On Earth there is no heaven, but there is Namibia. As day rolls in and then out, the ridges across the land shape the sun rays, making Namibia a paradise to delight in nature, invite the chirping birds, insects and other tiny creatures of the lively desert. And so, basking in the gold, we stretch and expand our lungs and realize that Namibia is existing as the perfect definition of “a photographer’s paradise”.
A magic exists in capturing an image as the great ball of fire rises above landscapes like these. And even more so, in witnessing it. If you are a photographer on the scout for your next location, give this a read.
My song of favorites sunny moments, goes like this:
Kalahari Desert at the break of day.
Finding shelter in the large basin like plain of the interior plateau of Southern Africa and residing within the eastern third of Namibia, the Kalahari Desert frolics. Beguiled with a mixture of grass-filled sand plains, age old kopjes, great herds of oryx and zebras and long chains of luscious red dunes - the Namib- marries the Kalahari Desert.
As the first light of the day illuminates the orange sand countering the yellow grass, a charming contrast develops the perfect picture of Namibian glory. Camelthorn trees and distant hills, draped in sunlight.
Sundown in the Quiver Tree Forest.
With the Namibian heat, dry air and rocky terrain, one can only understand for this country to become the ideal habitat for quiver trees or “kokerbome” to thrive. In southerly Namibia, near the little treasure town of Keetmanshoop, stands the famed Quiver Tree Forest in all its mirth. These extraordinary aloes flatter the landscape they occupy.
Their unusually unique bodies light up extraordinarily as the golden hours of the day glances their way – producing stunning silhouettes against the wall of sunset skies.
Evenings on the straight roads.
If you have previously been to Namibia, you will know that Namibia has many ruler-straight roads – be it tar or gravel. You’ll also recall the solitary feeling of being “the only car on the road”. Here, even the main roads bestow the significant feeling of being off the beaten path.
And so, all by yourself, don’t hurry to your next destination, as for in Namibia the whole journey, from point A to B is a destination too. Constantly changing colors and landscapes, your drive will come across the most picturesque and copybook landscapes. But it’s in chasing the beams of setting Namibian sun -that shines through the kicked-up dust of your tires- where a bewildering feeling rushes over your skin.
A Zambezi sunset.
The Zambezi and all her fauna and flora have a magical effect on anyone who enters the bubble, but I have always believed that the secret of this Northern haven is hidden in the sunsets. While birds chirp in various melodies and nestle themselves in for the cozy night and the hippos grunt “sleep tight”, a vast tangerine and magenta fill the skies of blue.
Gleaming of gold, the brightest beams of light shoot up into the heavens. It’s in sunsets like these, where one forgets of the shoes on your feet, the scarf around your neck, the earrings dangling along your cheeks and even the camera in your hand. It’s in moments like this where we forget of all things extra and momentarily feel at one with nature.
Sossusvlei and Deadvlei’s sunbeams.
Sossusvlei is one of Namibia’s greatest tourist and photography destinations – and I completely understand why. Around sunset and sunrise, the rich colors of the sand, the soft shapes of nature and the contrast of shadows versus light, tie together on the surrounding orange dunes – producing not only picturesque moments, but emotions indescribable.
And then, as minutes move along and the sun glides past the landscape of dune tops, you’ll be stunned with the changing shades of orange.
BUT Namibia is filled with many more landscapes, sunsets and sunrises. I suggest you continue to chase your way towards the sun and in your journey, like me, realize how tiny you and your problems are. And so, I hope you’ll be reminded that while sunsets or sunrises lasts a few minutes only, and while a photographs ink will fade, the sun’s beauty will burn in our hearts forever.
Author – Hi! I am Marlene, a connoisseur of Southern Africa (I do hope). I've been lucky enough to call Namibia my home for the past 5 years. A fool for anything concerning poetry, plants, or photographs … and I might suffer from some type of addiction to Namibian sunsets.