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On every Photographer's Bucket List: NAMIBIA

by Editor Rob Darby 

'Deadvlei' by Roberto Marchegiani


'Natural Curves (Namibia Dunes)' by Xenia Ivanoff Erb

For those of you less obsessed with maps and geography, a little orientation on Namibia might be a good place to start. Namibia is located in the southwest corner of Africa. Namibia was known as “German South-West Africa” and “South-West Africa” from the time of German colonization in the late 1800s through World War 1 when South Africa took control of the country. Namibia gained independence from South Africa in 1990, but the vestiges of prior colonization still remain, with German and Afrikaans names defining places of interest.

'Bushman' by Giuseppe Damico


'the goat keeper' by Piet Flour


Namibia is home to the Namib Desert in the west part of the country, considered one of the oldest on earth, as well as the Kalahari desert in the eastern part of the country. The word “Namib” means appropriately enough, “vast place.” Namibia is a vast place indeed, with solitary places to explore and spectacular opportunities for photography, especially in the landscape, abstract, aerial and nature genres.


'Namibia Untamed' by Marsel van Oosten



'Deadvlei, Sossusvlei, Namibia' by Mariana van der Walt



'Sossusvlei' by Hans-Wolfgang Hawerkamp



'Spinal' by Leah Kennedy


I visited Namibia in 2017.  I was drawn to the country after seeing the otherworldly images taken by intrepid photographers of the giant, red sand dunes of the Namib Desert in Sossusvlei, the burned trees standing as sentinels on the dried salt pan of Deadvlei, the unique coastline of Namibia known as the Skeleton Coast where the sand spills into the Atlantic Ocean and the “skeletons” of many wrecked ships remain, and the ghost town of Kolmanskop in southern Namibia that is being reclaimed by sand, wind, and time.


'Quiver Twin' by Marsel van Oosten



'from here to eternity' by Irca Caplicas



'Tok Tokkie Desert' by Marc Pellisier



'Relief for a Dry Land' by Morkel Erasmus


Sossuvlei is in the heart of the Namib Desert, located to the West and South of the landlocked capital of Windhoek.  It is a short 1 hour flight from Windhoek to the lodges in and around Sossusvlei.  Deadvlei and the huge red sand dunes of the Namib desert are found here.  There are many lodges in and around the national park near Sesriem, but the only way to photograph the park, in particular Deadvlei, at sunrise is to physically stay in the park.  The rest of us had to wait at the park entrance until sunrise to enter.  Another popular way to see the park is by hot air balloon.


'Namib Dunes' by Muriel Vekemans



'Resurrection' by Marsel van Oosten



'Dune' by Rob Darby


To the north and west are Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, anchor cities of the Skeleton Coast that stretches to the North and West.  Here is where the dunes of the Namib desert spill into the cold, currents of the Atlantic Ocean. The landscape is stark and barren, but has its own minimalist and wild beauty.  Visitors sometimes drive themselves up the coast from Walvis Bay, but there are also fly-in lodges that provide a different way of experiencing the Skeleton Coast.


'Sea and Sand' by Luis Câmara



'Skeleton Coast Aerial' by De Winter & Van Rossem



'Meeting Namib' by Roberto Sysa Molola

Further to the south is the ghost town of Kolmanskop.  In the early 20th century, diamonds were discovered in the area and it became a boom town.  The diamonds were so prevalent, or so legend has it, that they could be picked up off of the ground.  Over 1000 Kg of diamonds were mined here before the prices plummeted during WWII and the city was abandoned.  The buildings are being reclaimed by the land, as wind and sand consume what was built over 100 years ago.


'Invasion of the Dunes' by Marsel van Oosten



'Kolmanskop - I' by Giovanni Casini



'Vanish Into Oblivion' by Ira Aschermair


From Etosha National Park and it’s excellent abundance of wildlife to the surprisingly modern and, dare I say, “trendy” capital of Windhoek, which was an unexpectedly comfortable place to stay after a week in the Namib desert, there is a wide variety of places to explore in this vast country.


'At the end of the day' by Martin Groth



'Hug' by Morkel Erasmus



'Curious Zebra' by Marc Pellisier



'Giants of Etosha' by Morkel Erasmus

I never quite got the hang of pronouncing the names of the places we visited (my German and Afrikaans being non-existent), but sometimes pictures say more than words anyway.  And the language of photography is universal and generally needs no translation, so the many images of Namibia by artists do far more justice to this interesting country than any words that I write ever could.


'the stars of Namibia' by Piet Flour



'Deadvlei' by Hans-Wolfgang HawerKamp


'Sossuvlei' by sarawut intarob



'Dune Shadows' by John Rickwood



'Path to the rainbow' by Pavol Stranak

Very interesting article presented with wonderful images from great artists of 1x. Thanks Rob and Yvette! Congrats to all!!
wonderful impressions, amazing collection. Thanks a lot! Thanks Yvette and Rob!
Excellent interesting article, fabulous photo collection. Well done Rob & Yvette (and all the superb photographers)!!!!!!
A beautiful article illustrated with impressive shots. Thank you, Rob ! Thank you, Yvette !
Thanks for your appreciation, dear Vlad!