The ‘Brandberg’ Mountain Range get their name from their almost black appearance. Early San hunter and gatherers used this widespread mountain range as a navigational point and called it ‘The Burnt Mountains’. The ‘Brandberg’ are also well known for their rock paintings.
It was a chilly morning when I crawled out of Zimba’s rooftop tent.
I sat with coffee in the sun and was hoping to see an elephant or two. So were the Safari vehicles, who were surprisingly plentiful.
Asking if I had seen any elephants, they moved on along the riverbed express. I really wasn’t much in a hurry and savoured the serenity and warming rays.
These gave a different colour spectacle towards the western ridges, just magnificent.
I passed another large open sand area which had, similar to yesterday, a little plant growing patch. I was very much tempted to follow the Huab Riverbed out west to the Skeleton Coast but decided to leave this adventure for next time.
Instead, I followed the ‘Aba Huab’ riverbed east towards ‘Twelvefontain’ (12 fountains). The sand dune combination with tall green trees is just fascinating.
A few fallen trees gave the scene some added perspective.
This riverbed is a well-used highway too.
I took Zimba up to a lookout point and gave myself a better idea on direction and location.
A shady oasis along the river.
The landscape changed back to flat, dry and sandy savanna once passing Twelvefontein. A solitaire male ostrich roamed the plains along the ‘ Burnt Mountains’ escarpment.
A springbok buck made his way back to his young family,
waiting patiently on the airstrip. The wet season is not far off.
Different sized round boulders piled up on various locations looked fascinating as we drove along.
One formation reminded me of Australia’s outback at ‘Devils Marbles’.
I took a few off-road shortcuts through the scorching hot sands before reaching ‘Brandberg White Lady Lodge and Campground’. Named after a famous San rock painting, this is a very popular tourist destination. Herds of mainly German tourists had taken the swimming pool area over, it almost had a ‘Mallorca’ feel to it. I wasn’t in tourist mode but decided to stay a night in the well-spaced camping spots. Desert elephants are regularly seen here but had moved north as the ranger explained. Bummer.
What fascinated me most around here was the large cacti garden.
With the rainy season not far off, most cacti started flowering.
In comparison tiny colourful flowers dotted along the green and spiky cactus.
Others were carrying fruit already, adding to this colourful odd shaped bonanza.
An ocean of purple/red in the green spiky environment.
From a photographer’s point of view, the spiky backdrop looks scurrilous when focused on the flower.
I prefer that on black and white mode.
The same applies to different shapes and colours.
One can be very creative with their camera’s focus point. Some cacti were almost as tall as me.
As most were perfectly round,
others looked like mid evil weapons.
This tortoise added perfectly to this desert scene.
Whilst the sunset viewpoint overloaded in German language, I decided to light the fire at camp and skip tomorrow’s planned visit to the ‘White Lady’.