Namibia is well know for the amazing high dunes in the Sossusvlei area. Rising typically 600 feet high — and up to 1000 feet — they are the among the highest dunes in the world. Iron oxide and colored quartz combine to make these dunes a vivid orange, which glows in early or late light. In one small area, Dead Vlei, ancient camel thorn trees, left dry when the river that nourished them gradually changed course, create a fascinating dance against the dune walls that surround them.
The Atlantic coast near Swakopmund can be an area of dense fog, but, when visible, the dunes there have a beautiful flow. Our trip was done in Land Rovers, which allowed us to experience the unusual rocky landscape of Damaraland, visit with the Himba people in one of their villages, and find some of the desert-adapted elephants that live there.