The striking vistas and complex geomorphology continue to unfold as we travel northwards. The vegetation alters and we begin to see marked changes in the varying biomes (Namibia has five). Dwarf shrubs and the milkbush stands, grasses, camelthorn trees change to green mopane and broadleaf trees.
Battling with slow internet connections so the next couple of posts show the variety and the scenic grandeur – mainly of the rugged Namib Nauklauft region. I’ll be coming back to the little critters, extraordinary fauna and the most amazing birds….
Things can get a bit surreal in the desert where heat does strange things to the horizon. As the road snaked along into the distance the shimmer of water appeared and objects elongated and floated weirdly into the sky. A band of small people appeared to be scurrying along, stopping to check the surroundings and then bounding off. Imagine our surprise as we got closer to discover a clan of suricates (Suricata suricatta) or meerkat instead of the illusion of giants striding across the sands. Living in burrows they are well adapted to coping with the desert heat and a network of underground living quarters has many different entrances. Pouff! And they vanished just as strangely as they had materialised out of the mirage. As we travelled the land caught us in it’s spell of wonder. Next up is Sossusvlei and those awesome orange sand dunes.
As we gaze out across the Namib desert the vista before us is startlingly immense. The horizon pleats and folds through desert sands to the distant purple escarpment. The magnitude of it all is engulfing and at once we feel reduced down to an inconsequential spec in this vast sea of sand.
Our road trip starts in the south, crossing the Orange River then venturing off the beaten track we travel northwards to reach Kunene River bordering Angola.
For a photographer it is a dream location – the colours, light and form unfold in superlatives. The stark, arid landscapes which so captivate have a compelling rhythm where wind sculpts sinuous sand dunes and water carves meandering pathways. As we travel northwards the land transforms to savannah, green mopani and woodlands.
It’s a strange and wondrous land: mesmerising and surreal at times. My field of interest – the interconnection between land, people and it’s wildlife is revealing in it’s complexities here.
I’ll be posting when WiFi is available, why not come along and read about our adventures ……
Capetonians were out in force today to cheer the 35,000 participants of the 39th Cape Town cycle tour. The front runners rounding the bend on Fisherman’s Beach were in fine form, the leader (No 22) set a cracking pace. It was a sight to see the main pelotons bunched tightly togther. But it wasn’t only about the competitive cyclists, many participants – in all shapes and sizes came through in high spirits regardless of setting pace.