Namibia: Landscapes that Fuel my Travel Passion

NamibRand Nature Reserve—C.Helbig

NamibRand Nature Reserve—C.Helbig

I recently met with a group of enthusiastic girls in Grade 6 who are doing a very cool school project about their passion—which happens to be travel. Their teacher is a friend of mine and asked me whether I’d mind if the girls “interviewed” me. Talk about travel…absolutely! Their questions made me think a lot about the places that particularly touched me. One of these places is Namibia, in southern Africa. It is the most visually stunning country I have visited. My favourite photo in my  images roster was taken in Namibia. This post shares more images of a country whose harsh and exquisite desert landscapes fuel my passion for travel.

My favourite image: Dune 45, Sossesvlei, Namibia—C.helbig

My favourite image: Dune 45, Sossusvlei, Namibia—C.Helbig


NamibRand Nature Reserve—C.Helbig

NamibRand Nature Reserve

We had just crested a small hill in the NamibRand Nature Reserve, in southern Namibia. I remember being completely awestruck by the subtle greens of the meadows, the vivid orange of the vegetated dunes and the stark backdrop. The featured image for this post, also shot in the NamibRand, is one of my favourites—a perfect expanse of wind-rippled sand. Below, our small group leave footprints on the perfect dune as we explore the desert on a 3-day walking/camping safari with Tok Tokkie Trails.

NamibRand Nature Reserve—C.helbig

NamibRand Nature Reserve—C.Helbig

Imagine, waking up to a brilliant blue sky in the middle of dead-quiet desert with the most amazing orange-hued sand! Yes, that is frost on the sleeping bags, but nothing a steaming cup of coffee can’t remedy. Camping in the NamibRand Nature Reserve is one of my all-time top experiences.

NamibRandNature Reserve, Tok Tokkie Trails Walking Safari—C.Helbig

NamibRandNature Reserve, Tok Tokkie Trails Walking Safari—C.Helbig

If you think the mornings are a treat, check-out what this place looks like at sunset.

Namib-Rand Nature Reserve—C.Helbig

Namib-Rand Nature Reserve—C.Helbig

Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei

Just north of the NamibRand lies one of Namibia’s top tourist attractions: the giant, intensely coloured sand dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Dune 45, below, and on my home page, is probably one of the most photographed dunes in the world. Its curves and colour, accentuated by shadows are magnificent. It may win for shape, but not size. At only 80 meters, it is dwarfed by neighbouring 200m+ dunes, among the largest in the world.


Dune 45, Sossusvlei, Namibia—C.Helbig

Dead Vlei is an eerily beautiful spot. Its sun-baked clay pan and skeletal remains of trees sit in isolation, surrounded by the dunes of Sossusvlei.


Dead Vlei, Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia—C.Helbig


Dead Vlei, Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia—C.Helbig

Sandwich Harbour

One of the most dramatic natural features of Namibia is its huge expanse of barren desert butting up to the turbulent South Atlantic Ocean. We got a taste of this in Sandwich Harbour, just south of Walvis Bay. In some places, the steep-sided dunes plummet almost directly down to the waves.


Near Sandwich Harbour, Namibia—C.Helbig

My next trip to Namibia will include a visit to the famous Skeleton Coast, in the northern half of the country. The coast is hammered by heavy surf, crazy currents and dense fog (though annual precipitation is close to nil). These inhospitable conditions have resulted in many shipwrecks. The skeletons of these unlucky ships litter the desolate beaches.


Near Sandwich Harbour, Namibia—C.Helbig

Namibia’s wondrous landscapes alone are worth a visit to this amazing country. But, Namibia is also home to Etosha Park, one of the best game reserves in Africa (more on that in another post), and interesting towns like Windhoek and Swakpmund whose architecture, art, and cuisine are a unique blend of their African roots and German colonization. Namibia is a relatively safe and easy place to travel. We rented a car and it was an unforgettable three week road trip (just make sure you carry a good spare tire, or two)!

The Cardboard Box Travel Shop provided excellent advice in helping plan our travel itinerary and they have a great website.

Categories: Hiking, Namibia | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Namibia: Landscapes that Fuel my Travel Passion

  1. Oh wow! I think it just rose higher up our list. The colours in the desert are fantastic. We’re trying to figure out what’s next (obviously based on when) so we’ll definitely look at Namibia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t recommend it enough Maggie (though I happen to love stark desert environments). I haven’t looked at this old post for a long time but it makes me happy seeing those amazing landscapes. It was the first country we visited in Africa and we were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to travel independently there (it was nice to have our own vehicle as some of the stuff is quite out of the way). I’ve been reluctant to add posts about Namibia because it was a long time ago, but while some of the tour operators/accommodations will have changed the beautiful landscapes/animals are the same. As the weather craps out and hiking draws to a close, I just might do some photo-based posts of Namibia.

      We’ve also been thinking about what’s next. It was supposed to be India (next month) but now I’m not sure it will be the first country we visit once we’re back to international travel.

      Happy Thanksgiving weekend. Hope you get outside.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not sure India would be a good first post-covid (if there will be such a thing) trip. It’s hard to think where would be a good place. I think most people are posting old trips now, so I think Namibia would be well received. I’m actually thinking about reposting some of our old posts that no one saw because we didn’t have any followers!
        Happy Thanksgiving!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: 100th Post: Ten Places that have “Stuck with Me” | Writes of Passage

  3. Brian Foster

    Fantastic shots. Can’t wait to be there next March.


  4. Thanks for reading! You should go!


  5. Monika MacNeill

    Stunning landscapes!


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