The tallest sand dunes

A relatively early start today. To be honest it’s a very early start, but it’s all for a good reason! It’s great to see the sand dunes of the Namib Naukluft National Park as the sun rises. Our first photo stop is at an elevated plateau to take in the views. As we arrive there is only one vehicle at the same spot. It appears to be a couple with a 4WD and they are set up and enjoying their own breakfast and watching the sun rise in the distance. We wonder what their thoughts were as our lovely coach turned up and all our guests jumped off to share the views! Richard beckons a “good morning” gesture with a friendly smile, but there’s not much response.

Further on we pass Dune 45, which you may climb if you wish. Lots of back-packers do this and apparently they are rewarded with a bacon sandwich. We decide to continue down the road.

At the end of the park road we pull over and transfer to 4WD jeeps for the final part of our journey. From here we drive across soft sand so anything other than 4WD vehicles can’t make it. In fact, on route, we pass a small 4WD vehicle that is stuck. They will get help in due course so we wave and carry on.  We’re heading for Deadvlei, a flat pan now baked dry by the hot sun, and dotted with the remains of ancient trees. With huge sand dunes behind and clear blue skies above, the setting at Deadvlei makes for a wonderful photo. We take a walk across the sand to visit the pan close up. It’s pretty hot so it was a good idea to set out early. As we walk back there are more visitors arriving and the temperature is definitely climbing. And it appears some of the arriving visitors haven’t been given much advice about how what to wear - waterproofs and one lady with black patent shoes!

We gather ready for our 4WD transfers back to the parking lot. This often takes some time but Richard spots the local “tractor and trailer” sitting empty and persuades Stanley (a local driver we know) to borrow it! That way we can transfer our party promptly and altogether. The tractor isn’t exactly fast but we’re back home much quicker than if we waited for the regular service. Only one problem, our guide Uanee was bringing up the rear on the walk and he missed our special transport. He finds us later of course!

From Deadvlei we return along the park road for a quick visit to Sesriem Canyon and with the temperature approaching 38C we decide to return to our lodge a well-earned siesta.