Namibia is an incredibly photographic country with scenery that eats into your soul. It is an arid country full of surprises, rivers in the desert, huge sand dunes, massive canyons, rock formations that just have to be photographed and animals in places you would think they just cannot survive. For a lot of people it is about the different destinations but for us the trip is just as exciting.
The local cultures change as well as the dress as you travel through the country. The traditions are strong especially in the more rural areas.
Some of the places we like to travel to ( apart from the usual suspects ) :-
Etosha National Park is unique in Africa. The park’s main characteristic is a salt pan so large it can be seen from space. Yet there is abundant wildlife that congregates around the waterholes, giving you almost guaranteed game sightings. At the same time Etosha National Park is one of the most accessible game reserves in Namibia and Southern Africa.
Khaudum National Park is an isolated Nature Reserve situated in the Kalahari Desert at the west of the Caprivi Strip in northeast of Namibia. It is a very remote and inaccessible reserve but is home to some magnificent animals such as the lion and the hyena. The elephant are very wild in this park and you can spend the entire trip without seeing another vehicle.
Messum Crater is located north East of Henties Bay within the Dorob National Park in Namibia. When visiting the crater make sure you have enough equipment to handle basic breakdowns. The road leading to the Messum Crater has sharp and protruding rocks that could damage your tyres. This track is now graded but please do not exceed 40 km/h as dust is extremely damaging to lichens and the Welwitschia plants. The Messum Crater is not a meteorite or asteroid impact crater, it is part of an igneous ring complex on an once active volcano the centre of which collapsed. It consists of a wide flat basin of 18 to 25km in diameter surrounded by a ring-shaped range of hills and dates back about 130 million years. The entire formation consists mainly of quartz-rich basalt.
Kaokoland is one of the last remaining wilderness areas in Southern Africa. It is a world of incredible mountain scenery, a refuge for the rare desert dwelling elephant, black rhino and giraffe and the home of the Himba people. Although it is harsh and offers little respite at midday, the rugged landscape is especially attractive during the early morning and late afternoon when it is transformed into softly glowing pastel shades. The topography in the south of the area is characterised by rugged mountains which are dissected by numerous watercourses, but north of the Hoarusib River the scenery is dominated by table-top koppies. Still further north, the Otjihipa Mountains rise abruptly above the Namib floor to form the eastern boundary of the Marienfluss, while the west of the valley is defined by the Hartmann Mountains. The Marienfluss valley is very scenic and relatively greener than the Hartmann’s valley. Hartmann’s valley is closer to the Atlantic and yet much more arid. However, it does have a strange atmosphere when the sea mists drift inland. Kaokoland differs greatly from Damaraland in terms of accessibility and infrastructure. With 16,000 or so inhabitants, 5,000 of them Himba, Kaokoland has a population density of only one person to every two square kilometers which is about a quarter of the national average. Kaokoland is bordered on the south the Hoanib River and on the north the Kunene River which also forms Namibia’s border with Angola. Mountain ranges near the Kunene River are rugged and impressive with the highest point located at 2039m in the Baynes Mountains. It is an oddity that a river runs through this arid landscape with the only real waterfalls in Namibia along it’s course. The Ruacana Falls are 120m high and 700m wide in full flood. Also along the Kunene River you’ll find the Epupa falls, about 135km downstream from the Ruacana falls. Epupa is formed by a series of cascades that drop a total of 60m over a distance of about 1.5km and at one point reaches a total width of 500m.
Sossusvlei The sand dunes of Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert are often referred to as the highest dunes in the world. Sossusvlei is surely one of the most spectacular sights in Namibia. Located in the Namib Naukluft park, the largest conservation area in Africa, and fourth largest in the world. The best time to view Sossusvlei is close to sunrise and sunset; the colours are strong and constantly changing, allowing for wonderful photographic opportunities. The midday heat is intense and best spent in the shade. The second attraction of the area is Sesriem Canyon. The canyon derives its name from the fact that early Afrikaner trekkers had to use six (‘ses’) leather thongs (a thong is a ‘riem’) so that their buckets could reach the water far below. The canyon begins as an almost imperceptible but nevertheless deep cleft in level, stony ground, and then widens until it finally flattens out onto the plain. Because it is so deep and sheltered, it often holds water well into the dry season – an invigorating sight in such a barren and stark environment.
Fish River Canyon . The Fish River Canyon in Namibia is one of the largest in the world after the Grand Canyon. The immensity of this magnificent landscape is truly breathtaking. The towering rock faces and deep ravines were formed by water erosion and the collapse of the valley due to movements in the earth’s crust over 500 million years ago. Today the canyon measures 160km long up to 27km wide and almost 550m at its deepest. It is fair to say that when you arrive at the canyon though, its exact location is a bit of a mystery as the 500m vertical drop from the flat dry plateau is completely out of view.