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Bush dog

@@xelas

 

Thanks a lot for your comments. You are absolutely right, Deadvlei is the only site that is more impressive from the ground.

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In July 2011, I made a 3 weeks’ self-driving trip in.   Overview :   ENINGU CLAY HOUSE : 1 night WOLVEDANS DUNE CAMP : 2 nights SOSSUSVLEI LODGE : 2 nights VILLA MARGHERITA (Swakopmund) :

DAY 7   Continued   The lagoon gets narrower every year with the dunes gaining ground on the sea. There was small fresh water lagoons as well, but these are also disappearing under the moving dun

DAY 8   Once again, a driver collected us at our hotel at 8:00 am and drove us to Walvis Bay’s harbour, to embark on the “Catamaran Dolphin Cruise”. It’s a three to four hours tour in and outside t

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madaboutcheetah

Fabulous, Mike .......

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Bush dog

DAY 4

 

Continued

 

We are now further above the northern zone.

 

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The pilot decided to go down to fly and sometimes hover between the dunes, hoping to spot a gemsbok.

 

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To be continued

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xelas

It is so interesting to observe how plentiful the plants are; seeing a dune area from the grounds I was curious about what supports the big wildlife out there.

Edited by xelas
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Bush dog

DAY 4

 

Continued

 

Still hoping to see a gemsbok that we did not ultimately find.

 

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The helicopter climbed, always going north east.

 

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It changed direction, going south to slowly go back to the airstrip. One can see, in the upper right corner, the mountains seen on the first pictures of the ride.

 

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A last flight over the Sessriem Canyon.

 

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The length of the flight was one hour. What an amazing experience !

 

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Sunset from our room.

 

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Bush dog

DAY 5

 

We entered the park early in the morning. The South African couple was again with us. We stopped midway.

 

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At destination, we walked to Deadvlei. I must say after the helicopter ride, I was quite, not really disappointed, but well not inspired by the scenery. I should have done the land section before doing the flight.

 

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We had a brunch in the shade of trees. As a consequence of the heavy rains, there was a lot of water on the vlei at the foot of the dune “Big Mamma” and vegetation like succulents, graminaceae and flowers (datura in particular).

 

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In the evening, we had an excellent dinner with the South African couple.

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Geoff

Those dune images are fabulous.

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xelas

What a sight, a vlei filled with water. Strangely there were no water in Deadvlei. To experience the Deadvlei at its best, one need to be there before the sunrise and/or after the sunset.

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Marks

I can see how the aerial view might be the better experience. Great photos all around, though, of course.

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Bush dog

DAY 6

 

To go to Swakopmund, I had 3 options. I choose the shortest one. We first went to Solitaire, the aptly named. Indeed, solitaire is a French word that means lonely. There is only one construction there, a petrol station. It’s the last one before Swakopmund. There, we turned left on the C14. After 30 kms, we went through the Gaub Pass. On the other side, the scenery changes totally. After a lot of curves, we reached the Kuiseb Canyon. The road took us down to the bridge over the river and then up back onto the plateau. The plain reappears, flinty this time, with only a few shrubs. The road is often convex, like a roller coaster, but well tamped. The concave sections, where the heavy rains channeled for the flow of the water, were the only danger. Towards the end, the road begins to descend and we soon saw yellow dunes and Walvis Bay (where we had lunch) with the ocean in the background. It took us thirty minutes to go from Walvis bay to Swakopmund.

 

Our hotel in Swakopmund, Villa Margherita, was a good surprise. It’s a colonial building with just a few rooms with private lounge area.

 

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We had dinner in an excellent seafood restaurant near the jetty, the Tug. The tours for the two next days had been booked in advance with the entire journey.

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xelas

Now, Mike, I am beginning to become curious. So far your journey looks as good as your photos (excellent).

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Bush dog

@@xelas

 

So far, it was not too bad but that kind of African trip has (and will never be) never been my cup of tea and concerning Etosha and Okonjima, Hari said on post #13,

"am I right to assume, that you were more disappointed with the Etosha segment? as you maybe were more used to Botswana and other countries for the wildlife specific game drives and the like......",

Saying that, he clearly understood part of my disappointment.

For a lot of reasons, the tours done the next 2 days, though they will also offer good photographic opportunities, will not be the kind of activities that I particularly appreciate.

 

Thanks a lot, I really appreciate your comments.

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Atravelynn

It might have been a disappointing trip but you are off to a good start with those images. That's my thought. Looks all good to me! Maybe the #s who shared the views captured by the photos was the problem, which I could understand.

 

For some reason Namibia has not interested me either. Me neither, until I finally went last year. Planning to go again next year, with several other returns in the future if things work out. But I did not self drive. I was driven around by an expert.

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Atravelynn

I think I need to give some explanations concerning my disappointment. Namibia is a beautiful country, the landscapes are stunning, especially from the sky, but I am more focused on wildlife in remote places, far from the madding crowd and on this matter it did not fulfill my expectations. The troubles spawned by the vehicle's problems have to be add to this. It did not, of course, put things right.

My previous comment was made before reading this explanation. It is what I figured. Good thing the continent of Africa has so much diversity that we can find both wildlife in remote places along with the landscapes and waterholes of Namibia.

 

Your flight must have been early because I detected no people at dead vlei. Was there a choice between helicopter and plane and if so why did you choose helicopter. Gorgeous shots!

 

I hope your wife was pleased with the destination since she picked it.

Edited by Atravelynn
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Bush dog

@@Atravelynn

 

Yes, Lynn, my wife really enjoyed the whole trip but she is not, like me, limited in her tastes. She is a great traveller because she is curious about everything. She is as happy in the bush than in a cathedral or a museum for example.

 

The flight was in the second part of the afternoon. I intentionally choose the helicopter because I already did some time ago a ride above the Victoria Falls and so I knew all the advantages of it compared to the plane.

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optig

Your photos are stunning although Namibia is one location in Africa that I will not return to despite the mixture of culture and the astonishing scenery. This is because it is not a wildlife destination in the same class as Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania or even South Africa.

Edited by optig
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Bush dog

DAY 7

 

A driver collected us at our hotel at 8:00 am and drove us to Walvis Bay’s harbour. Our guide, Nico was waiting for us for the visit of the peninsula that marks the bounds of the lagoon. The lagoon is regarded as one of the most important wetlands in Southern Africa for coastal birds. We first went through the salt pans. That salt is exported to Europe to melt the snow. In some of the pans, the water is pinkish because of the bacteria, the same that feeds the flamingoes. But because there was a lot of water elsewhere, the flamingoes were away.

 

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Further on the peninsula itself, one can find colonies of Cape fur seals and Cape cormorants.

 

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To be continued

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Bush dog

DAY 7

 

Continued

 

Cape fur seals playing and diving in the waves.

 

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Closed down lighthouse.

 

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Two couples from Switzerland and France joined us for the afternoon tour to Sandwich Harbour. Sandwich Harbour is only reachable with a good 4x4 vehicle and a qualified driver with a lot of experience of the dunes. We went south, passed again near the Salt Works and then directly after through the Kuiseb delta. The Kuiseb was full of water because of the heavy rains. This water is pumped and conducted further to the ocean to exclude the risk of damaging the salt pans. We saw some wildlife like a springbok and a black-backed jackal and then we reached the Namib Naukluft Park border. Once inside, we drove on the beach, on a fairly long distance, with the ocean on the right and the yellowish brown dunes on the left. In some places, the sand is pink. This tint is given to it by minuscule garnets. Little by little, the beach narrows until the dune reaches the ocean.

 

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We climbed the dune and saw Sandwich Harbour.

 

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To be continued

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Marks

I like the way that the waves afford you the opportunity to get an above water and underwater view in the same shot.

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Atravelynn

@@Atravelynn

 

Yes, Lynn, my wife really enjoyed the whole trip but she is not, like me, limited in her tastes. Opposites attract. She is a great traveller because she is curious about everything. She is as happy in the bush than in a cathedral or a museum for example.

 

The flight was in the second part of the afternoon. I intentionally choose the helicopter because I already did some time ago a ride above the Victoria Falls and so I knew all the advantages of it compared to the plane. Good idea.

 

Dunes and water are a striking combo. Love the fur seals too. You spent a morning with the seals?

Edited by Atravelynn
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Bush dog

@@Atravelynn

 

Well, I did not spend a whole morning with the seals, but quite a bit going from one colony to another.

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Bush dog

DAY 7

 

Continued

 

The lagoon gets narrower every year with the dunes gaining ground on the sea. There was small fresh water lagoons as well, but these are also disappearing under the moving dunes.

 

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We had lunch on a narrow strip of beach : seafood and sparkling wine.

 

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After lunch, we slid down dunes to listen to the roaring sand. Nico, our guide had to help a self-driving tourist who was stuck in the sand and could not go out by himself.

 

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Nico showed us a few creatures that are living in the sand : the palmato gecko and the shovel-snouted lizard. After, he delicately put them back where he found them.

 

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Bush dog

DAY 8

 

Once again, a driver collected us at our hotel at 8:00 am and drove us to Walvis Bay’s harbour, to embark on the “Catamaran Dolphin Cruise”. It’s a three to four hours tour in and outside the bay. The Catamaran offers a lot of space and comfort. Good thing, because I was sick, probably too much seafood the last two previous days? So that, when they served oysters and sparkling wine, I skipped it.

 

Colony of cape fur seals and the old lighthouse seen from the boat.

 

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One of the old boats that can be seen in the bay.

 

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The crew throws fishes, in the air, that are caught in flight by seagulls and sometimes pelicans.

 

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Some of the seals are so habituated to the boat that, when it stops, they come on it to have a snack.

 

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We saw two species of dolphins; Bottlenose and Heaviside’s or Benguela dolphin. July to October is the migrating time for Southern right whale and Humpback whale (Walvis is the Dutch word for whale). We were lucky to see one Humpback whale.

 

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The afternoon was dedicated to rest at the Villa. In the evening, we went out for dinner but all the chosen restaurants were full. So we decided to go back to the Villa. We dined in candlelight because, in the meanwhile, darkness had invaded the whole city following a blackout that lasted until 2:00 am. The food and wine were excellent.

 

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Atravelynn

@@Atravelynn

 

Well, I did not spend a whole morning with the seals, but quite a bit going from one colony to another.

Less than a whole morning? You did very well then.

 

I refuse to believe the colorful gecko is real. It's so cute.

 

How did that lizard as earring shot occur? And did you suffer for your art in that shot?

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Geoff

A whale with a desert backdrop... surreal.

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