on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Deadvlei

Simon Harrison reports from Namibia

Simon Harrison

Imaging satellite engineer with a penchant for travel and landscape

simonharrisonphotography.com



Under cover of darkness we left the tarmac of the road and embarked on a ten kilometre stretch of sand in the direction of Sossusvlei. My wife was slightly anxious. I’d never driven a 4x4 off road before, let alone in deep sand, in a Namibian desert, at night, and she knows full well how driven I am in getting pictures and that I'll generally do whatever it takes in order to get them. The headlight beams bounced around the terrain ahead as we bounded and skidded over the undulations and across furrows made by the previous day’s vehicles. The road (although you can hardly call it that) was empty of traffic but for us. We were a hundred kilometres from Sesriem, the nearest town, and deep within the Namib desert. It’s only been possible to build access to this place by virtue of a natural corridor between the dunes which has formed over millennia, and is big enough to be visible from space. The few-hundred-metre high piles of sand on either side are kept at bay by an underground river; beyond them, all around for hundreds of miles, lay the sea of red dunes of the Namib. The engine growled as I fought to keep up the Toyota's momentum through the deepest areas of sand, the steering wheel often oriented in a different direction to the one we were moving in.



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