The Namib and Namibia: Vistas and Animals Galore

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Namibia is a cruel, wild and unforgiving place. Most of the landmass comprises inhospitable desert and semi-desert. Despite this it is home to a full complement of wild animals. The most remarkable are the desert elephants. It even has the desert hyena which is forced to scavenge along the barren coast line. For such a huge country, it only comprises a population of 2 million people. Yet despite these scenes of desolation, its vistas are stunning.

Main picture: The Orange River somnambulantly winds its way through the arid Richtersveld

Unfortunately I have not yet seen the whole of Namibia. What I have seen has whetted my appetite to discover the rest. My first experience was an involuntary three month trip to the Caprivi courtesy of the South African Defence Force in 1978. Normally the worst occupation in an Army is that of the Infantry especially in bush / terrorist warfare. Instead, what did I experience? Three months of patrolling through a natural game reserve abounding with wild animals. The most prevalent species were elephants with herds of 50 being abundant. The night air would tremble with the deep growl of lions in the distance. All very sublime.

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My next trip to Namibia was totally voluntary. In 1988 there was a vacancy on the Fish River Canyon hike. It did not take a second request for me to opt in. After a stunning but strenuous hike, we spent two days in Kolmanskop & Luderitz. Subsequently I have done another two hikes along the Fish River Canyon. I was planning our final attempt at traversing the rocky waterway in 2016 but after our attempt at hiking the Giant’s Cup Trail in the Drakensberg during October of this year, I came to the belated conclusion that we were no longer capable of withstanding the rigours of this trail. 10358868_835883219831148_4798888988346345607_n
The last part of Namibia that I have seen is the Richtersveld from our canoes as we gently glided along the Orange. When I accidently made acquaintance with Dr Attie Visser at a party, I had finally located the person who could lead us on a 5 day canoe trip down the Orange River. There are plenty of organised trips down the Orange but the implication is that we would to adhere to their itinerary and restrictions neither of which was suitable for the Quo Vadis Hiking Club. An indictment of our current lack of fitness is our desire for easier hikes. This will undoubtedly impact upon our next canoe trip, possibly in 2017. Instead of organising our own food and having to even prepare it, we will use the services of one of these previously despised Canoe Expedition Organisations.

How the mighty have fallen!

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A muddy river on the Namib Nauklüft mountain wastes it's water over a cliff with a lot of noise. One of the rare sights - only in the rainy season

A muddy river on the Namib Nauklüft mountain wastes it’s water over a cliff with a lot of noise. One of the rare sights – only in the rainy season

Aardvark

Aardvark

Bat eared-Fox

Bat eared-Fox

Bogenfelz. A landmark near Luderitz

Bogenfelz. A landmark near Luderitz

Cooking the !Narra. This pumpkin is very rich in protein and vitamins and is eaten by all and sundry, but is the main food source of the Topnaar people

Cooking the !Narra. This pumpkin is very rich in protein and vitamins and is eaten by all and sundry, but is the main food source of the Topnaar people

Damaraland - A hard, but beautiful region

Damaraland – A hard, but beautiful region

Zarishoogte

Zarishoogte

Young Ground Squirel

Young Ground Squirrel

Wild Horses of the Namib

Wild Horses of the Namib

Waterberg escarpment

Waterberg escarpment

They have been here, long before us

They have been here, long before us

The well-equipped camping site at Sesriem, near Sossusvlei.

The well-equipped camping site at Sesriem, near Sossusvlei

The sand peninsula that forms the Bay of Walvis Bay. The tip is called Pelican Point.

The sand peninsula that forms the Bay of Walvis Bay. The tip is called Pelican Point.

The road north up the Marienfluss, Kaokoland, with Mt. Ondau on the left. An area of great spiritual significance to the Himba people

The road north up the Marienfluss, Kaokoland, with Mt. Ondau on the left. An area of great spiritual significance to the Himba people

These lions swam through the flooding water and reached safety

These lions swam through the flooding water and reached safety. Cats have the great swimming ability

The jackal keep the beaches clean

The jackals keep the beaches clean

The Hunt

The hunt

The beach route to Sandwich Harbour with high seas

The beach route to Sandwich Harbour with high seas

The aardwolf (Proteles cristata) is a small, insectivorous mammal

The aardwolf is a small, insectivorous mammal

Sand dunes

Sand dunes

Rock formations in the Ugab

Rock formations in the Ugab

Rock formations at the Spitzkoppe

Rock formations at the Spitzkoppe

Rain over the Namib

Rain over the Namib

Pygmy Falcon

Pygmy Falcon

Pink salt pan in Walvis Bay

Pink salt pan in Walvis Bay

Ovambo women

Ovambo women

Ostrich pair in Kuiseb delta.

Ostrich pair in Kuiseb delta

Ostrich egg - water bottle of the Khoi-beachcombers

Ostrich egg – water bottle of the Khoi-beachcombers

Omaruru koppie

Omaruru koppie

Namib vista at Farm Kanaan in southern desert.

Namib vista at Farm Kanaan in southern desert

Namib Leopard

Namib Leopard

Motor highway through the Ugab river badlands

Motor “highway” through the Ugab river badlands

Mature sand consist largely of quartz and the grain sizes are quite fine. This sand travelled a long way from it's source

Mature sand consist largely of quartz and the grain sizes are quite fine. This sand travelled a long way from its source

Massive Elephants foot

Massive Elephant’s foot

Lazy Sunday

Lazy Sunday

Koch's Barking Gecko (Pteropus Kochi) in the Kuiseb delta

Koch’s Barking Gecko in the Kuiseb delta

It is in this area that the Gemsbokke or oryx find refuge, food and water

It is in this area that the Gemsbokke or Oryx find refuge, food and water

In the Namibian Sea of Sand

In the Namibian Sea of Sand

Icy fog on the farm Wereldsend in the southern Namib

Icy fog on the farm Wereldsend in the southern Namib

Huanib river in flood. 28 Jan. 2015. "Five Muskeers" caught on an island

Huanib river in flood. 28 Jan. 2015. Five Muskeers caught on an island

Huanib river after a good rain year

Huanib river after a good rain year

Huanib on its way through the coastal dunes

Huanib on its way through the coastal dunes

Himba village

Himba village

Gemsbok

Gemsbok

Gaint's Playground near Quiver Tree Forest

Gaint’s Playground near Quiver Tree Forest

Fish River Canyon

Fish River Canyon

Etosha pan

Etosha pan

Epupa Falls, with baobabs clinging to the rocky outcrops

Epupa Falls, with baobabs clinging to the rocky outcrops

Elephant Song mountains

Elephant Song Mountains

Elephant family in the Hoanib river

Elephant family in the Hoanib river

Dune Lark, the only full endemic bird of Namibia - in the Kuiseb delta.

Dune Lark, the only full endemic bird of Namibia – in the Kuiseb delta.

Dead trees in Deadvlei

Dead trees in Deadvlei

 

 


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