Friday, June 10, 2011

Sossusvlei - Sandbox For Adults

After a recent visit to Sossusvlei it was difficult to select only a few images from the more than 600 pics I took and, many of my favorites had to be abandoned.

There are zillions of spectacular pics from Sossusvlei online and all I could do for this post is try to show a representative sample from my visit:

Sossusvlei is about 70ks West of Sesriem.

The access road is the only stretch of tarred road for hundreds of kilometers.

Thank heavens it is tarred because, if it was gravel, the dust from all the vehicles using it would make the journey unbearable and ruin many photo-ops.

Sossusvlei is located in the Namib-Naukluft National Park and visitors are only allowed into the area between sunrise and sunset.

Springbok, Oryx and Ostrich are common along the road and, despite the arid conditions, many weird and wonderful creatures survive here.

If you're into pastel shades and soothing contours this place will blow you away.

When I finally get around to painting the inside walls of my house I want to use a 'peachy' shade similar to these dunes.

Dune 45 is also known as 'the most photographed dune in the world' because of its unusually simple and fascinating shape and its proximity to the road.

It is 80 meters high and it is not very steep, so that it can easily climbed, which makes it convenient for visitors to stop and take pictures.

The obligatory 'Sossusvlei Dead Tree' picture. There are many dead Camel Thorn trees in the area and some of them must be hundreds of years old.

The last 7km to Sossusvlei is a sandy track and can only be reached by 4×4 Vehicles or on foot.

The rule when drving this stretch is 'Don't stop in the soft sand' - keep the vehicle moving until you reach solid ground.

Sossusvlei is the spot where the usually dry Tsauchab River is swallowed by the sand dunes which extend all the way to the Atlantic coast.

This year good rains fell in the Tsauchab's catchment zone and the pan was full - an unusual occurrence.

Visitors climb the large dune at Sossusvlei.

It's difficult to climb in the soft sand and in the heat I was content to sit under a shady tree and watch others sweat-it-out.

Ghost Dance.

Fairy Circles dot the side of a grass-covered dune - some of them have been put up for adoption.

It appears that the boffins have still not solved the mystery of their existence.

'In the oral myths of Himba people these barren patches are said to have been caused by the gods and/or spirits and natural divinities.'

On a sidenote: this week has seen record freezing temperatures in Namibia.

Rare Snow fell in this area and caused a sensation: - "Reports and photographs of the snowfall circulated rapidly and widely across the Internet and inboxes bulged with rare images depicting snow in areas usually associated with heat and dust, not biting cold and white blankets of snow."

Click on the 'location' map below to get a different perspective of the dunes.