October 15

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Natures Beauty Pictures

“Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.” — John Ruskin

I took advantage of Independence Day in Lesotho on Oct 04 to visit Cape Town and Namibia.  I wanted to share with you the beautiful sites I saw.  Africa is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to.

I went on a wine tour of Cape Town.  One of the wineries had the South African Flag made out of flowers.  Another winery had the biggest wine bottle I have ever seen!!

Cape Town Flower Flag

Cape Town wineries

Cape Town Winery 1

Cape town Winery 3

Cape Town Winery 4

Caroline, Lisa, Stacey and Emma I thought of you ladies when I saw this wine bottle.

Cape Town Giant Wine Bottle

This bike was one of the bikes in Mad Max: Fury Road.  I saw it at one of the wineries I visited in Cape Town.

Mad Max Bike

After the winery tour, our guide took us around town and showed us this:

Nelson Mandela

This is Table Mountain and Lions Head.

Cape Town Table Mountain 2

After Cape Town we headed to the Gariep (Orange) River which is the longest river in South Africa and right before the border to Namibia.  This is the Gariep at Sunset/Sunrise

Gariep River 2

Gariep River 5

Gariep Sunset 1

Namibia was next.  This country is so beautiful.  It has such extremes of hot and cold, rural vs. urban.  I learned to layer in Namibia because I would often need a sweatshirt, then a tank top, then back to a sweatshirt again all in the same day.

We visited the Fish River Canyon.  It is the largest canyon in Africa and the second largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon.

Fish River Canyon 1

Fish River Canyon 10

Fish River Canyon 12

Fish River Canyon 13

Fish River Canyon 14

Fish River Canyon 17

Fish River Canyon 18

Fish River Canyon 19

Fish River Canyon Sunset

We also stopped at Sesriem Canyon which has some incredible rock formations.

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Twilight in the desert.

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The next day, my tour group and I got up at 4:30 in the morning so we could get to Dune 45 in the Sossusvlei desert and climb it before sunrise.  Dune 45 is 170 m and the view from the top at sunrise is just breathtaking.  I tried to capture it as best I could, but pictures just doesn’t compare to seeing it in person.  I saw a lot of people begin climbing the dune after sunrise.  While you still see an amazing sight, seeing the sun come over the dunes is like nothing else I’ve seen.  When I climbed back down, I could feel so much sand in my running shoes.  I think I emptied about a dune’s worth of sand from my shoes and socks…

Sand Dune 13

Sand Dune 16

Sand Dune 27

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Sand Dune 36

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Sand Dune 42

Sand Dune 43

Sand Dune 12

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Sand Dune 45

Sand Dune Red 1

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Sand Dune Red 5

Sand Dune Red 6

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Sand Dune Red 14

Sand Dune Perspective 1

Sand Dune Perspective 2

 

 

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Sand Mountain 1

Sand Mountain 2

Sand Mountain 3

Sand Mountain 4

Sand Mountain 5

Sand Mountain 6

Sand Mountain 7

Sand Mountain 8

Sand Mountain 9

Sand Mountain 11

Sand Mountain 12

Sand Mountain 13

Sand Mountain 14

Sand Mountain 15

Sand Mountain 16

Sand Mountain 17

These next two pictures were taken at the base of Dune 45.

Sand Dune Base

Sand Dune Climb

After the sand dunes we headed over to the Deadvlei.  The Deadvlei is a white clay pan inside the Namib-Naukluft Park.  Deadvlei means dead marsh.  Hundreds of years ago the Deadvlei used to be an oasis in the desert.  When the drought came, the water dried up and the camel thorn trees died.  Now visitors to Namibia visit the Deadvlei every day to see the skeletons of the dead trees.  It is both desolate and incredibly beautiful.

In order to visit the Deadvlei our group hired 4x4s to take us across the desert.  Many people attempt to do this drive on their own without the proper vehicles.  I saw about 6 cars stuck in the sand.

These next few pictures are of scenery at the start of the journey to get to the Deadvlei.

Deadvlei Arch Tree

Deadvlei Arch 1

Deadvlei Arch 2

Deadvlei Arch 3

Deadvlei Road 1

Deadvlei Road 2

 

After the 4x4s dropped us off, we still had about a 30-45 min walk to get to the Deadvlei.  Along the route, we passed Big Daddy.  This sand dune is 325m and takes hours to climb.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to climb it, but I took pictures of people who were doing so.

Sand Dune Big Daddy

Sand Dune Climb Big Daddy 1

Sand Dune Climb Big Daddy 2

Sand Dune Climb Big Daddy 3

Sand Dune Climb Big Daddy 6

These next pictures are of the Deadvlei.

Deadvlei 1

Deadvlei 3

Deadvlei Tree 2

Deadvlei Tree 4

Deadvlei Tree 5

Deadvlei Tree 6

Deadvlei Tree 8

Deadvlei Tree 10

Deadvlei Tree 14

Deadvlei Tree 17

Deadvlei Tree 18

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Deadvlei Tree 21

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Deadvlei Tree 23

Deadvlei Tree 28

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Deadvlei Tree 31

Deadvlei Tree 32

Deadvlei Tree 33

Deadvlei Tree 35

Deadvlei Tree 36

These next few pictures are at the end point of the Deadvlei waiting for the 4x4s to take us back.

Deadvlei Tree 37

Deadvlei Tree 44

Deadvlei Tree 47

Random Namibia pictures including the Namibian equivalent of the Inuksuk.

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Inuksuk 2

Inuksuk 7

Inuksuk 8

One of the things that struck me when traveling overland through Namibia was how vast the country is.  In addition, you can travel on a road for hours without seeing another car.  Below are some pictures of Namibian roads.  Well the first one is Cape Town but it fits in this series 🙂

Road Cape Town

Road Namibia 1

Road Namibia 2

Road Namibia 3

Road Namibia 4

Road Namibia 5

Road Namibia 6

We also passed through the Tropic of Capricorn.

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We got into Swakopmund.  A town that was founded by Germans and still has a heavy German influence.  Looking at this town, I almost felt as if I was in Florida.  We also stopped off quickly at Walvis Bay to see the flamingos.

Flamingo

Flamingos

Swakopmund 1

Swakopmund 2

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Swakopmund 4

Swakopmund 5

There was also this really cute parrot that was just randomly at a table in our lunch spot in Swakopmund.

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The next day I left for Windhoek, where I had the opportunity to go to Dusternbrook.  It’s a conservation and game reserve.  I had the opportunity to see Cheetah’s and Leopards along with other animals.

Cheetah 1

Cheetah 2

Cheetah 3

Cheetah 6

Cheetah 7

Cheetah 9

Cheetah 10

Cheetah 12

Cheetah 13

Cheetah 14

Cheetah 15

Cheetah 16

Cheetah 17

Cheetah 18

Cheetah 19

Weaver 1

Weaver 2

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Giraffe 1

Giraffe 2

Giraffe 3

Giraffe 4

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Giraffe 6

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Flower 1

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Flowers 4

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Flowers 6

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Flowers 9

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Flowers 13

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Hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Until next time.

Christina