Journey Through the Namib Desert
I’m just back from almost a month of traveling, and I have so much to share! The deserts of Namibia were so different from other places I have traveled, and I wanted to start by sharing about one of my favorite days on the trip.The Namib-Naukluft Desert is considered the world’s oldest desert, and it’s huge — about the size of Massachusetts and New Hampshire combined. It runs up the coast of Namibia.
In the morning, our truck arrived for our first hike — up Dune 45.
The climb was exhausting, but amazing. There was so much so see, from the little beetles scurrying across the sand, to the expansive views across the desert.
Here’s a little video that captures some of the feeling– sorry it’s hard to hear because of the wind!
After a morning hike, our shoes full of red sand, we headed to another part of the Sossusvlei area — here, we saw evidence of the salt and clay pans that are so common in this area. We took a jeep to get closer to the main area we were going to visit, but then had to walk a ways to get there.
Finally, we arrived at Deadvlei, a dried up marsh where there are trees that are about 2,000 years old. They’ve been dead for about 600-700 years, but they don’t decompose because it’s too dry. It was quite an amazing landscape.
By the time we got back from here, it was close to 2 pm and we hadn’t eaten lunch yet! My group pulled up chairs around our truck, and tried to find corners of shade to rest. We still had one more hike to get in this afternoon, to the small Sesriem Canyon.
And then stop for apple pie!
We camped that night at a beautiful spot in the desert, arriving just in time to set up tents before the sun went down.
We were traveling in a large group, so the process of setting up tents and getting ready for dinner was quite a process, but we got it down to a science. Our group came from all over the world — South Korea, Kenya, Germany, Israel, Austria, the Netherlands, and guides from Zimbabwe. We were truly an international bunch!
It was a particularly great shower that night, and a delicious dinner (sausage, garlic bread, cheesy squash, corn on the cob, and champagne). Then we hung out around the campfire and chatted.
After dinner, we walked over to the campground’s watering hole, where we watched zebras drinking, as well as a one-horned oryx who pushed all the zebras aside when he wanted a taste. As you can imagine, we were ready for some sleep after this sunny, busy day. Being south of the Equator, it was winter in Namibia, so days were short and we packed a lot in. It was hot during the day, but got quite cold at night. So we curled up in our sleeping bags and went to sleep.
Not every day was quite this exciting, as some days we spent many hours driving on bumpy roads! But check back soon, as I have lots more to share, and the next post will include more animals.