Article submitted from Ken’s blog,『Tokyo Life』
So I went to Namibia. Purely on vacation.
Located in the northwestern area of southern Africa, Namibia borders along the Atlantic Ocean. From German to South African rule, Namibia is a young country that achieved independence in 1990. The origin of the name is the Namib desert, which occupies a large portion of the country. With a population of just about 2 million in an area over twice the size of Japan, it is a very sparsely populated country.
Two hours from Walvis Bay, where the South African ships were docked during the German rule, through the town of Swakopmund along the Atlantic coast, is Cape Cross. There is a story of the first time a Portuguese sailor landed there, but even more interesting is the colony of seals.
They look dead, but they are very alive!
Further North is a drive along the Skeleton Coast. The Coast is famous for the remains of wrecked ships that have washed ashore.
True to its name, there were bones on the beach as well.
The rental car got a bit dirty…
Further inland away from the coast, at a Namib desert tourist city. The view from the hotel.
A short distance from the entrance to the Namib-Naukluft national park, “Dune 45″. It is so named because it is 45 km away from the entrance. The wind was strong, but everyone was climbing up.
Ostriches, Gazelles, Oryx were seen along the way. An Oryx in the picture.
Dunes the color of apricots.
Walking further, we found the remains of a lake that dried up 300 years ago, called Deadvlei.
It looks more like a staged art piece than a natural occurrence.
The trees are even older than the lake, thought to be between 600 and 900 years old.
The sand here contains lots of iron and minerals, and is heaver than the other sand. This is why the lakebed is still intact.
There is still water in this lake.
Heading into the desert…there is so much nothing its hard to make sense of it.
Some places have vegetation. This is called “ostrich cabbage”.
You can go by helicopter to the entrance of the desert. It is a magnificent view!
The small circles in the ground are “fairy circles,” where no plants will grow. It is said that there are ants below these circles that prevent the plants from growing, but the guide mentioned that even if you take the dirt and remove the ants, nothing will grow in it.
A view of the hotel from the sky.
A sunset beyond the grass.
Namibia. There is a lot of interesting history here, from colonial times, the history of its minorities, and the current economy. However, it all seems less important after you take a look at the awe-inspiring natural beauty.
It is such a large country, and we were only able to see a small portion of it. No matter how many pictures I upload it will not be the same as actually seeing it. It might be a long trip from where you live, and a long drive of 400 km to 500 km to reach Sossusvlei, the entrance to the Namib desert. However, I would definitely say that it is worth the trip.
Here is myself, trying to set up a camera on the side of the road.