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Cindi LaRaia - Africa Discoveryby Cindi LaRaia

Namibia, Africa my visit.

Here is a place that the locals say God must have been angry when he made it! A poem of Nambia told by our wonderful guide Douw Styn.

The spell of Yukon - by Robert Service
There is the Land! Have you seen it? It is the cussedst land that I know. From the big “dizzy mountains screne it, to the deep death like valley below. Some say God was angry when he made it. Some say it is a fine land to shun. Maybe. But there’s some that would trade it for no land on earth, and I am one.”

My long awaited first trip to Namibia, did not disappoint, it is a remarkable wild place full of scenery that makes you think you have been transported to a far off planet. Namibia is a country of startling contrasts that straddle two great deserts: the Namib after which is named; the oldest desert on the planet in the red eastern area, and the Kalahari in the western part of Namibia. The infinite blue skies and tranquil starry nights beckon!

Little Kulala is a fabulous 6 star camp based near to Sossusvlei, the very famous red and apricot colored sand dunes, the largest oldest dunes on the planet. They grow some 400 tons a day! Mind boggling when flying over them they never seem to end.

We had to get up at 0445hr in order to get to the dunes early for good contrast in colors with the shadows for us photographers. We were not disappointed. The land is like no other I have seen, rusty colored sand and dirt with odd dead trees and scrub and unusual desert plants dot the scenery. Our lodge is something of an oasis in this harsh seemingly barren land. We spotted Springbok as the common antelope, mice and desert hare. The beautiful Oryx or called here Gemsbok is a very statuesque handsome antelope to be sure, one of my favorites.

The dunes are a stupendous site to behold; with the S pattern in some showing bright orange-apricot on one side and dark orange on the other. We stopped at the area known as dead-vlei. Here we climbed the dunes, right on the tippity top of where the point goes one way and the other, on top of this magical area is a surreal beauty. The Toki Toki blue beetles are uncovered as we walk as they live under the sand and scurry up and down against the colored sand. Nothing else could possibly live there! The wind howled up here and to see how the dunes are formed became quite clear. We had lunch under a camel thorn tree that looked to be as ancient as the dunes, intricate weave work of bleached white wood fiber the most unusual tree I have ever seen! Gorgeous. The heat here us indescribable as well as the dryness, it sucks the drops of sweat right off you, acting as a bit of an air conditioner when the wind blows!

Damaraland reminds me of the great ‘old west’ of the United States of America, scenery similar to Utah, Wyoming, Idaho something from our great old westerns! This is where you look for the desert adapted Elephant!

Sera Cafema in the far northwest corner south of Angola, along the boarder is very far away yet so raw with stark beauty, I felt like we just landed on Mars. This is where the last of the amazingly beautiful Himba Tribe live; they are semi nomadic and still a ‘real true’ African people. Nothing has changed with them. Numbering approximately twelve thousand individuals, the Himba live an isolated existence that has allowed them to preserve their culturally rich lifestyle. They live simply, they are proud and very worthy of this land they inhabit. I love culture and waited a long many years to visit this area and I was not disappointed!

Etosha National Park and Ongava Game Reserve have the greatest game in Namibia! You must visit here for 2 or 3nts and I recommend to save this for last!

I love this place called Namibia, if you are a photographer this is heaven sent!

-- Cindi LaRaia

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