Desert Beauty Namibia; Groote Berge

 

Sepia sun shadows, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Sepia sun shadows, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

From Kamanjab, I followed the C 40 out west, it felt like 40 deg. Celsius already. Another dry, dusty and corrugated track ahead of me. I have been told that desert elephants and lions would inhabit the ‘Groote Berge’ (Big Mountains), good enough reason to go out and have a look. These animals are rare due to its arid habitat, and their habitat is huge. They are even harder to spot, even if you drive by closely.

Red sand desert towards Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Red sand desert towards Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

The landscape changed into red sand,  dotted with granite boulder mounts here and there.

Zimba on red sand surrounded by boulders, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Zimba on red sand surrounded by boulders, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Just like someone oversized left their marbles there.

Boulders piled up, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Boulders piled up, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Interestingly enough, they are mostly piled up.

Scrub and shadows, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Scrub and shadows, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Some scrubs and other interesting vegetation grows out here.

Just passed Groote Berge pass, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Just passed Groote Berge pass, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Driving over ‘Groote Berg Pass’ was another very dusty affair.

Smaller boulders cover the landscape, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Smaller boulders cover the landscape, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

The boulders decimated to bowling ball size and literally covered the whole land.

A few bushes lined the dust track, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

A few bushes lined the dust track, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

‘Die Groote Berge’ lined the horizon afar.

Mission impossible in early days, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Mission impossible in early days, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Quite a dramatic scene. This land was impossible to drive by car, imagine the early ‘Vortrekkers’ and explorers on horses and carriages. Mission impossible.

Swirly tree, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Swirly tree, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

The odd tree with green leaves popped up, spring is well on its way.

Moonlike surroundings, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Moonlike surroundings, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Some scrubs looked intriguing. Like an oversized ginger root popping out of the hard soil,  they seem to thrive here in all sizes. As arid and dry this land appears, it has its own desert beauty.

Desert Mountains, Groote Berge,Kaokoveld, Namibia

Desert Mountains, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Mountains near and far lined the horizon, whilst driving through the moon like area.  As much as I could, driving and spotting, no elephants or lions were seen. It was steaming hot meanwhile, like so many times before.

Hoamib River gorge, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Hoamib River gorge, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Zimba’s dusty thermometer showed 45 degrees C as I turned east at Khowarib. Here, the ‘Hoamib River’ is still partially flowing.

Force off water, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Force of water, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

It had carved a gorge through the soft limestone. I was hoping some desert animals would show, even with human settlements nearby. 

Zimba on the way through the gorge, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Zimba on the way through the gorge, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

I followed the gorge a few kilometers and found a nice camp spot.

Dusty gorge, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Dusty gorge, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

The only reason I didn’t drive deeper into the gorge was the extreme amount of bulldust. Gusty afternoon trade winds pushed dust clouds through some parts of the canyon. No thanks.

Great spot for a night, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Great spot for a night, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

However, it was a nice spot to spend the night. No animals showed up though. With only limited time left on my African adventure, I need to take Zimba further south. I returned the same road until Palmwag, and headed straight for the ‘Damaraland’.

Kudus and their intriguing looks, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Kudus and their intriguing looks, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

3 Kudu males were resting and eating on a leafy tree not far from the road.

Impressive antlers, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Impressive antlers, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

They had some impressive antlers, these are grown males.

Should I stay or should I go?, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Should I stay or should I go?, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

As curious as they were, they didn’t want to give up this picnic spot.

Food and shade in one, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Food and shade in one, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Food and shade in one, a rare treat in the desert.

More depth in colours, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

More depth in colours, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

The early morning sun gave a different light to yesterday’s harsh, bright light.

A bit of everything, Groote Berge,Kaokoveld, Namibia

A bit of everything, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

The boulders were lining the veld like an oversized snooker table, with the odd tree in open space. 

The long and dusty road, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

The long and dusty road, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

The gusty winds already kicked in, blowing tail dust clouds to the west.

Surreal desert image, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Surreal desert image, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

A good 50 kms south off Palmwag, the sand track cut through the mountain range seen earlier from a long way out.

Monument Valley?, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Monument Valley?, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

It reminded me a bit off the ‘Monument Valley’ area in the USA.

Leaving Groote Berge, in the distance, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Leaving Groote Berge, in the distance, Kaokoveld, Namibia

Odd shaped granite rock formations teamed with limestone mountains tops.

The view towards Damaraland, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

The view towards Damaraland, Groote Berge, Kaokoveld, Namibia

A spectacular arid view over an unforgiving, yet stunning desert. 

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