David wants sunrise photos – so we are up at 4.30am – yes I know – an ungodly hour of the morning! We travel out to the largest dune, Dune 45 – it takes a lot longer and was a much further drive than expected, and we only just got their in time to climb the dune, for sunrise. David decides to stay at the bottom to get shots of the dune’s face. Brendan and I decide to try and climb it with the other 50 people or so. I got to about 1/10 of the way before having to stop, this is really steep and soft sand is taking it out of me. Slow but steadily we make our way up. I didn’t get to the top for sunrise, but had a great view. We decided to keep going anyway – this was made trickier as people were now coming back down – there isn’t a lot of room along the ridge-line,so you have to sort of get up close and personal with strangers as you try and pass by on the edge of the sand dune. You think you are at the top, but it still keeps going! Eventually we make it – thank you Lord! Now that we have accomplished this we decide to go all out and walk out to the peak – was a bit easier & I was on cloud nine that I had made it without a coronary. Brendan put his hand print & initials in the side of the dune – where you couldn’t go any further – though this would be blown away, by the wind, in a few minutes. We make our way, slowly, back down. The people who couldn’t camp inside the park were now starting to come in. We had about a ¼ left to go when we heard David calling us- he wanted us to run down the side of the dune, Brendan went first then me – only slowly – the sand came up to your knees – made it!
Back at the car we emptied all the sand, from our shoes and socks, out – this formed our own, small, sand dunes!
We now continue a further 10km to Sossusvlei then travel the last 4km through 4×4 only sand tracks to Dead Vlei- a dead lake – we have to walk 2km thru more bloody sand dunes to get there. Once there we take photos with the other hundred people who are already there. David is not too happy, as he can’t get a great photo without someone in it.
Ok, had enough of sand – we head back to the campsite for showers and a late breakfast.
On the way to our next campsite we pass signs for ostrich and zebra – we don’t see them where the signs indicate but do eventually see them as well as oryx and springbok.
Namibrand Nature Reserve is one of the largest private nature reserves in Africa covering an area of approx. 202,000 hectares of the Namib desert. It is also considered a dark sky area and is home to the Tok-Tokkie beetles.
There is a mix up with our accommodation, the notes advise to go to the “Hide Out” which we do- and stay for a couple of hours before the ranger comes and checks – we are at “Venus campsite” – there is no mention of this at all on our paperwork. We pack up and go to the correct campsite, which was not bad, until the wind came up!.