After leaving Swakopmund, Meghan and I trekked East and then South into the Namib desert. This is the big sand-colored swath that you see across Southwestern Africa. The drive was beautiful and it took us many many hours as we kept stopping to admire the views and take photos.
(I know many of you are asking to see photos but neither of us is traveling with a laptop and these internet cafes are not particurlarly good at handling the large files that come out of our cameras.. looks like it’ll have to wait until we return… but in the meantime, there are plenty of other photos from Thailand, Belize, etc., over at PicsFromTrips 🙂 )
Our destination for the day was the Little Sossus lodge, located just outside the ‘town’ of sesriem. We managed to get there just as the sun was setting – as I said, we took our time on the drive because we kept stopping. One of the reasons for this was the scenery – which changed dramatically from drier-than dry desert (sand, basically) to a semi-arid desert landscape lush with geologic sights as well as animals. We saw springbok, gemsbok, ostritches and countless other bird species. It was really cool and got us even more excited for our upcoming safari.
One thing to note.. the entire drive from Swakopmund to the lodge – several hundred kilometers – was on dirt roads.. and we had the Camry. I had thought about renting a 4×4 vehicle but decided it wasn’t worth the extra cost…
The lodge at which we stayed was really awesome. The food was amazing, the setting was incredible and we really felt – for the first time – that we were truly in Africa. We were able to walk out from dinner, over to our little rock hut and look at all of the Southern Hemisphere stars, including the Southern Cross. And, the stay coincided with the full moon so the land around us was really well lit so we could see the grasses, the trees and the mountains in the distance.
Fom the lodge we were able to visit the Namib Naukluft park – one of the largest national parks in the world. Specifically we were visiting the Sossusvlei dunes area (yeah, more sand). This is the imagery most associated with Namibia – red dunes, open vistas, etc.,
We hiked around the dunes, took lots of photos, and saw more of the animals mentioned above.
After our stay out in the Namib today we returned to Windhoek. Here we’re just regrouping, returning the rental car (which did really well on all of the hundreds of kilometers of dirt roads that we drove on), and getting ready for Botswana!