Deserts and dunes
Clay and salt pans
Tropic of Capricorn
The huge sand dunes of Sossusvlei and the nearby Deadvlei clay pan
are extremely photogenic, with the baked white clay forming a
stark contrast against the red sand. Deadvlei
is dotted with dead camel thorn acacias which have been
carbon-dated at between 500 and 600 years old. This clay pan has been dry since the Tsauchab River changed its
course hundreds of years ago. We left the Namib-Naukluft via Sesriem Canyon, crossed the Tropic of Capricorn and headed to the Atlantic coast.
Larger animals were scarce in the deserts, but the Etosha salt pan was a good location for the gemsboks or southern oryx which
I had hoped to see on the sand dunes. We did see a cheeky black-backed jackal near the car park at Sossusvlei, and pied crows were also quite a common sight.