Sand dunes and bubbly
Breakfast at 5.30am this morning. Surprisingly, our guests seem fairly happy about the early start! We are heading into the Namib Naukluft Park and wish to catch the beautiful colours of the giant sand dunes as the sun rises. On route through the park we are lucky again with our wildlife sightings, spotting Ostrich, Oyrx and Springbok. After a couple of photo stops we make it to the end of the park road. We disembark our coach and join 4WD game viewing vehicles to transfer along the sand levels for our walk to Deadvlei.
Deadvlei is a dry mud pan. Looking from a distance it is almost white in colour and has the appearance of a flat salt pan. It is surrounded by huge sand dunes and the sky is blue. On the vlei are 300 year old acacia trees that have died due to a lack of water but the trunks and branches have not decayed. They have simply baked dry in the hot sun. Deadvlei is an amazing, almost other-worldly sight. The walk to and from Deadvlei is approximately 1.5 kms across the sand and it is quite a challenge in parts but well worth the effort. Some mad fools even climb the adjacent dune or walk along a ridge. No names mentioned of course but you know who you are!
Next stop is Sesriem Canyon. Following the path of an ancient riverbed and formed by water erosion, the canyon is only 3 kms long and approximately 35 metres deep but it is truly impressive and we are able to get a great view from the top and also climb down and walk along the dry river bed.
Later this afternoon we take a sundowner drive. We set off in four game viewer vehicles and as we leave the lodge and head out across the park we hear someone shout and whistle. It is our trusty guide, Uanee, who is seen running from his lodge cottage towards us! It is quite a sight. Out of breath but otherwise in reasonable shape, Uanee joins us and we continue. We are not expecting to see much wildlife at this time of day but we are rewarded with ground squirrels, Oyrx and a group of 16 Ostrich, both adults and young. By the way what is the term for a group of Ostrich? After a great drive including a stop to view some bushmen rock paintings, we arrive at our sundowner location to discover a table complete with white table cloth, snacks and a variety of drinks. Bubbly is opened and Uanee even manages to catch one of the flying bottle corks. More bubbly is opened. And more. The sun goes down and the drive home is spectacular if a little tipsy.