Off to Africa Again

I’m off for a couple of weeks to photograph a wonderful and inhospitable place known as the Namib and Kalahari Deserts.  Namibia has been on my bucket list for several years and only recently have I been afforded the opportunity to take this journey.  During this trip I will be visiting such places as the great Skeleton Coast,  Serra Cafema, and Sossusvlei – home to the highest sand dune in the world.  The hike along the knife-edge rim to the top is strenuous, requiring 60-90 minutes of taking two steps up and sliding one step down nonetheless, I’m going to get to the top.  I have been told that the view from the top of this dune into other valleys and of the mountains beyond is simply marvelous and I can’t wait to photograph this landscape.  Due to no internet connections in the middle of nowhere, I will not be posting until my return.  So for now, take a look at the maps below to see where I am headed.

From Seattle, I’ll fly into Dulles then onto Johannesburg, South Africa.  After a 16 hour flight, I will overnight in Joburg in prep for my flight to Windhoek the following day.  From Windhoek, I’ll be flying into the northern area of Namibia along the Skeleton Coast.  Several days in this region, then onward to Sossusvlei.

The Sossusvlei, Namibia’s famous highlight in the heart of the Namib Desert, is a huge clay pan, enclosed by giant sand dunes. Some of the spectacular hills of sand are, at a height of 300 meters, the highest in the world. The dunes of the Namib Desert have developed over a period of many millions of years. It is thought that the vast quantities of sand were deposited into the Alantic Ocean by the Orange River. This material was subsequently moved northwards by the Benguela current to be dumped back onto the land by the surf.

The coastal dunes developed as a result of this and were shifted further and further inland by the wind. Wind continuously reshapes the patterns of the huge dunes of the Namib Desert. It timelessly forces the grains of sand on the flat windward slope upwards to the crest of the dune. Here they fall down in the wind shade. The leeward slope is therefore always considerably steeper than the windward side.

While I am excited about photographing some of the oldest deserts in the world and the indigenous people that inhabit them, I am not looking forward to the very lengthy plane rides to and from.  Cheers and until I return, do some research on the areas that I have mentioned in this posting.