Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NAMIBIA - Beauty and the Beasts- Part 3

Leaving Etosha through the South-West gate, we were now headed to the heart of Damaraland. Very similar to the scenery of Monument valley in the US and often called the Utah of Namibia, we stayed at the Vingerklip lodge
Panorama at Vingerklip lodge
This place on a 3000ha (yes!) farm, with its huge eroded rock formations, turned out to be great for landscape photography. 

Petrified forest
The following day we made a quick stop a the Petrified forest. A place full of fossilized trunks of trees, that came to their final resting place an estimated 280 million years ago after floodings brought them here from central Africa.
C39 road near Wereldsend
Later in the afternoon we got to the "Skeleton Coast National park",  a park where one can drive for hours without seeing anybody and which protects the top third of the Namibian coast. 

Namib Skeleton Coast Park
The only option to stay inside the park, Terrace Bay Resort, turned out to be a great. It consists of about 10 small cabins on the deserted beach and has an excellent restaurant. The whole village counts 50 people! The next one down the road is 3 to 4 hours away. The end of the world! 

Shipwreck (1975), Benguela Eagle, Skeleton Coast park
Next we headed South along the Skeleton coast, which is mainly known for its shipwrecks and stories of stranded sailors walking for days trying to find food and water...

Rusty oil rig at Skeleton coast
During my initial preparation I bumped into some interesting images of a dis-used oil rig hidden in the dunes. Looking for the correct GPS coordinates online payed off. 

Jackal living in an oil rig at Skeleton coast
A family of jackals lived in the rusty structure and it turned out to be a good place for some HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography.

Cape Fur Seal at Cape Cross Seal colony
Just a few hours North of Swakopmund, which was our next layover place, we visited the Cape Cross Seal Reserve. With about 300 000 Cape Fur seals living here, it is the largest land based seal colony in the world. Oh boy it was smelly!  

Part 4 of this series (probably the last one), will pick up from Swakopmund on our way to one of the other highlights of the trip. 
More soon...

Till then,
Happy shooting,

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