Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sesriem and Sossusvlei, Namibia (February 27, 2008)

Most of Western Namibia is covered by a 32,000 square km sand sea, and the most famous dunes are within the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Sossusvlei is Namibia's number one tourist attraction, and it's easy to see why - the pink dunes (some as high as 200m) are stunningly beautiful set against a brilliant blue sky.

As the sun rose over the dunes, the early morning light turned the sand from a pale yellow-pink color to a bright orange-pink, with stark shadows. Closer to midday, with the sun high overhead, the dunes settled into a uniform soft pink color with only faint shadows.

The desert was equally beautiful at sunset (when the sky turned yellow, orange, pink and purple) and at night (when the sky was filled with the most stars I've ever seen). I even saw a shooting star! In addition to the gorgeous scenery, there was plenty of interesting wildlife - gemboks (also known as oryx), springboks, jackals, geckos and ostriches.
Sunrise at the dunes
Interesting patterns in the sand
Dunes as far as the eye can see, fading from orange to pink
As the sun rose over the dunes, they turned this bright orange color. Note the people at the top of each of the peaks - they'll give a sense of the size of the dunes.
A dead tree at the base of the dunes

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