Namibia is having a huge tourist boom and having visited twice now it’s easy to see why. It’s a vast country but with a population of only 2.4 million people, making the roads almost empty. The tarmac roads are in great condition and stretch for endless miles, but with such a small population it’s easy to understand why there are so many brain and car rattling gravel tracks! On one particularly long journey a bolt inside one of our wing mirrors appeared to have sheared off, leaving it still attached by another, but very loose.
Oryx really do roam freely and we saw many of them during our travels.
Namibia is home to the world’s oldest desert which stretches for 2000 km along the Atlantic coasts of Namibia, South Africa and Angola. We spent an afternoon on the dunes with an experienced driver, which was great fun, a bit hair raising, and culminated with breathtaking views over the ocean.
The dunes are some of the highest in the world with the largest one in the area rising to 383 metres. The wind blows the sand into fabulous shapes and we specifically went to see some of them them later in the afternoon when the sun was lower in the sky so that there would be a great contrast between the lit and unlit sides as the sun set.
On one stretch of road there was a sandstorm over an area of dead trees, and the beauty of self-driving was that we could stop wherever we wanted to take photos.
Having visited the famous Deadvlei last year and taken far too many photos, I made the decision not to carry my camera this time. Of course I couldn’t resist taking just a few, and the following are all taken on my iPhone.
One of our destinations was an abandoned town where the desert is reclaiming the buildings there. Again, I’d taken a lot of photos last year, but here are a few new ones.
One of the rooms that has unbroken windows and doors displays a few remnants of life in the town.
I’d seen the building below on the way there and assumed it was an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. On our way back we stopped to investigate further and I realised that it was an old railway station. I like the placement of the two dead trees either side of it.
We also stopped along the way as one of my guests saw this lone tree that he wanted to photograph and I really liked it too.
One of the favourite destinations was in the desert and doesn’t even show up on the maps. The road was a mixture of gravel and sand but worth the drive to spend a couple of days there. Namibia was having a cold front that had travelled up from South Africa and unfortunately we spent our time there being frozen! On our first night there they had snow just over the mountain from where we were. It was a nice touch for the lodge to provide us with hot water bottles to hug though at night, and I filled mine again in the morning to take out on the early morning drive. The scenery there is absolutely stunning with fantastic colours.
We had a lovely close encounter with some rescued meerkats, although the poor little things were so cold that they were shivering. The lodge manager was going to go back with a hot water bottle for them to cuddle up with overnight!
Below are the unusual Quiver Trees, which are only found in Southern Africa. We photographed these at dusk, night (and got lost trying to find our way back in the dark!) and dawn.
Another stop on our tour was where there is a huge rock arch in a very dramatic landscape. We photographed this during the day and at night too.
The amount of stars that can be seen when there is very little light pollution is incredible.
That concludes my tour of Namibia. Subject to demand I’m running another next March/April 2019. If you’d like to join me take a look at the details here.