The nurturing Namib Desert

The title may seem slightly odd. The harsh, hot, dry desert… and we want to call it nurturing? It may seem crazy, but we have not lost our minds.

Some may have read the book “Wennes Krieg gibt, gehenwir in die Wüste” or seen the film adaptation, The Sheltering Desert. For those of you who haven’t, here is a quick pro quo.

Rights to Namibia Scientific Society

In the early 1900’s, with the outbreak of the Second World War, two geologists ventured into the Namib Desert. Henno Martin and Hermann Korn avoided arrest in, then South West Africa, by fleeing into the unknown desert landscape. Enabling their passive position on the war.

Rights to Namibia Scientific Society

These two men and their pooch, Otto, lived in the Namib for two-and-a-half-years. While both men were familiar with the desert world, living in it would be very different to studying it. Hunting game for sustenance and spending the evenings listening to a radio. Said radio would become their only connection to the world at war. These men faced dire circumstances both physically and mentally. Yet they survived.

Their experience in the desert allows for awe of the Khoi-San, who lived nomadically by nature. Finding ways to survive no matter where they were.

Rights to Namibian Scientific Society

Unfortunately Martin and Korn’s story does not maintain nomadic effect. When they finally emerged from the desert, they were taken into custody for draft evasion.

While these men did find it difficult to survive at times. And while the emotional and mental drain that joined their physical hardships was unavoidable… many lessons can be learned from their story.

Rights to Manni Goldbeck

A harsh desert does not need to be hostile. And when you know where to look, you will always find nourishment.

Experience the Namib Desert in its true form at the Gondwana Namib Desert Lodge. See the true nature of the desert world.

If you have any information on the Sheltering Desert or personal experiences, we invite you to share them in the comment section below.

Author – Jescey Visagie is a proud Namibian and is passionate about writing and language. Tag along for the ride as she tries to uncover new insights into Namibia and explores what the country has to offer.

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Did you know Namibian holidays offer phenomenal internet?

The first thing all guests ask when arriving at a Gondwana property is: “What is the WIFI password?” Most people don’t realise just how integral internet is to your holiday. It starts off with the basic details, being able to stay in touch with your family and loved ones back home.

Rights to SOS erasmus

Rights to SOS erasmus

And secondly it refers directly to being able to share your holiday experience with the social media world. And let’s get serious…who doesn’t want to share their holiday experience with the world?

Rights to Pinterest

Rights to Pinterest

What most people do not know…is that Namibia has fantastic internet in comparison to the rest of Africa. Yes locals!

Rights to DIS

Rights to DIS

We may not always agree with this, but it is indeed a fact. Not only does Namibia make use of fibreoptic lines (for us layman’s this is just high-speed data transmission), but we also are one of the only countries that make use of 4G!

Rights to Marius Classen

Rights to Marius Classen

And what makes all this information relevant? Simply put, all Gondwana Collection properties offer guests the use of complimentary WIFI in the main area.

Rights to Roxanne Reid

Etosha Safari Camp – Rights to Roxanne Reid

This way you can share all your special Namibian moments with your loved once around the world.

OECD org

Rights to OECD org

And to take the Gondwana and Namibian experience to the next level… an internet hotspot via satellite, in the guest rooms and across the property at a nominal fee!

Namib Desert Lodge

Namib Desert Lodge

Namib Desert Lodge will be the first property to test this new technology, but we are sure this will make every moment instantly shareable.

If you have any Gondwana Social Media moments, we invite you to share them in the comment section below.

Author – Jescey Visagie is a proud Namibian and is passionate about writing and language. Tag along for the ride as she tries to uncover new insights into Namibia and explores what the country has to offer.

Jescey Visagie

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What makes Deadvlei in Namibia so unique?

This natural phenomenon can be found close to Sossusvlei, where the Namib Desert is in full control of the environment.

Deadvlei - Image: en.wikipedia.org

Deadvlei – Image: en.wikipedia.org

First off, let’s take a look at the name, ‘Deadvlei’. So, true to the Namlish culture, this name is a combination of the English word ‘dead’ – obviously – and the Afrikaans word ‘vlei’, which means marsh.

Deadvlei follow markers - Image: http://www.roamfarandwide.com

Deadvlei follow markers – Image: http://www.roamfarandwide.com

Essentially this place is called the dead marsh. Why? Simply because it used to be a marsh filled with water that has, over time, dried out and left a nice white clay pan in its place.

Deadvlei - Image: http://seattlestravels.com

Deadvlei – Image: http://seattlestravels.com

Now picture a dry, white clay pan set into the rich, fiery orange of the Namib desert…it makes for quite a contrast.

"Deadvlei salt pan" - Image: http://travelspirit333.com

“Deadvlei salt pan” – Image: http://travelspirit333.com

It is assumed that the clay pan formed over a thousand years ago. Apparently, the Tsauchab River would flood after heavy rainfall and form shallow pools of water.

"Former oasis" - Image: http://ripper.blogspot.com

“Former oasis” – Image: http://ripper.blogspot.com

These pools or rather, marshes, allowed camel thorn trees to grow in their midst. However, after 200 years the area’s climate shifted and a drought set in.

The sand dunes that steadily began to fill the area, quickly blocked off the Tsauchab River along with any other possible water sources.

Image: http://www.mnn.com

Image: http://www.mnn.com

No water, obviously means no survival for the trees that had grown in that area. But they stuck around nonetheless. The climatic change was so harsh that the trees dried out, instead of decomposing.

Blackened state

Image: http://www.360doc.com

The sun helped the process along by scorching the wood and immortalizing the trees in their blackened state.

Deadvlei - Image: Pinterest

Deadvlei – Image: Pinterest

When you look over the marsh now, all you see are the blackened remains of the trees. Quite a sight in its own right, especially so if you consider that the trees are 900 years old.

"Curved trees" - Image: http://ciapannaphoto.wordpress.com

“Curved trees” – Image: http://ciapannaphoto.wordpress.com

The dunes surrounding Deadvlei add to the astonishing sight, as they reach up to almost 400 metres.

Image: http://wild-wings-safaris.com

Image: http://wild-wings-safaris.com

Image: www.bemytravelmuse.com

Image: www.bemytravelmuse.com

This is definitely a sight to add to your Namibian Bucket list! Check out Namibia Desert Lodge as base from which to explore Deadvlei.

If you have an interesting Deadvlei story or experience, please share it with us in the comment section below.

Author – Jescey Visagie is a proud Namibian and is passionate about writing and language. Tag along for the ride as she tries to uncover new insights into Namibia and explores what the country has to offer.

Jescey Visagie

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