The Encroaching Desert (Namibia)

It’s a harsh place this Namib desert.  Sandstorms obliterate, wind forever sculpts the sea of sand pushing it northwards. Referred to as world’s oldest desert some of the highest wind speeds are recorded in the south, particularly in the Sperrgebiet.  The dunes march across the landscape forming linear or star shapes or the classical barchan, depending on the wind direction and how it funnels through the valleys.

Kolmanskop is a deserted mining village near the harbour town of Luderitz. The last inhabitant left in 1956 and the village stands ghostly and abandoned as the sand reclaims the desolate buildings.


Another abandoned building in the middle of nowhere; like a stage setting for lost dreams and hopes, one can’t help wondering what happened to the inhabitants.


24 thoughts on “The Encroaching Desert (Namibia)

  1. Gorgeous, Liz. I have read about those buildings, and there is a Swedish photographer who travels around the world just to photograph the reclaims. Oh, now I just have to find her name…
    Did you never get into a sand storm? Fascinating with the drifting sand and the dunes.

    1. Kolmanskop is really creepy – and the wind was a feature that day blowing strongly! Not nice though not as high as a sandstorm. Would not want to be caught out in one of those. I think I recall your travels to Morocco? Did you experience any there?
      Michiel can Balen captured some fabulous work there – have you seen those images?

      1. No sandstorm in Morocco – but I was so taken by the landscape…I had never been to a vast desert before. So…I completely devour your pictures and your writings about your trip!
        I will have to check up this man – never heard of him.

  2. I think I have seen photos of these buildings from the inside with the sand rising up the walls. Did you go inside any? Must have been a harsh place to live in.

    1. An aspect – experiencing the high temperatures is challenging and I recall your comments Rajiv on the above 40 *C that you experience through summer. For many coping with extreme heat must be incredibly debilitating?

      1. 40 *C is tough. Actually, it gets much hotter these days. It has gone to 47*C. It is tough, because you feel like you are burning. Yet, with water, you can survive. Considering this, I don’t know why politicians don’t pay enough attention to water and air and soil pollution.

        What really kills me, is humid heat. That really makes me collapse. When I was in Rishikesh in August, it was so humid that, every evening, I would have no energy to move. It can be very dangerous

      2. Nope. I am also discovering that I live in the world’s most polluted capital. Yet, there is not one peep from the politicians

        However, there is a movie out, called ‘Padmavati’, about a Hindu Queen who, may not even have existed in real life, and the Muslim Ruler of Delhi of that era. This has sparked a controversy, with people offering 2 million dollars to chop the noses off the female actor, and another to break the legs of the male actor.

        Hindu pride, it seems, has been dented. Never mind the incidence of rape, or the spreading pollution

        Warped priorities?

    1. Can highly recommend it, Janaline. Am always so green when I read about your adventurous travel experiences – Namibia would be in complete opposite to those minus degree places you’ve visited.

  3. I also wonder why they would want to build a house here, how long they struggled to survive, what sort of existence they had and where did they go to??? That lone, dead tree beside the deserted house seems to encapsulate the whole feeling of lost dreams. The questions are endless. But oh the scenery you have caught is totally mesmerising

    1. The desolate scene really does pique the imagination. The house was close to the railway line though there wasn’t an obvious station stop. One can speculate…. what a setting for a short story … lost and unrequited love!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.