Monday, November 15, 2010

Namibia Day 4: Namibrand

View from the bed at Desert Homestead

We woke up in time to photograph the sunrise at Desert Homestead. The sunrise was gorgeous on the open fields in front of our chalet. After sunrise I went back to the room and discovered the view was almost as good while sitting in bed!

After a delicious breakfast we went out exploring. We eventually found ourselves at Namibrand Nature Reserve, and the scenery was exquisite. We saw bat eared foxes, as before, it was a mother and three kits. We were hoping to see mountain zebra, as I've never photographed them, but we didn't have any luck there.

Burchell's zebra, not mountain zebra.

When we were in the nature reserve we saw the giant apricot colored dunes along the road. Since we hadn't been to sossusvlei yet, I found myself quite mesmerized by them.

Sand dunes

I found all of the landscapes quite mesmerizing. I easily could have spent days there but did not have the time. It would definitely be worth it to stay in the park if time and money permit. As the light got better so did the landscapes. In many cases they seemed other-worldly.

"Other-worldly" landscape in the Namibrand

We eventually had to turn around and go back, but even the views along side of the roads were amazing. Most of the roads in Namibia seem to be fenced. Whether this is to keep animals off the road or to keep tourists off of countryside, I do not know. So sometimes you have to work a little harder on your compositions to keep fences out of them.

I did hope to see "fairy circles" while we were there. I'd seen them in pictures when researching the area, and was hoping to see them myself. We saw them almost everywhere. From the reading that we've done, they believe that some sort of plant grew in these areas and "poisoned" the soil, and now nothing can grow there. Whatever the reason, they were pretty cool. I stood right next to one, and nothing grows in the circle, but grass grows all the way around - almost in a perfect circle.

"Fairie circles"

For sunset we stopped along the road on the way back to the Desert Homestead. The sunset was spectacular again, and here it is setting on top of a hill that appears to be pyramid of rocks, and behind it is the sand dunes.

Technical Notes: Once again a tripod was necessary especially at sunset. I also used a grad neutral density filter for sunset.  A polarizer was used for most of the landscape photos.

Animal Sightings: We saw bat-eared foxes, yellow mongooses, burchell's zebra, ostriches, a secretary bird, many oryx, springbok, and quite a few bird species.

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