logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel
Southwest USA
Irish Culture


dailyclick
All times in EST

Full Schedule
g
g Adventure Living Site

BellaOnline's Adventure Living Editor

g

Exploring Namibia’s Sand Dunes


Exploring Namibia’s Sand Dunes
By Candyce H. Stapen


It’s 5:45 a.m., a little more than 30 minutes before dawn, and the sky over Sossusvlei is silvery blue and shot with stars. We’ve come to this part of Namibia’s Namib-Naukluft Park, one of Africa’s largest conservation areas, to experience the sand dunes, rated as among the world’s highest. “Big Daddy,” considered the region’s tallest dune and a favorite challenge for hikers, rises more than 1100-feet.

As we wait, a jackal sashays in front of our van parked near a 300-foot high dune, part of the 47-mile long dune corridor that begins some 15 miles from the park’s entrance near the Sossus Dunes Lodge.

Abenteuer Afrika Safari brings us here so early because this is the best time to sample the desert magic. Starting at first light and lasting for about two hours, the dunes change from inky purple to salmon and then to red as the slanting rays carve shadows, deepen contours and darken the ridgelines, transforming the dunes into a dramatic, undulating, out-sized sculpture.

Our guide also details the desert’s little wonders. He points out gerbil tracks, telling us that the straight lines were made by the critter’s tail as he paused to rest in the silky sand. We learn to pick out the paw prints of an African wild cat as well as the train-like markings made by the six legs of the desert beetle as he scurries across the sand.

Despite visiting in June, Namibia’s winter, the temperature is 75-degrees. Instead of climbing Big Daddy, an hours-long task, Abenteuer’s guides suggest we take the easier trek across the base of dune 45 and into Dead Vlei. That’s fine with us.

This “vlei” or pan, once filled with water in the rainy season, has been cut off by sand dunes fashioned by wind currents. The river shifted and the acacia trees died. Their black trunks and twisted branches dot the pan, creating a dazzling contrast to the white limestone laced, dry bottom and the surrounding sea of red dunes.

The Namib’s desert dunes reach to Namibia’s coast near Swakopmund, about 310-miles away. In Swakopmund, Namibia’s eco-adventure headquarters, Abenteuer Afrika Safari hooks us up with Tommy’s Tours for a combination of dune riding and desert exploration.

Tommy drives his Land Rover up and over the sand mountains, jumping out to scoop up what looks like a random handful of soft crystals. When the sand slips through his fingers, he opens his palm to reveal a baby adder snake. Tommy places it on the slope and the snake twirls away from us sideways, making squiggly swirls in the dune.

Tommy reveals scorpions, spiders and chameleons, but our favorite find: the shovel-snouted, sand diving lizard. To show how firmly the critter bites down, Tommy dangles him from his finger and then from his earlobe like an earring. Dubbing this lizard “the Ferrari” of the desert, Tommy lets him go and we giggle as the lizard zooms along the dune in an almost comic-book like rush.

Abenteuer Afrika Safari specializes in custom tailored explorations of Namibia as well as Zambia, and Mozambique. South African Airways provides service from a number of U.S. and international gateways to Johannesburg and into Namibia.


Related links:
www.abenteuerafrika.com
www.flysaa.com

Add Exploring+Namibia%92s+Sand+Dunes to Twitter Add Exploring+Namibia%92s+Sand+Dunes to Facebook Add Exploring+Namibia%92s+Sand+Dunes to MySpace Add Exploring+Namibia%92s+Sand+Dunes to Del.icio.us Digg Exploring+Namibia%92s+Sand+Dunes Add Exploring+Namibia%92s+Sand+Dunes to Yahoo My Web Add Exploring+Namibia%92s+Sand+Dunes to Google Bookmarks Add Exploring+Namibia%92s+Sand+Dunes to Stumbleupon Add Exploring+Namibia%92s+Sand+Dunes to Reddit




How to Choose an Adventure Tour Operator
Costa Rica Eco-Adventures
Explore Etosha National Park, Namibia’s Jewel
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Adventure Living Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Candyce H. Stapen. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Candyce H. Stapen. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Candyce H. Stapen for details.

g


g features
Florida’s Best Boardwalks and Family Beaches

Hidden Hotel Fees

Tips on Villa and Rental Companies

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor