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Springbok and Oryx on Sossusvlei Flats

The drive from Sesriem, the gateway to the region, to Sossusvlei takes slightly over an hour and the park gates are only open between sunrise and sunset. As expected, every km/mile of the drive is breathtaking.

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Springbok

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Oryx

 

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Oryx

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Eerie Skeletons and Towering Red Dunes of Deadvlei in Sossusvlei, Namibia

Deadvlei (Dead Marsh) is a white clay pan in the Sossusvlei area of the Namib desert, Namibia. Surrounded by the highest sand dunes in the world, Deadvlei was formed when the river Tsauchab flooded it’s banks and formed shallow pools. Camel thorn trees once grew in abundance here, but decades of drought and the advancement of the nearby dunes ultimately blocked the water source, and the trees in the vlei were unable to survive. The trees are believed to be up to 900 years old and have been dead since the 14th century. Scorched black by the intense sun and able to stave off decomposition due to the arid climate and lack of insects, these bizarre skeletons along with the white clay pan and surrounding red dunes together make for one of the most unique and beautiful landscapes on earth. Click on any image to view Hi-Res version.

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Epic view from the top of Big Daddy dune of the Deadvlei pan and surrounding landscape.
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Entering the Deadvlei pan

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Skeletal remains of long since dead camel thorn trees

 

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Skeletal remains of long dead dead camel thorn trees

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Some life stubbornly persists in the pan

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Scorched black by the intense sun

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Too dry to decompose

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Barren forest amongst towering red dunes.

Climbing Big Daddy Dune, Namibia

Sossusvlei, with it’s massive red dunes and bleached salt pans, is Namibia’s most recognizable landscape. Big Daddy, the tallest dune in the Sossusvlei area and one of the highest dunes in the world, towers over the surrounding dunes at 325m (1,066ft). Extremely high heat and perpetually cloudless skies makes for an extraordinarily arduous 2 hour trek to the top, however climbers are rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Click on any image to open Hi-Res copy.

Approaching Big DaddyExtreme temperatures and long travel time to the dune mandates a very early predawn start to the trailhead. To grasp the scale of the dune, click on the above image to open a larger image, and look for the specks of people over our heads that have started up the ridge.

 

Starting Ascent

10 minutes down, almost 2 hours to go.

 

Dune Ridge

Windswept ridge.

 

Big Daddy Ridge

Almost to the summit, but about to get sandblasted by heavy winds.

 

BD View

Epic views of the Deadvlei and surrounding landscape.

 

Sossusvlei Sandstorm

Sossusvlei

Sossusvlei, consisting of a salt and clay pan and surrounding massive red dunes, is located in the Namib Desert, and is the worlds oldest desert. It is where the dunes join together to prevent the Tsauchab River from flowing any further towards the Atlantic, however the river very rarely reaches this arid pan. Walking over the windswept Namibian pan at the beginning of our first climb to the dunes felt as if we were walking on Mars during a sandstorm.

Namibian 4 x 4

Kalahari Ferrari

Namibia, Southern Africa – 2017

Spring of 2017 found my family heading off on an epic bucket-list journey through the wilds of Namibia in southern Africa. Traveling with Southern Cross Safaris, we planned to spend two weeks on backcountry safari, sleeping in tents and utilizing their custom-built “Unimog” off-road vehicle to penetrate deeper into the  bush then normally travelled. What follows is a few (lots) of my favorite images from the trip, which were whittled down from the more than 3000 images I captured. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

We start with a shot of a Namibian donkey cart, or Kalahari Ferrari, the quintessential Namibian 4×4 form of transportation seen throughout southern Africa. These fellas bid adieu to us as we left the paved roads a little over an hour into the trip, and for the better part of the next two weeks.

 

Street Art, Bushwick Collective, Brooklyn, NY

 

Bushwick is a working class neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Bushwick Collective is an outdoor gallery on the streets of Bushwick that was founded in 2012 by Joseph Ficalora, a local resident who gets owners to donate space on buildings for street art. The Collective now attracts artists from around the world as well as legendary NYC artists and local Bushwick artists. The collection is temporary, with the average mural lasting up to 12 months before being replaced. Here are a few photos of the art taken during my visit in the fall of 2016. Each image can be clicked to enlarge.

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