Our first Botswana camp bordered an inlet populated with hippos whose vocalizations were such a novelty to us. We fell asleep listening to them snort and make bubbling sounds in the water.
Then, in the morning, the rising sun silhouetted their ears poking out of the water.
The elephants in Namibia’s Damaraland are smaller than the typical African elephant. They survive on a more limited diet and have to migrate for miles to drink at desert waterholes. However, they have adapted to this harsher way of life and can live up to three days without water.
They are herbivores – browsing animals that survive on desert brush and trees.
Although not a separate species, they have evolved to have larger feet which help them travel miles across the desert to find water.
Sometimes food is sparse….
…and the terrain is always rugged.
But these elephants are hardy and determined.
A herd gathers together in the afternoon.
Two elephants descend over a hillside to join the herd as the sun sets.
Though always exemplifying a rugged desert terrain, Namibia’s Damaraland region nonetheless changes from place to place and from sunrise to sunset.
Standing on a hilltop overlooking a valley, I see the early morning sun filtering through clouds hanging over distant mountains.
Later, the moon sets over stark red earth, stretching out toward flat-topped hills.
A hardy, drought-tolerant moringa tree clings to a rocky hillside.
And finally, while driving along a winding country road I see the sun drop below the mountaintops.
We say goodbye to central Namibia’s vast desert with dunes that extend all the way to the very edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Here are a few last glimpses before heading off to a new and radically different landscape.
On our last evening, we see the sun setting in a very fast descent, glowing orange in a cloudless sky.
Early the next morning, the moon, barely visible through the clouds, sets over a long straight road through the desert.
The desert stretches out to distant mountains, with only a solitary tree to dot the landscape.
The animals we saw in Namibia were totally wild, not confined to game parks. The ubiquitous oryx is known as the national animal of Namibia.
And wild ostriches strut around proudly in their native habitat.
Amid the hustle and bustle this time of year, it’s a quiet sunset over the ocean.
The sun is sinking in a bright orange sky over another wilderness 9,000 miles away from my last post featuring a desert in Western Australia. Pictured here are the badlands of California’s Anza-Borrego State Park at the westernmost edge of the Sonoran Desert.
The warm glow of sunset silhouettes a row of limestone pillars in Western Australia’s ancient Pinnacles Desert. The pinnacles were formed by strong winds blowing in from the Indian ocean and eroding the surrounding sand. Thousands of these formations spread across the desert floor.