Namibian Teaser – What’s Yet to Come

The red rocks around Desert Rhino Camp, Namibia

Billions of brick-sized red rock near Desert Rhino Camp

I’ve been home for three days. The first day I was in a bit of a daze. Not from jet lag, I slept most of the way on the plane – 10 hours straight. That’s a record for me without the help of a sleep aid, but I was apparently very tired. The trip was delicious but exhausting in the best of ways. Being back home in New York, I felt disoriented.

I’m actually still in a bit of a daze… I’m not great at re-entry. It’s hard to come back from a long trip and pick up with work and friends as if you haven’t been completely immersed in another world for 3 weeks.

I’m editing photos and thinking about the stories I want to tell. It’s taking me a bit longer than I expected and in the interim I thought I would share a few photos to give you a sense of what’s to come. There’s a lot to tell and it’s all running around in my brain and I’m waiting for the dust to settle.

Aerial view of Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, Namibia

In case you’re wondering how remote things were, here’s an aerial view of Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp. You can’t reach it by land, only by small plane. My tent was the one on the far left between the rock and the mountain range. It was a bit of hike to the main area – the bigger tent to the right – but one can always use a little exercise, right?

Ironically, I had to wait for the dust to settle in Namibia too…literally…

An hour after I landed at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, a dust storm, one of the strongest in years, swept through the desert obscuring the mountains around us and leaving an eerily beautifully, yet gritty haze over everything and everyone in its wake.

The next day, I laughed—very quietly—as a cheeky young bull elephant, anxious to show off in front of a larger, older male, played traffic cop with our vehicle, and later I marveled at the Roaring Dunes.

At Desert Rhino camp, I met Kangombe, a tank masquerading as a black rhino, and shared a sunset with a herd of doe-eyed springbok. At night, I photographed the milky way with the help of a curious spotted hyena.

At Serra Cafema, I spent hours with the Himba, an amazing people who live like their ancestors (mostly) in the middle of the sand dunes, and drifted quietly down the Kunene River watching the crocodiles and the palm trees pass by.

These are just a few of the things I experienced in the Namib desert: an unforgiving yet stunningly beautiful place. There is so much more to tell. And then there’s Madikwe, South Africa and Cape Town… but that’s down the road. But I need to wrap my head around it all first…

So without further adieu… a teaser of what’s yet to come…

Himba boy near Serra Cafema Camp, Namibia

A very precious and precocious young Himba boy that lived with his tribe in the dunes near Serra Cafema Camp.

Curious spotted Hyena pup near Desert Rhino Camp, Namibia

Hyena pups LOVE rubber and this little fellow, from a den not far from Desert Rhino camp, was right below my seat trying to nibble on ours.

Cheeky bull elephant near Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, Namibia

My view from the passenger seat or our vehicle at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp – That’s our guide Gert’s head on the right. We were on our way to the literal Skeleton Coast by way of a dry riverbed when this cheeky young bull decided to play traffic cop.

View of Kuhnene River in Namibia near Serra Cafema Camp

My very first glimpse of the Kunene River and Serra Cafema Camp tucked into the trees near the back on the left. To the right of the river is Angola. To the left, Namibia.

Kangombe, black rhino near Desert Rhino Camp, Namibia

A two hour drive from Desert Rhino Camp we tracked and found Kangombe, a rare black rhino named for a Herero (the local tribe) chief. He was a very big boy.

The Skeleon Coast - day trip with Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

The genuine Skeleton Coast of Namibia. Many a ship broke apart on these rocks over the years… Part of an all-day excursion for guests at Hoanib Skeleton Coast camp.

Springbok walk across the desert near Serra Cafema Camp, Namibia

Near Serra Cafema, the springbok provide some much needed perspective for the enormity of the dunes behind them.

An antlion at Desert Rhino Camp, Namibia

An antlion. Who knew they were so beautiful? Not I. That’s for sure. This one was a late night visitor to my porch at Desert Rhino Camp. By the way… the photo is pretty much life-size.

Categories: Namibia

16 replies »

  1. Lovely photos of a truly beautiful landscape, Susan. Can’t wait to read your next posts on one of my favourite countries. BTW, do you know what you’ve been experiencing is a well-known post-Africa phenomenon we call RET (re-entry trauma)?!

    • LOL.. it IS traumatic. And I am definitely suffering from it. Oy.. Roxanne, it’s bad. LOL… Thanks again for meeting for dinner in CT. It was so nice to meet you and chat.

  2. Great teaser as a taste of what’s to come. Great variety of shots already. I can understand how overwhelming the “re-entry” is… Coming back from a different world and head space is tough… Know the feeling when we get back after 2 months sailing!
    Looking forward to your stories, Susan!

    • Thank you! I always have a hard time picking photos for things like this because I want something compelling but, at the same time, not use up the really good stuff I want to save for the pieces down the road. I’m glad you liked my choices.

      Two months sailing.. that sounds like an amazing adventure and I would have a terrible time on re-entry too. 🙂

  3. I’m pretty much drooling and dreaming I’m there, right now. A return to home with cultural shock is good and confusing yet I always wish to hang on to it for longer before reality sets in. Then the photographs transport me back. I’d say you had some awesome experiences which I look forward to reading about. Welcome home.

    • I’m trying to hang on AND not screw things up here in reality. The combo is proving a bit difficult. LOL.. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I truly appreciate it. 🙂

  4. Your pictures are wonderful and I look forward to seeing more of them!!!
    Went to Namibia a few years ago and your pics make me want to go back.

    Origionally, we met on a David Robbins trip through Myanmar.
    (I was the person who got spectacularly ill at the airport – what a claim to fame that is :))

    Terry and I are headed off to Japan next week and I am officially getting excited.
    Looking forward to experiencing a completely new culture and hoping to find magical photo opportunities.

    Hope our paths cross again someday.
    Deborah Fleming (Springfield, IL)

    • Hello Deb!!! Hi.. So nice to hear from you. How are you two doing? I remember that moment at the airport..vividly. LOL. Japan sounds lovely. Where specifically are you going? Looking forward to hearing more upon your return and thanks so much for your kind words about the photos. :))

I would love to hear from you!

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