Namibia - Sossusvlei by Alysa Pakkidis

Staff Report: Namibian Highlights -- Sossusvlei

There I was in Sossusvlei, Namibia, staring at “Big Mama” while eating my picnic lunch with the rest of the Namibia Misfits. That’s what our group of eight travelers called ourselves, but only because we hailed from all over and our age range was so wildly varied. Our collective goal in visiting Namibia was the same, however – to see the red dunes! They were a highlight of my Namibia trip with GeoEx this past June.

Our red dunes adventure started early in the morning after a restful sleep at the Kuala Adventure Camp. The Namibia Misfits and our incredibly knowledgeable guide, Jeremiah, headed out in our safari-style jeep to explore, photograph, and climb these giant beauties. As the sun rose above the horizon, I had a feeling that it was going to be an unforgettable day. I was not disappointed.

Though I had seen many pictures of the red dunes, I still was not prepared for their beauty. They were infinitely more striking and majestic in person than I ever imagined them to be. Watching the colors change and different shadow shapes appear as the sun moved across the sky was simply mesmerizing. Every time the sun shifted, another beautiful moment appeared right before my eyes.

At one point we walked up the dunes; the experience was surprisingly meditative and the panoramic views of the vast surrounding landscape gave me a new perspective on this otherworldly place.

By mid-day we were seeking shade to cool off from the desert sun, eat our much deserved lunch, and reflect on our journey so far. That is when Jeremiah took us to the spot where we came face-to-face with “Big Mama.” She was magnificent in size and grace. It was the perfect backdrop to the start of what turned out to be the perfect trip.

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Don George, Editor

Don George is Editor in Chief of Wanderlust: Literary Journeys for the Discerning Traveler. He has been Travel Editor for the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle and Salon.com, and Global Travel Editor for Lonely Planet Publications. Don has published eight books, including Travel Writing, A Moveable Feast, The Kindness of Strangers, and Tales from Nowhere. E-mail him at [email protected]

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