Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dead Vlei

To kick things off, I have chosen to write about a place that I find absolutely out of this world - Dead Vlei. I came across it last year during my Cape to Vic overland camping trip. It did not disappoint and it was one of the high points of my southern Africa adventure.

Dead Vlei or "dead marsh"

Dead Vlei is an old salt pan aptly named for its eerie dead appearance in the central Namib desert - Namibia (my favourite country in southern Africa), which had no water since the river changed its course. The remaining skeletons of the trees, which are believed to be about 900 years old, are now black because the intense sun and the wood does not decompose because it is so dry. It is found among the tallest dunes in the world, reaching some 300 meters. It's a long 70 km drive from the Namib-Naukluft National Park gates to the dunes of Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei. One of the many reasons to go is to experience the sun rise (or sun set) over the huge golden sand dunes of the Namib desert. The skies which are among the clearest on the planet provide striking visions of sunset, sunrise and the stars.

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