Panorama near the Kuiseb Pass.
IntroductionWindhoekOkonjimaOkaukejo 1OngumaOkaukejo 2Mowani
SwakopmundHoodiaNamtibFish RiverSpringbokBabylon’s TorenGoing Home

Saturday 21st October

(The link above takes you to all the photos I took on the 21st October. There are a lot!)

The drive to Hoodia Desert Lodge was one of the best. From sea level at Walvis Bay it rises steadily to the Kuiseb Pass where the scenery gets very rocky. As we drove south things get sandy with spectacular mountains poking above the sand. And then you arrive at Hoodia.

Near the Kuiseb Pass.

After the climb to Kuiseb the road undulates along not changing height much but eventually the rocks are covered with red sand and horizons widen. Panoramas are the only way to show the vastness of the landscape.

A road in the desert.
View along the C14 road – busy day.
Mountains appear through the sand.
Driving is interrupted by photographic stops.
A mountain in the desert.

Eventually we arrived at Solitaire where we filled up with diesel and had a rather superior apple tart. Solitaire is much better than one might expect for a filling station in the desert! And here we turned off the C14 and onto the C19.

Solitaire – the place for fuel and apple tarts!

There was then a long drive to Hoodia. The scenery made it a pleasant experience.

This ridge forms the eastern horizon as we drove south. I think the black rock is a hard limestone or dolomite.

Shortly after passing the road to tomorrows sand dunes we turned left to Hoodia. After checking in and being shown our lodge we looked out the back to see our view.

Back door view, Hoodia Desert Lodge. The Tsauchab River flows (occasionally) at the foot of the slope.

The Sundowner at Mowani had been good so we booked the Hoodia equivalent. We were driven a mile or two to a small hill where each couple found a couple of chairs, and a table laden with nibbles and drinks of your choice. Gin, both pink and plain, were popular choices.

It was a lovely place with good views westward. The driver (Daniel) took several photos.

Sundowner at Hoodia.
Sundowner at Hoodia, looking west.
The surrounding mountains in the evening light.
The sun has gone down.

After an hour or two we were driven back to the Lodge for a very nice meal.

Taken from Google Earth.

Sunday 22nd October

(The link above takes you to all the photos I took on the 22nd October. There are a lot!)

It is a short drive from Hoodia to the National Park and we entered shortly after the gates opened. We were travelling in the usual Landcruiser driven by Daniel, our very knowledgeable guide. Our first stop was too look at the desert and for Daniel to tell us all we needed to know about the Namib. He illustrated the presence of life in the desert by unearthing a dancing white lady spider (Leucorchestris arenicola). It is a trapdoor spider which lurks just below the surface waiting for some prey to pass by.

An eight eyed spider.
Sand dune and a dead tree,
Sharp-edged sand dune.
Path up the crest of a sand dune.
8 people and several trillion grains of sand.
Daniel leads the way into the desert.
Daniel showed his expertise by finding this subterranean lizard in the middle of nowhere.
Looking north over the Tsauchab River. Sand dunes.
Looking south over a calcrete covered vlei. The more famous Deadvlei is on the left.
Chris and Graeme on top of our dune. Photo taken by Daniel.
Chris descending her dune.
Dead trees on calcrete in the vlei next to Deadvlei. The trees were probably growing about 900 years ago.
Panorama of Deadvlei. Note the live trees on the right growing below the calcrete.
Another panorama of Deadvlei.
A lot of what you need to know at Deadvlei.

We joined the crowds who had visited Deadvlei and walked back to the truck where Daniel gave us damp cloths out of the ice box which were very welcome.

I found that this was the best way of using the cold cloths.

We then drove a considerable distance to have lunch. It took Daniel some time to set it up – it was much more luxurious than we expected – I was expecting a sandwich in the back of the truck!

A tree in the desert – the perfect place for lunch!
Lunch – tables, chairs, carpets, wine and good food!

We had another stop at Sesriem canyon but it was disappointing after the glories of the desert. Then back to Hoodia rest, check out the swimming pool, have dinner and have a drink.

The next day we went to Namtib Desert Lodge.

IntroductionWindhoekOkonjimaOkaukejo 1OngumaOkaukejo 2Mowani
SwakopmundHoodiaNamtibFish RiverSpringbokBabylon’s TorenGoing Home