Friday, 13 September 2013

On the Road to Sesriem and Sossusvlei

Panorama of the Rehooghte Pass between Rehoboth and Solitaire
Last minute sunset shot taken from the Le Mirage castle near Sesriem.
(tripod, EF70-200mm f2.8 lens at 200mm)

Here are a few shots taken on the road from Okonjima reserve, 200kms north of Windhoek to the tiny town of Sesriem and the famous dunes at Sossusvlei (with probably 50 houses), about 580kms away.
Around two thirds of the roads were loose gravel - very wide, four car widths in some places, and completely deserted for most of the way.  I think we passed half a dozen cars and two mule carts in the entire day.  You quickly appreciate that this is a very sparsely populated country. If the scenery is not part of a nature reserve, it's a game or cattle property.
Population of Namibia: 2.7 million.

Typical example of the driving conditions - very dusty but reasonably good wide gravel roads.

KIA Sportage.  The only bright orange rental on the road as far as we can see.
Everything else on the road is white.  Looks like a 4WD but it only has 2WD.
It performs well on the gravel roads in the countryside (especially when I'm behind the wheel).

A curious rock formation on the road near Kleine Aub, half way between Rehoboth and Sesriem
A social weaver bird's nest - or rather multiple nest site. In some examples we saw on the road , it was obvious that the high rise bird nest had had a detrimental effect on the tree and it had either keeled over or just died.

I think it is important to record a journey as much as you have the time for - if you don't, you might as well fly - as some tourists do.  We got to the Le Mirage Desert Lodge, a sort of reproduction North African medieval castle sitting all on its own surrounded by mountain ranges and desert by sundown. Luckily we just had time enough to get some shots (and drink a couple of Windhoek draught beers) before we lost the light...

Moroccan style hotel in the middle of the Namib desert 20 kms from Sesriem
Sunset behind the mountains.  The low lying cloud made this sunset look quite otherworldly. (Canon EF 300mm f2.8 lens + 2x Extender)

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