Ok everybody, here goes, the first installment. Let`s just start at the beginning, and for those of you who haven`t read my other threads, here are the trip with the dates and places we stayed :
9-10nov: Oslo, Norway-WIndhoek-Sossuslvei, arrive in Sossusvlei the 10th obviously, with time to photograph rest of the day the 10th.
11&12nov, sossusvlei, including helicoptertrip
13nov, leaving for Erindi in the morning, making the most of the rest of the day when we get there.
15nov, leaving for Etosha in the morning.
16, 17, 18, 19nov, etosha, different camps.
20nov leaving for Windhoek.
21nov Flying home to Norway.
As you can see, a pretty full trip for the amount of days the trip lasted. I think, without having prior trips to compare this one with, it was well thought out. A whole lot of experiences!
We left oslo early afternoon for Frankfurt, where we had a apprx 5 hours to kill before out flight with air Namibia to Windhoek. Had some good food and a couple of beers while waiting. The flight was pretty straight forward, not any different than any other long haul flights.
Descending through the clouds, and the biggest smile on my face as I first could see this vast continent out through my window. One year of waiting, finally i could see what i had been waiting and longing for all this time!
07.17 i stepped onto african ground for the very first time in my life! A nice, sunny morning, the sun already well underway of heating up the air.
Through immigration went pretty quick, baggage claim, i have experienced faster on bigger airports :-) But who cares, as long as i get my luggage, it doesn`t matter.
Through x-ray an into the arrival-hall, where me met up with our driver and pro-guide Walter.
Exchanging money, and buy the biggest bottle of water i could find, i was getting very thirsty at this time, traveling is exhausting, and the first meeting with the african climate sure made me longing for some cold water!
So, all these things taken care of, we ventured out. I stopped just before exiting the airport doors, just looking outside, and taking in the first view of Namibia. Hauling our luggage and ourselfes to our vehicle for the next almost two weeks, and also my first experience with a land rover.
IMG_20161110_084916 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
So, loading up the trailer, get ourselves installed in our seats with camera-backpacks an computerbags in the aile, we had a pretty long drive ahead down to Sossusvlei.
Surprised by the roads the first miles, but as you all know, and i didn`t, gravel roads are the surface of choice in many places in Namibia once you get out of the more central areas. As it turned out, I took a picture right before the road turned gravel, not knowing at that time :-)
IMG_20161110_095729 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
After this, prepare to be shaken and stirred for the next 11 days :-D
I suspect that the drive is pretty boring and long when all is said and done, but for a first timer, just realxing and looking outside as we passing the landscape and some baboons along the way, thinking about what layes ahead, the drive was a experience by itself.
A stop along the way to stretch our feet, and now I`m really stepping foot on real namibian soil!
DSCF1576 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
Driving further, we were told to close our eyes and not open them until we were told to do so, and when we did, the view was mesmerizing, breathtaking and almost to much to take in in one view, the landscape really opened up!
DSCF1586 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
This is Africa!
Some steep slopes, turns and bends and more gravel roads, we arrived at our destination some time later, the sossus dune lodge, where we would spend the nest days. I was happy with this lodge at the bottom of a small mountain/hill, with a view i have a hard time describing.
Sossus dune lodge by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
A nice place, with a wooden boardwalk to the chalets from the bar/resturant/dining-area. Changing into some clothing more suited for the temperature, it was not very long before the first GT was on the table, and my oh my, that GT is the best i ever had. If it in fact was that good or if the circumstances had anything to do with it, I will leave that up to you to decide ;-) Good dinner, and just socialising the rest of the evening, before bedtime and sleep.
Early start on the first day, naturally, noone travels to Africa on a photo-trip to sleep the whole morning :-) Grabbed our lunch-bags, who btw was not very impressive, and were in the car before 6, drove to the gate and dropped of the ones who had opted for the helicopter ride over the dunes. Originally. I had signed up for the heli-trip, but had to cancel my flight some days before depature.
Dropping them off, we drove off into the dunes, just in time for the sunset, and what a view! One can look at pictures and watch youtube as much as you want, but beeing there in person and seeing it, smelling it, feeling it, is something completely different. The vastness of this landscape makes you feel pretty insignificant. A new experience for me also just focusing on landscape-photo, and sunrise and sunsets are an art-form by itself, but I gave it a go at least..
_D3A3289 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
With the sun starting to climb over the horizon and into the skies, the dunes really came alive, and the amount of photogenic shapes and forms in this landscape is endless, Anywhere you turn your head, and for every minute the sun climbs and changes position in the sky, the scenery changes.
_D3A3382 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
_D3A3540 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
_D3A3621 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
And of course, dune 45 is a popular dune, I however, did not walk across it :-D
_D3A3631 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
_D3A3646 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
The road to nowhere it seems..
_ASW9280 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
_ASW9252 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
Spent a few hours just photographing the dunes before heading back to meet up with the others and eat lunch. Along the way we stopped for some oryx-photography, and my first meeting with african wildlife!
_D3A4036 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
Met up with the others at the Sossusvlei lodge where the helicopter-rides start, and had a good lunch and a cold beer. Very nice! After lunch we headed to solitaire as some small purchases was needed for some of us! And of course, one can not visit this place without taking a few pictures of the old cars, a special scene indeed.
_D3A3260 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
Yep, pretty heavy editing on this picture, but i feel like it needed something extra, if you like the result or not, I don`t know :-)
Then we headed back to our lodge to rest or socialise or whatever people wanted to before we headed out again for the evening.
The evenings destination was dead vlei where we would try to capture this one of a kind place in the afternoon sun and the changing shadows and shades. It`s exhausting walking in this sand! Not a very long walk from the parking space into dead vlei, but it sure got me sweaty and thirsty!
_D3A4197 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
But it was worth the walk!
_D3A4193 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
Anyone who has been there knows the share size of it all, but i took this picture to try to show people how huge everything is. It`s not easy getting the grips on its vastness without any known object to compare it to
_D3A4175 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
Looong shadows :-)
_ASW9484 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
But times go fast when you`re having fun, and the strict time-rules said that we had to leave a little before we wanted to, but i guess its always like that ;-) But we headed back for dinner and a drink, and although it wasn`t many options on the menu, only two plus soup appetizer, the food was indeed very good, and good food after a whole day out and about is very nice!
The next morning we went out about 5.45 after a quick coffee, and headed out. This morning we had decided to park and walk into the landscape and to a area we had seen from the car the day before, that looked very photogenic and nice. A 30 minutes walk from where we parked, and we arrived at a very nice place, with both nice dune-formations and trees and brushes. The place was teeming with birds, and was incredibly nice! The dunes have a lot of life after all!
_ASW9686 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
This dune we "conquered" ;-) We named it "dune 47" after the area code for Norway ;-)
_ASW9740 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
_D3A4280 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
We spent a few hours here before walking back to the car, it was just apprx 30 minutes, but the car seems far far away when photographed from the starting point. This is from top of the dune with all i had to zoom with :-)
_D3A4275 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
Then we headed for lunch at the Sossusvlei lodge again, really nice place, and good food!
The afternoon and evening we spent photographing a specific dune that looked nice, and as we had some wind, we got som lively pictures with the sand blowing on top of the surface. And to use your camera in these conditions, right? The pictures out of my D3 needs a whole lot of dust removal tool, my D4s somehow got out of it much better.
_D3A4375 by asgeir westgård, on Flickr
Spent the evening here, then headed back, to pack and get our gear togheter for the next morning, as we wanted to get an early start for the drive to Erindi.
Not so much to pack, so that went pretty quick, again time for dinner and a drink and just having a good time! An easy task when on a trip like this with nice people with the same interest and goal as you :-)
Next up : Erindi private game reserve.
Edited by The_Norwegian, 30 November 2016 - 04:37 PM.