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