The magic of the Namib Desert

Namibia is probably the most photogenic country I’ve been to. The landscape takes your breath away, and vast open spaces give you the feeling of freedom. You can drive for miles and not meet another vehicle. Somehow, I felt I was breathing deeper over there. One of the main attractions in the country is the Namib Desert, and especially watching the sunrise from Dune 45. It’s 80 metres high, and climbing it at 4am was quite tiring as it’s quite steep and my feet kept sinking in the very fine sand. But it was so worth it! Look at how the warm sunrays enhance the colour of the sand. The moment when the sun appeared above the horizon and everything exploded in various shades of red and orange was simply magical.

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Actually, sunsets in another part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park are not too bad either! 🙂

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No visit to the Namibian desert is complete without seeing Deadvlei. “Vlei” means “marsh”, and a very long time ago it used to rain here. River Tsauchab would overflow and form little ponds where camel thorn trees would start growing. With time the climate became drier, the sand dunes started to move closer, and soon they blocked the area from the river. The trees and bushes began to die, but due to the heat many didn’t rot, they simply became petrified. It is estimated that the skeletons we can see in Deadvlei are about 600-700 years old. The dunes around it are also the highest in the world, reaching 300-400 metres. The biggest one, called Big Daddy, is pictured in the last photo 🙂 You can probably guess how hot it was there, the air is so dry it feels like your lungs are burning. The very fine sand kept falling out of my socks and shoes for months after I got back home.

There is of course much more to see in Namibia, but I’ll leave that for next time 🙂

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