Namibia – Sossusvlei to Walvis Bay

A long drive but through ever changing scenery and a stop to eat the ‘best apple pie in Namibia’. The roads were gravel, bumpy, deeply rutted, winding, and with so many dips it was like being on a roller coaster in parts.  On these roads we always leave massive swirls of dust clouds in our wake and if another car comes our way we are temporarily driving blind.  This drive took about 5 hours including a few stops and we must have had the inconvenience of encountering another vehicle at least 30 times !

Our first stop was at Solitaire, where I had read numerous times that we must stop for apple pie at “Moose” Macgregor’s Desert Bakery.  As we pulled in we were surprised to see old rusty cars strategically placed as if they are part of a film set.

The story goes that more than 20 years ago a Scottish adventurer moved to Solitaire (which is in the middle of nowhere) and opened the bakery.  Somehow his apple pie became famous and the place was packed. We saw more people there than we have in the rest of our trip.   Yes, of course we bought apple pie, and it was absolutely delicious.

On the road again and we passed through the most incredible landscapes – beautiful mountains, areas of muted and beautiful green colours (which was a surprise), a couple of mountain passes, and finally the swirling sand of the dunes as we approached Walvis Bay. 

Our stop for the night was a charming hotel right on the ocean and I watched a stunning sun as it dropped like a stone into the sea. 

The following morning we went in search of flamingos and as we drove along the waterfront we were soon rewarded by a sighting of hundreds of them.  They are comical birds, as they often all change direction at the same time as if one of them has called to the others that there are better pickings to be had elsewhere and they are afraid of missing out.

After spending over an hour watching and photographing them we went in search of pelicans, but sadly didn’t find any apart from a couple bobbing around on the sea too far out to photograph. We did see some strikingly pink sea water and salt flats though.

We stopped to have a drink before setting off on the road again, only to be told that there was no water so no coffee.  We all plumped for milk shakes instead, and although there were very few customers they took about 30 minutes to make – that was taking ‘African time’ to the extreme.  The slowness with which some people move and carry out tasks is astounding to us Westerners.  Have you ever seen the sketch with Julie Walters as Mrs Overall bringing out the soup?  If so you get the picture!

I’m running another tour of Namibia in September 2018.  If anyone is interested in joining me check out the details here.  You can come to learn how to take better photos as I’ll happily teach you how to use your SLR or mirrorless camera creatively, or just come with me and see all these great locations. 

“The trip that Julie arranged to Namibia hit all the right notes. Her attention to detail ensured that we had a perfect itinerary with lodging that at times was nothing short of decadent. One could not imagine a better guide and Julie’s preparation was meticulous. You will find no better or encouraging tutor if you are looking to improve your photography skills. Among her many gifts, Julie never forgets that taking photography should always be fun. If you want a once-in-a-lifetime trip to an amazing country with opportunities to visit breathtaking landscapes and see extraordinary wildlife, I whole-heartedly recommend a journey with Julie.”     Gary – Tennessee, US.

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