Photos from the Namib Desert

Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Dalene & Pete Heck
I am not a morning person. Nor very patient.

Those two facts should have meant that in theory, I would deeply dislike travel in Namibia.

Particularly during our time in the Namib desert, because to see the animals that roam freely, to avoid the crushing heat, and to see the shadows fall at just the right angle on the massive dunes of Sossusvlei, we were often on the move before dawn. And getting anywhere in Namibia, with roads largely covered in sand and loose gravel, meant hours and hours of driving.

At times I got cranky. Mostly when I was hangry of course, which is perfectly reflected in my notes that say the outcrops of mountains sometimes looked like well-marbled steak or large crumbs of chocolate cake.

But ultimately it was those variations – from the deep red of the steak to the rich brown of the chocolate and the brilliant orange of the tallest dunes – that kept me buoyed on those long days and anxious for more. It was, more than any other place we’ve visited, that which so truly holds to the title of otherwordly. And thus all of those things that should have distracted me from enjoying our time were barely a factor.

(And as I learned, whining isn’t allowed anyway.)

The dunes are sensual, I said to Pete as we neared them. Can I call piles of sand sensual?

Africa is Not for Sissies

Here is the best from our several days in this magical part of Namibia…

Moon Mountain

Our hotel in the Namib desert, and we still dream about it.

Empty Roads

The view from our hotel room (which was a luxurious tent).

Namibia Star Trails

What fun Pete had on long nights of such dark skies!

Namib Desert Scenery
Tiny Beings
Burnt Out
Life and Death

Sossusvlei, a clay and salt pan surrounded by high dunes, is the reason we were drawn to Namibia in the first place.

The dunes are sensual, I said to Pete as we neared them. Can I call piles of sand sensual?

No two curved the same. The seduction was in their simplicity.

Big Sand Pile Sossusvlei
Climbing the Dune

Snapseed Trees
Lonely Tree
Deadvlei Models

Tourists in Deadvlei
Salt Pan
Looking Up

where we stayed

I’m not kidding when I say we still talk about the Moon Mountain Lodge and dream of returning. We stayed in a luxury tent (with a free upgrade…yay for the off-season!) and were spoiled completely with every amenity we could imagine and the top chef in Namibia in the kitchen. The sunset view from our deck up on that mountain was so good we decided not to even share a photo with you. That is one memory we’re selfishly keeping to ourselves.
28 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • July 27 2015

    Wow.. what a surreal place. I can see how much fun it would be to write about and to photograph! I may have to add another item to my bucket list thanks to you two!
    Jeff Cruz recently posted..The Best Messenger Camera Bag

    • Pete
      August 4 2015

      No problem, let’s run a workshop here!

  • Liz
    July 27 2015

    Beautiful pictures! I love the circling stars!

    • Pete
      August 4 2015

      Thanks Liz, that one took a while to do πŸ™‚

  • Tricia @ The Adventure List
    July 27 2015

    wow the colors are unreal. I’m not a desert person but I’m stunned by the views. Talk about having the world to yourself. So open and vast. The hotel looks amazing.

    • Pete
      August 4 2015

      One of the best hotels/tents we’ve ever stayed in.

  • July 27 2015

    Yup, those are definitely some sensual sand dunes.

    You have me totally convinced – I’m SO going to Africa next year!
    Amanda recently posted..5 Lessons From 5 Years of Travel Blogging

    • Pete
      August 4 2015

      Boom, that’s what we love to hear!

  • July 28 2015

    Beautiful! I’m always amazed by pictures from Namibia. πŸ™‚
    Traveling Rockhopper recently posted..Argentina – Ice-cream

    • Pete
      August 4 2015

      Me too!! I can’t wait to get back.

  • Ibrahim
    July 28 2015

    Yes you can call dunes sensual πŸ™‚
    Great pictures thank you for sharing , I enjoyed them for real.

    • Pete
      August 4 2015

      Cheers Ibrahim, I appreciate your comment for real πŸ™‚

  • July 28 2015

    I have not seen much of Africa’s desert. What a thrill to look at your pictures and enjoy a part of Africa that is so beautiful in a different way.

    • Pete
      August 4 2015

      Thank you Wanda. I had not seen much of it either before arriving. It sure left an impression though.

  • July 29 2015

    Just wow guys! Stunning doesn’t really do these photos justice. Also, very jealous (but in a good way:)
    Jenia recently posted..DIY Danube Bend Trip

    • Pete
      August 4 2015

      Thanks Jenia, really appreciate it.

  • July 29 2015

    Really stunning photos! I may have to add Namibia to my travel list now!
    Leigh recently posted..Things that would never happen living in a small town

    • Pete
      August 4 2015

      Thanks Leigh, I can’t wait to return!

  • July 29 2015

    Never mind about the sunset… don’t think am anyway going to get out of this beauty-trance your pictures have left me in, anytime soon.
    Arti (@artisdiary) recently posted..… From the Ghats of River Godavari in Nashik: Who Am I?

    • Pete
      August 4 2015

      Very kind Arti, thank you πŸ™‚

  • Definitely “otherwordly”!! One of my dream destinations and now, with you holding back on that photo from the lodge, I’ll have to go and see it for myself!
    Carolann – One Modern Couple recently posted..The Travel Lifestyle: More Than Beaches & Bucket Lists

    • Pete
      August 4 2015

      I have a feeling a few people are going to be heading there now πŸ™‚

  • August 2 2015

    Great, exactly why I’ve always wanted to see the dunes of Namibia.Sensational shots – except for the swirling night sky. I think I suddenly have a touch of vertigo πŸ™‚
    Frank (bbqboy)
    Frank recently posted..A year of Airbnb apartments (July 2014 Ҁ“ July 2015)

    • Pete
      August 4 2015

      Lol, thanks Frank. It was my first attempt at the swirling stars and I think it came out ok πŸ™‚

  • August 4 2015

    Just stunning images! It’s like the sunset-coloured version of White Sands in New Mexico, which I couldn’t believe existed in all of its simplicity of forms until I saw it for myself! But on top of all its beauty, this is also AFRICA! ‘Nuff said.

  • August 4 2015

    Wow, those colours! And such vastness – makes you feel kind of small, doesn’t it? I think i’m going to have to add Namibia to the list…

  • August 18 2015

    Amazing pictures!!! and this place is beautiful
    Izy Berry recently posted..How to capture the best moments of your holiday

  • December 7 2016

    Loving this post. We just spent time doing a road trip through Namibia and it was one of the best experiences we’ve ever had. It looks like you guys had the same wonderful experience!

    Mark and Mim x

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