Wim reports from the Namibia Landscapes and Wildlife Safari: The Eerie Grandeur Of Dead Vlei
Imagine standing with us in a quiet, wide, white expanse … dry, cracked, totally flat earth beneath your feet, an azure blue sky above, and surrounded by the tallest sand dunes in the world – some towering as high as 300-400 meters.
And in the afternoon sun, those dunes are colored a deep amber to almost red in places with pitch black shadows cast by the setting sun. And dotted all around the white Vlei are the macabre outlines of dead acacia trees, a reminder that this was once a pan filled with nourishing water and where the trees and other vegetation thrived.
That is, until the encroaching dunes blocked the water supply, leaving this eerily magnificent ‘Vlei’, with its unique sights, colors, and hushed sounds. All you can hear is the gentle sound of the wind as it drifts across the dunes.
We are in Dead Vlei – another amazing spot on our journey through this incredible country.
We left Keetmanshoop after breakfast this morning, and enjoyed the journey through the stark countryside to Sossusvlei, where we checked into the luxurious Sossusvlei Lodge. And wow, does it ever deserve that ‘luxurious’ description. Built to complement the countryside, and overlooked by a ‘koppie’ as a backdrop, the Lodge offers every comfort imaginable. Wonderful to arrive here after a day on the road, as we meandered through the magnificent countryside.
We remained at Dead Vlei until well after sunset –
– and watched in awe as the stars blinked brightly in an inky black sky and the Milky Way cut a glittering swathe across the blackness … and only then did we reluctantly pack up our camera gear to return to the Lodge – for our eagerly awaited dinner.
On the way back to the Lodge we encountered a special surprise – to end an already perfect day! We found a Brown Hyena! He didn’t hang around for too long – he was off on his evening scrounge around, but we managed quite a number of good images.
Hopefully we can arrive at Dead Vlei again in the morning really early to experience the sunrise in that awe-inspiring setting …
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