Visiting the Namib Desert
Another early start, but for good reason! We grab a quick bite and head to the nearby gates of the Namib Naukluft Park to start our exploration of the most amazing landscape. The sand dunes here are amongst the tallest in the world and as the sun rises the ever changing light and colours across the sand is stunning. We see some black backed jackals, ostrich and oryx on route but the scenery here is the main attraction.
At the end of a 50 kms drive into the park we transfer into local vehicles for the last 5 kms drive across soft sand. Cars and coaches will get stuck in this sand so only 4WD vehicles are allowed to proceed. After a quick visit to some interesting toilets, we all jump aboard a specially constructed trailer complete with bench seats. This is pulled by a big John Deere tractor and the ride is both bouncy and slow. There are times when our guide Uanee and Richard think they could walk more quickly. However we speed up from time to time and in due course we arrive at an area close to Deadvlei. We start our walk from here and cross the sand to a wonderful dry pan area. This is Deadvlei. The pan is almost white, there are dark brown 400 year old tree trunks and branches dotted about, and sand dunes and a blue sky are the backdrop. Simply amazing. After numerous photographs we rejoin our transfer and head back to our coach to continue through the park. Near the entrance we visit Sesriem Canyon which has been carved by the Tsauchab River and is over 30 metres deep in areas. We all view from the top and some of us venture down a rocky pathway to the bottom. We walk along the canyon floor and find a small area of water. Namibia has not had serious rains since 2012 so the canyon has been dry for a while.
Siesta time back at the lodge and we are guessing many of us have a snooze. However at 4.15pm we meet up in reception to enjoy a Sundowner drive. Aboard open side jeeps we head to a rocky outcrop to see the sunset and enjoy a glass or two of bubbly. Or was it a glass or three? The drive back to the lodge was certainly noisy!