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Fish River Canyon to Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia with Nomad Tours – Day 4

Driving through Namibia

Namibian cupcake

Namibian Cupcake Surprise

This was primarily a driving day as we covered 520 kilometers on bumpy Namibian roads.

Our driver and guide, Morrison is a champ.  I don’t know how his skeleton (or the truck) hasn’t rattled itself apart driving thousands of miles a year.  He lovingly refers to the experience as an African Massage.

The vastness of the land is what strikes me.  In every direction, for miles and miles and miles, there is nothing but natural beauty.  It seems to go on forever.

On the way we see zebras grazing on slopes.  Not an everyday sight for this city girl.

We stop in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere where I found a tiny bakery with cupcakes lovingly decorated with icing roses and candy glitter.  The eye appeal was greater than the taste but I suppose I should have expected that a cupcake in the desert might be…dry.  Still, it’s these little surprises that I love.

We stop for lunch on the side of a country road and enjoy free entertainment as locals try to herd a single rebellious cow.

Morrison points out a humungous bird’s nest built by Sociable Weavers — the hippies of the bird world, building gigantic community nests that house hundreds and are architecturally strong and complex.  The nests can last for decades and have many chambers which are used to keep the birds cool during the day and warm at night.  Sociable Weavers wear headbands and tie-dyed T-shirts.  Part of this story might not be true.

We arrive at the campground late in the day and clumsily set up our tents.  Task completed, we load back into the truck to see Sesriem Canyon.  Unfortunately a massive thunderstorm rolls in just as we do and after a show of torrential rain, thunder and lightning we pour out of the truck for a quick walk through this canyon; a dwarf in comparison to Fish River Canyon, but still beautiful.

Back at the camp we eat together while watching an amazing African sunset that engulfs the sky with oranges and yellow like a flame.  Africa is killing me with beauty.

Pictures below.

Disclaimer: Nomad Tours offered me a discount in exchange for documentation of the experience.  I have complete freedom to share my thoughts.  All opinions are my own.

Official Itinerary from Nomad Tours

We arrive at the Namib-Naukluft National Park and set up camp, then enjoy a short hike into the Sesriem Canyon. Tonight we enjoy the star-studded sky and enduring silence of the Namib Desert, only occasionally interrupted by the call of a Jackal or, a rather unique lizard, the barking gecko.

The Namib DesertThe Namib Desert is one of the oldest and largest in the world, occupying an area of around 90,000 km2, stretching 1,000 km along the Atlantic Ocean coast of Namibia. Having endured arid or semi-arid conditions for at least 55 million years, it is considered to be the second oldest desert in the world, after the Atacama Desert in Chile. It has less than 10 mm of rain annually and is almost completely barren, characterised by dramatic red dunes with sharp ridges, some of which tower 3 000m in the air, the highest in the world. A section of the central Namib Desert incorporates The Namib-Naukluft Park, one of the largest national parks in Africa as well as the Naukluft Mountains. Despite the harsh conditions, a variety of plant and animal life can be found in the desert. There are some unusual species of plants and animals that are found only in this desert.

The Sesriem Canyon, one of the highlights of the Namib Desert and the entrance point to the western section of the Namib Naukluft Park, was formed by the Tsauchab River, which carved the canyon out of sedimentary rock over the past two million years. During the rare rainfalls in the Naukluft Mountains, the river becomes rapid-running and strong and has over the years created the canyon, now 1 km long and up to 300 m wide. The water held in parts of the canyon provides water for a variety of wildlife that has adapted to life in this arid landscape.  The name Sesriem is Afrikaans and means “six belts”, since the early travelers and settlers had to attach six belts together in order to reach buckets down into the canyon to scoop up water.

 Photos of the Day:

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