Water in the desert – A journey through Namibia’s unexpected landscapes
This photo essay from guest author, Diane Williams explores the beauty and unexpected sights of Namibia in Africa, with sand dunes, desert drives by the seashore and lone ostriches wandering the barren prairie landscape.
There are some things that just go together; thunder and lightning, wine and chocolate, summer and vacations. These combinations are common, even expected and assumed. Namibia is none of these. Namibia’s exotic beauty is paired with ruggedness; its sand dunes and skyscrapers reach high into the sky and its deserts have water. That’s right – deserts and water go together in Namibia!
The country of Namibia is bordered by Angola, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a paradox for many reasons. Don’t believe me? Come along on this journey of photos and stories through Namibia’s deserts!
The Coast Road from Swakopmund
We start our journey in the coastal town of Swakopmund, Namibia. The town was settled as a port for Germany because of the relative easy access to fresh water. The town is home to some great German restaurants, cute shops, bed and breakfasts and internet cafes. But, the real draw to Swakopmund is its location; the city itself is sandwiched between Namib Desert and the Atlantic Ocean. That’s right, desert and water – albeit salt water.
If you hike or drive to the top of a sand dune you can see miles and miles of blue ocean if you look west and miles and miles of yellow sand if you look east. Both views are great, but together, they are purely matchless.
Drive south to Sousevlei
Our journey continued as we drove south. The spectacular drive from Swakopmund to Sousevlei was punctuated by the rare sight of a passing car, a sign noting the Tropic of Capricorn, lone ostriches roaming in the barren prairie desert and the best apple strudel we’ve ever had. Random, we know! But, you’ve got to remember, Namibia is pleasantly peculiar! Yes, we sampled the best apple strudel we’ve ever had at Moose McGregor’s Desert Bakery.
Sossusvlei National Park
Not far from Moose McGregor’s is Sossusvlei National Park. Sossusvlei (roughly pronounced so-soufflé) can be translated to mean “dead end marsh.” Our first impression of Sossusvlei National Park was that this place was spectacular, a bit odd and incredibly unique – exactly what we were beginning to expect from Namibia!
Spectacular, huh?! Yeah, that’s what we thought too. Have you ever seen such red sand? Such high sand dunes? Trees that have been dead for hundreds of years, but have not decomposed?
Now, just when we thought we had seen all that the desert had to show us we saw this:
No, that is not a mirage, it is a fresh water pond in the middle of a huge, sandy, dry desert. A rare sight for sure! Namibia is a land of unexpected beauty and landscapes.
When picking your next travel destination you should ask yourself – do I want the expected? Can I use a little “different” in my travels? If so, Namibia is a great choice. You and Namibia: an unforeseen combination, but one that will likely make more sense once you visit.
Thanks for this guest article to Diane Williams whose blog at Wife with Baggage aims to inspire you to travel, even if you have a full time career or family. For the complete story of Diane and Michaels’ adventures throughout the country of Namibia, take a look at their Namibia travel album and you can also follow Wife with Baggage on their Facebook Page and on Pinterest. Photos by Wife with Baggage
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