Landscapes, meteorites and rock formations, Namibia
The Sesriem Canyon, which is just minute in comparison to the Fish River Canyon , is for sure also worth visiting. It is only about one km long and up to 30 metres deep whereas its width at places is mere two metres. But like its enormous cousin, it comes as a surprise when all of a sudden you come to the edge of a sharp drop. One can easily descend to its bottom and have a nice and easy walk.
Even in dry season there are pools of water in some places of the canyon. Once they were an important source of drinking water for local people and travellers. Actually, the name 'Sesriem' means 'six (ses) thongs(riem)'. In the past the early settlers used to tie together six thongs made of oryx hide to raise the bucket with drinking water from the bottom of the canyon.
Sesriem Canyon is 1 km long and 30 meters deep. It was formed by the Tsauchab river over a period of 2 million years.
The name Sesriem is Afrikaans and means "six belts", since the early settlers had to attach together six belts (made of oryx hides), in order to reach buckets down into the canyon to scoop up water. Since it is located in a desert it is rare that there is water in the bottom of the canyon. As a result it is possible to climb down into the canyon and walk around.
The Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in Africa. Although small compared to canyons in North America it is still impressive. There are several treks down into the canyon but this requires permission with the park services.
This sight definately is worth a small detor coming from South Africa on route to the Namib Desert Park.
There is a good camp ground inside the park, though supplies are limited.
Located on the Kunene River along the border between Namibia and Angola, Epupa Falls is the most dramatic waterfall in Namibia. Getting there requires a very long drive on rough roads, but the scenery is worth it - especially since the falls may soon disappear if the Government of Namibia gets its way and builds a hydroelectric dam that would flood the entire river valley.
Beware of falling meteorite!
The sign that greets you at the entrance is not to be taken serious, since it has been over 80´000 years that this piece of nickel and iron did fall from the sky.
The Hoba Meteorite is about 1m thick and at about 3m long. It weights about 55 tons (I wonder how they would measure this).
He has not left a crater which is a Phenomenon they can not explain.
Today the site is a national Monument and you can see the big iron klutz for 7N$.
I am sure my with-travelers doubted my choose of road. Going off the (seldom enough) tarred road right onto a side-road of gravel that is parted by gates you have to open by hand.
The gates belong to the farms and they are closed so the cattle can not get out. But you are allowed to drive through -just keep closing the gates again.
After several km the land drops and you come to a wonderful view over the Ugab-Terraces.
An old river -the Ugab- has left these stone-pillars standing in the landscape - as in Amerika, the Monument Valley.
The most popular one is Vingerklip. 44m diameters and 35m high. It stands like a finger -hence the name.
You can go and have a look at it from up close.
There is also a Lodge here. (I don?t know how it is)
Most Travel Books seem not to mention this. But it is worth both a look and a walk: the Giants Playground.
It is only a short distance further on the road you drove in to the Garingas Quivertree forest.
There are a lot of stones in this area, it actually looks like some giants have played with them, piled them up and made figures.
There is a short round walk through these piles and fairy-landscape. There are of course also Quivertrees here, but they do not grow as a real forest.
Take some water with you anyway. It can get real hot.
By the way: if you see some white "stuff" on the rocks, that is from the rock-dassies that live here. They look like guineapigs but are actually the closest relative to the elephant.
No entrance fee (it is included in the Quivertree fee)
Sink holes are caused by the roof collapsing on an underground cave, filling the gap with water. WWII vehicles are thought to be dumped in this hole - no-one knows how deep it is (divers have tried - unsuccessfully - to locate the bottom) An interesting and different place to amke a short stop.
Epupa Falls: the waterfalls of the Kunene river between Namibia and Angola.
Pretty impressive waterfalls amid a lush vegetation surrouned by an arid landscape. Quite a few Himba people live in the area in small villages and hamlets.
Mostly uninhabited, this area became famous by Henno Martin's book 'The sheltering Desert' which recounts their time hiding here during WWII. Beautiful scenery.
Although stark and devoid of trees, the scenery in southern Namibia is spectacular. Stopping to take pictures or admiring the views is never difficlt and there is very little traffic.
Outjo is another breathtaking area with it's famous Vingerklip rockformation. It stands again in stark contrast to previous places and so it goes on all the time. Namibia IS different!