Thursday, 19 July 2012

By Alex Sasso, interning with us for July from Eckerd College in Florida, USA - a few words about their trip to Sossusvlei:

The last five days have been very adventurous and exciting for us interns here at the Namibian Dolphin Project. Over the weekend the six of us traveled to Sossusvlei, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Namibia. Basically it is a valley surrounded by extremely large red dunes and when there are heavy rains the valley will fill with water, but rain is unusual so it’s very special when there is actually rain in the valley or “vlei”. It was an absolutely breath taking and amazing sight and I encourage anyone to make the trip.

We rented a car, well a 10 passenger van to be exact (we called it “The Beast”) and made the long 6 hour journey on washboard dirt roads. It was very cool to watch the Namibian landscape change as we left Walvis Bay. The scenery changed from desert to grassland and some mountains, to mountains, to grasslands with lots of mountains. We also saw some awesome African wildlife along the road such as Springboks, Oryx and Ostriches, seriously who needs to pay to go on a safari? About 5 hours into the trip we arrived in Solitaire, which is the only place to get gas and any type of food. There is a bakery next to the gas station owned by a man named “Moose” and he makes delicious pastries and bread! Definitely get the apple pie or blueberry crumble! When we arrived at Sossusvlei we got a campsite at Sesriem. That day we walked through this canyon that has some great rocks and small ledges to climb! That night we made a fire and cooked ourselves dinner and attempted to make s’mores (good marshmallows and graham crackers are not easily found in Africa). Sleeping in the tents was an experience as the wind was extremely strong all night and sand covered us in our sleep. Then in the morning on our way out of our campsite to go into the Sossusvlei park our van got stuck in the sand (hmm renting a 4x4 probably would have been a better idea). After about an hour and a half of waiting to get pulled out of the sand, we were free and on our way to finally see the Sossusvlei and it was definitely worth all the trouble.
When we returned back to Walvis Bay we were welcomed back to warm weather thanks to the east wind! Finally we could break out the shorts and t-shirts instead of the usual layers of sweaters, gloves and hats! 

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