2017-07-09: Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in Namibia

I am so excited to finally begin sharing some stories and photos from my recent adventure in Southern Africa! It’s taken quite a while to go through my catalogue of images and work out which ones are worthy of further review, but I am finally in a spot where I can begin the fun part of editing.  I have decided to create posts highlighting some of the experiences at each of the areas I spent time in, and since starting at the beginning of the journey makes sense to my brain, that’s what I am going to do.

The first stop we had was at the Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, a beautiful and very remote location in north western Namibia. I had anticipated amazing landscapes, and the area delivered that and then some, but I honestly didn’t anticipate the abundance of wildlife that we saw. We were lucky to arrive in Africa after a wet season that had provided much more rain than expected, and even in the desert, there was water to be found and amazing pockets of lush greenery amongst the sand and the rocks.

The camp was absolutely beautiful, and we were thrilled when we were told our guide would be Chris, and then realized that we had met him during our previous trip to Namibia, in Damaraland. During 3 nights at the camp, we had the opportunity to take a day trip to the coast and see the dunes and the seal colony, we spent time with the desert adapted elephants and we saw one of the few desert lions on a giraffe kill (amongst lots of other things!).

I hope you enjoy these first images from my time in Namibia. There will definitely be more of them to share in the future.

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.

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A sandstorm blowing through an area near the camp.  The days we were there, we had foggy mornings (that cleared very quickly), heat that built throughout the day, and then windy afternoons which brought up sandstorms.  It made for some surreal and beautiful photo conditions.

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Desert-adapted elephants graze on devil’s thorn; a plant in bountiful supply after the rain the region experienced.

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A steenbok pauses with some rather barren looking desert in the background.  But despite appearances, even in these areas, there is a lot of life to be found.

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On an early morning drive, I spotted this wild cat in the drive river bed.  Given how far we were away, I was rather impressed with my spotting abilities.

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A pair of oryx graze on devil’s thorn alongside the road.

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Due to the heavy rains prior to our arrival, the normal driving route to the coast was closed, and we ended up taking a 20 minute flight to get there instead of driving.  The landscape from the air is absolutely stunning.

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A small part of the seal colony along the atlantic coast.  The smell in the area was pretty overwhelming, so we were all taking photos through the closed windows of the vehicle.

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We stopped for a photo op at the top of a large dune; mist from the ocean can be seen in the distance.  I’m pretty sure my Dad and Chris were discussing something to do with the engine or 4-wheel drive capabilities of the vehicle.

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The desert provided the clear skies and unobstructed views necessary to try a bit of astro photography.  I didn’t return home with many more night sky images, as most of the camps were in lush places without a clear view to the sky.

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Elephants heading out of the riverbed after a drink and a mud bath.

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Morning drama on a game drive.  After spending a half hour or so following lion tracks through the desert, our guide Chris spotted a giraffe acting rather odd, walking in circles around a clump of bushes.  When we drove closer, we could see the drag marks into the bushes, and a lioness feeding on a baby giraffe.  From the tracks surrounding the bushes, the mother giraffe had attempted to charge the lioness several times, but it was too late to be of an help to her baby, which we found out was only a few days old.

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It is easy to feel badly for the mother giraffe in this situation, but the lions in the desert are in rather dire circumstances, and I was thankful even to have the opportunity to see one, let alone one on a kill.  Several desert lions were shot or poisoned by a farmer in the last year, in retaliation for livestock being taken.  Human-wildlife conflict is a complex subject, but it is especially tough to hear about animals, who’s populations have already dwindled substantially, taking a hit like that.

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A lovely sunset from a hilltop sundowner drinks stop.  The wind was gusting incredibly, but I managed to get this shot while holding a glass of wine in one hand, camera in the other, all while being pelted by blowing sand.  A rather fun evening!

 

Please visit:
www.jennifersawickyphotography.com for wildlife, landscape and nature inspired artwork.

and

https://shopvida.com/collections/voices/jennifer-sawicky for textiles inspired by my photography.

3 thoughts on “2017-07-09: Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp in Namibia

  1. Pingback: 2017-07-16: Highlights of Little Ongava – Jennifer Sawicky Photography

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