The Wild Horses of the Namib

Dawn crept in across the desert plain catching the gossamer dust clouds in a golden light.  The spellbinding scene cast a sense of elation as the wild horses drew closer.   We were at the Garub viewing terrace following their trail in anxious anticipation as they neared the borehole water site.  We’d heard that they were in reasonable shape after low rainfall had resuscitated the grass and foraging opportunities had improved.  Small family groups kept together, and we could make out the figures of two small foals.   Lone stallions came from different directions keeping a distance from the small herds.

They are recognised as a separate breed, the “Namibs” after 100 or so years of their blood lines merging through natural selection across the generations.   Elegant and long-limbed, they’re handsome creatures.  Living free on the plains of the eastern edge of the Namib-Nauklauft desert, has it’s challenges.  Their story of survival in this unforgiving environment is one that evokes awe, but are the odds stacked against them as their numbers dwindle and predation by the spotted hyaena is a continued threat?

To be continued …..

 

Back Again!

Dear Readers,

I’ve been away for some months and am now happily back online and looking forward to checking in again on fellow bloggers.

A chance to revisit Namibia at a slow pace, traveling the back routes, camping mainly and stopping at destinations way off the beaten track has been a compelling experience for me.  Becoming so immersed in nature – learning the scent of the land, it’s voices, the revelation of the night skies, the heart thumping exhilaration of hearing nocturnal wildlife close by adds up to a “stop-the-world-i-want-to-get off” kind of destination.

Here’s a dip into the first scenes of this immense and timeless place –

The rugged grandeur of the Ais/Richtersveld-Namib Transfrontier Park near Rosh Pinar.

Namibia is an extraordinary country, the expanse of it’s panoramic vistas stretch way into the far distance, seductive in pastel colours, so tantalising as the horizons pleat and fold.

The Namib gravel plains stretch towards the desert.
Wild Namib horses have adapted and live in the harsh desert conditions.
The orange sands of ancient sand dunes shift and shape through the wind, forming long geometric ridge lines.
Statuesque quiver trees (Aloe dichotoma) grow in a barren land inspiring awe at their sculpted defiance.   Reputedly some are as old as 800 years, but now climate change is a factor in their survival.

As we traveled through different biomes:  desert, savannah, tree and shrublands, to the wetlands of the Zambezi area the contrasts in ecosystems and habitats were distinct.  Hope you’ll join me as a post further stories; coming up soon …..

Walking with Vervets

Graceful long-limbed vervets accompany me on a walk next to the Kongola R, Namushasha Lodge.

Standing Sentry Duty: Who goes there?

Sentry duty, scanning the horizon.

Meet the Enchanting Miss Dik-dik.

Doe-eyed Dik-dik the smallest of the antelope species, roam the campsite.

The Enigmatic Wild Horses, Can they Survive?

For 100 years the desert horses have survived the harsh conditions. But drought and predation by the spotted hyaena are taking a drastic toll on their numbers.