balloon rides

One thing that we have yet to do - still on my list!

Sunrising

More pretty scenery

Ostriches milling about

Lonely ostrich with sand dunes in the background

Love the shadows

Lone tree

More dunes

So red!

Dune 45 is the most photographed dune in the world, it stands over 170 meters and is composed of 5 million year old sand 

Surrounded by sand dunes

Very pretty

We had to take a 4x4 and drive towards the area where we would climb "Big Daddy"

Driving along

So simple yet so pretty

The shadows and shapes of the dunes were amazing

We didn't climb this dune but climbed "Big Daddy" instead

Big Daddy is the highest dune in the Sossusvlei area at about 325 meters high and yes, we climbed it. I honestly thought I would not make it - either by tumbling down the dune or because I was extremely out of breath! After climbing Big Daddy, we ran down the dune to walk through Deadvlei. Deadvlei is a clay pan that used to be an oasis for acacia trees. It now is home to blackened, dead acacia trees - which make for good pictures!

We didn't follow the markers - instead we climbed up Big Daddy!

The rhino beetle is one of the "little 5"

Dried plants open right up when you pour just the tiniest bit of water

Animal tracks in the sand

Dried salt and clay

Pretty

More tracks

The wind makes the patterns so evenly

I'm not sure what kind of animal made these tracks but they are tiny!

Lonely tree

Heading towards Big Daddy!

Cracks

Slinky shot!

Walking towards the big one

Pretty landscape all around

Panoramic

Starting the long climb up

Bunch of lizards slithering up as well

Hello Mr. Lizard

It almost looks impossible

Looking down towards where we started

My shoes still have sand in them

Yay, we made it to the first resting point

Another lizard next to our footprints

The white clay pan to the left is Deadvlei

Doesn't look real!

A view of Deadvlei with the dead acacia trees from Big Daddy

The colors are amazing

Thanks for the photo bomb, Matt

Another painting like photo

This is the top of Big Daddy - we did it!

Photos of the view at the top of Big Daddy

Deadvlei - our next stop

Running down the dune

Gives you some perspective of how big these dunes are

Walking down

Makes me feel small

Looking back towards the top - quite steep

Stopping for a selfie with the dunes behind me

We made it down...with about 20 extra pounds of sand in my shoes!

These trees have been dead for hundreds of years

"What!"

More cool shots

Unreal

We had a visitor during lunch

Caterpillars by Dune 45

An afternoon close up of Dune 45 - looks quite different without the shadow

Wooly Mammoth Caterpillar

In front of Dune 45

More scenery - that is an oryx

More oryx - one was looking left, the second looking straight towards us and the third was looking right

We headed back to Desert Camp to rest before exploring the Sesriem Canyon.

This is Sesriem Canyon

It is a natural canyon carved by the Tsauchab river

Sesriem in Afrikaans means "six belts"

It was given that name because it would take six belts to reach buckets down into the canyon to scoop up water

It was a nice little canyon

Mustache Kitty, get down from there!

Francois told us that this was the nest of a type of ostrich that adapted to living
in the canyon so it could climb the canyon rock using its beak and claws...
I'm so gullible, I believed him!

Cool shadows and rocks

PARKOUR!

Cool

Bye bye Sesriem Canyon

After a long and exciting day, we headed back to camp to enjoy the evening view.

The moon's in the middle 

Just loved this view

Pretty colors


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