08
Mar
10

Namibian Photo Gallery

Here’s a more or less complete “gallery” for the early Namibia posts. It didn’t start out  for viewing separately, but a bit of laziness on my part and this is what you get! The order of the pictures bears some resemblance to the order of when these pictures were taken.

Namibia, as I mentioned before is a vast country, grasslands, mountains and deserts are many; towns are few. Kind of an advantage when you think about it as a harried modern person, really. We spent (I think w/o digging out the scribbled, faded journal) 11 days there. We could have easily spent more time and, in fact Africa-In-Focus tours sometimes do offer tours that wind up to the skeleton-coast and take in a native village, I believe). Here’s a link to an Irish bloke’s AiF blog which started in Livingstone, Zambia where we will be headed in a few blog-posts time.

AiF (Africa in Focus the intrepid tour company of Benji, et al) offer variations on the Capetown to Nairobi trip and back, breaking it in the middle in the aforementioned Livingstone, eg. and stretching the tour out another 10 days or so.

You know what happens when you hit the first fast forward button on your DVD player? Things go by kind-of-recognizably but in a slight blur? I’d rather be blogging the pictures of Etosha, Chobe and the other great game parks we visited. You can see from the pics below that we stopped, visited and photographed:

  • Place called Citrusdal and took a bush-walk with Sooky (sp?) Scorpions, tortoises, giant caterpillars and flowering desert plants on our first, very nice hike.
  • Goegap Nature Reserve – great collection of very, odd and beautiful desert plants.  The geologists are welcome to puzzle out that large gray rock formation.  No one else noticed it but I thought it looked left over from “The Day the Earth  Stood Still” (the Michael Rennie version, natch).
  • Paddled our canoes down the very tame Orange River in its own canyon.  I actually left my primary camera behind which is why you have to try to see the bird life from a 4x lens.  The quaint old bus was a Craftsman of 1920’s vintage. This would prevent you from forgetting you were supposed to be and act like a tourist.
  • Fish River Canyon which is a bit like the US’s Grand Canyon.  We went at sunrise – many AiF events were organized around sunrise and sunset.
  • Stopped by the Tropic of Capricorn (23 deg. 26 min. 22 sec. south and from here the sun can never appear directly overhead).
  • Stopped in Solitaire for a bit of yummy German strudel.
  • Shortly after the Tropic photo, Benji had a flat tire even further away from anything in a country which truly defines “further away from anything”). When you look at the photo below you will  probably think: oh, he’s just pointing the camera at all that desolation.  There’s probably a mini-mart or a strudel shop behind him.  No, the other direction was even bleaker if possible.  Nothing in any direction right out to where the earth curved away toward something.  I took photos while praying that Will and the crew would be able to fix things because there was also no traffic, no likely signs of rescue.
  • Climbed Dune 45 which is very tall, very soft and a bit of a blow.  Of course we did this at sunrise.  Red sand because there is more ferric oxide than hematite, the little black pieces you can see if you look closely.
  • Toured Sossusvlei (alive and part of Namib-Naukluft National Park).  See Franz eat a lizard.  No, not permanently!
  • Took a walk close to camp of Sossus Canyon (at least that’s what I call it), small but replete with a possibly venomous snake (Rob thought not, but he is an inveterate optimist) who was very happy to  go back into his hole, and a very large, nasty looking baboon and his small troop.  We were happy to see that the canyon separated us – our troop and his, that is.
  • Visited the ridiculously photogenic Dead Vlei – red/black/white/blue. Check the pix at the end of the gallery if you don’t believe me…beauty in death, veritably.
  • Saw wildlife: ostriches, springboks, oryxes (beauties!), and lesser vertebrate and invert species.  Actually, after the rainforest of South America, the insect life was not great but those large, furry, oh-so-like-us mammals made up for a lot! If it’s got mammaries, it’s got to be cute and no one ever called a bug cute.  Not I, anway.
  • Got to know each other as travelers and as a crew of three.  We sharpened our chops on camping – I got so I could put up a tent solo as Chiyemi retrieved the bags from the underneath locker.  This assured us of at least a decent campsite – not that there was THAT much choice and all of the places were pretty decent with the exception of the Chobe-in-hell campsite.  There no place was less than horrid and poor Sue got lost.  Later she found Chiyemi and then they got lost together. But that is getting ahead of ourselves.
  • Stop the presses! Further, late-breaking research shows that the birds identified with finchiness are in fact ploceidae (which even Wikipedia is forced to admit are “related to finches”).  So, don’t blame the pictures if they are identified as “finches?”  – even Charles Darwin didn’t know a finch when he saw it.

    Click on the pictures to enlarge and use your browser’s back button to return “thumbnail” pictures. Sorry for the clunky interface – it wasn’t my idea.
    -td

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    10 Responses to “Namibian Photo Gallery”


    1. 1 Bonnie (friend of Shannon's)
      March 17, 2010 at 4:57 am

      Terry…Your pictures are wonderful. I’m so glad that Shannon is sharing them with me. I can’t believe that the Dune 45 sand is SO red and the textures of the rocks, wood and landscapes are so rich. This is all so beautiful. You should publish… Thanks for sharing.

      • March 17, 2010 at 12:31 pm

        Hi Bonnie,
        I’m glad you dropped in – you’ll be added to the travel email list. Thanks for the compliments but as I’ve said before, these pictures are best in this size and blowing them up or printing them and they’d begin to show their roots.

        On the redness of Dune 45: It’s pretty much that color – could have been pushed to ridiculous redness with photoshop and every picture goes through that program, but I tried to restrain myself and not go totally over the top. It’s a photographer’s dream out of The Twilight Zone.

    2. 3 Barbara Keen
      March 15, 2010 at 12:02 am

      As usual, Terry, your photographs are beautiful! It’s fun to see different flora and fauna than we’re used to here. Yes, you look like it was a lot of fun, but not for me! I enjoy it from your eyes.

    3. 4 Larry Kellogg
      March 10, 2010 at 2:33 pm

      Terry, these are some of the best photos I’ve seen. They are prize winners. Great job.

      Lar

    4. March 10, 2010 at 1:04 pm

      Ditto the above . . . you must challenge Hanna in the SOPA contests

    5. 7 Irene
      March 10, 2010 at 10:51 am

      What amazing photographs! The tree from Dead Vlei is straight out of Dali’s paintings…the colors are unreal…surreal. Great wild life shots…I can almost smell Africa. Fond memories.

      • March 10, 2010 at 11:10 am

        Thanks, Irene!
        It’s funny but it is a popular tourist spot. I’d guess that there were probably another dozen or so groups of tour trucks that make the 20 minute ride out from Sossus to Dead Vlei. Nothing like having an overweight tourist in Bermuda shorts pop up in your viewfinder! 😉

        So, patience and wait for the shot. And try to figure out where in this other-worldly landscape to point the camera. I was poised, having seen all the great Dead Vlei shots before going to Africa but when I got back and looked at my shots, I had real doubts that any of them were worth the wait. At a distance of two months plus, I’m happy with ’em. Thanks for validating!

    6. 9 Ray
      March 10, 2010 at 10:33 am

      Awesome photos, the Dead Vlei Tree shots were surreal, as were the 2 Sossus Canyon shots and Dune 45. I thought Rod Serling was going to walk out. Also I was wondering about the Nambian Weaver’s nest………how large is that? It’s hard to guestimate a size.

      • March 10, 2010 at 10:55 am

        The whole shebang was probably 20-25′ high? Must have weighed a couple tons. The nest, I mean, not the tree. I’d guess that there were a hundred or more birds in the nest-site. It was funny and I wish I’d taken a shot, but the darn bird build their nests in power poles and were wreaking havoc with the lines. You could drive along and see nests that were building up and ones that had been torn down every so often. This one was safe out in the field behind a fence (what they were fencing in or out is anybody’s guess).


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    Dead Vlei - Namib-Naukluft National Park

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