Chasing the Light | Africa 2014Travel Journal

Africa has always called to me, since I was a little girl I dreamed of traveling to where my father was born. I spent three amazing weeks chasing the light across the Namib Desert, through Etosha National Park and into Koakoveld.  This is my journey and photography in Nambia.

Sossusvlei

The Dunes of Sossusvlei are enormous, some reaching up to 300 meters high! The light reflecting off these beautiful red dunes both in the morning and evening was worth the entire trip. Hiking into Deadvlei at 3:30 in the morning, the cold, frigid desert air literally freezing my fingertips, I put up my tripod to catch the sun rise glinting off the dead acacia trees. Also known as “The Graveyard”, the acacia trees of Deadvlei have been standing in the saltpan valley for over 1200 years. Sitting there, waiting patiently for the light, I could almost hear the ancient trees of Deadvlei whispering secrets of the many wanderers who traveled near and far to reach these desert dunes.

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(epic selfie in Deadvlei!)

Etosha National Park

You know you are truly alive when you awake to the roar of lions in the morning. Shivering in my tent, I listened to the chilling yet magical sound of a mother lion calling to her cubs. I wondered how far away they were from my campground they were as I suddenly felt the need to use the toilet! I suppressed this sudden call of mother nature, and rolled around for hours trying to get back to sleep to no avail. Just before sunrise, I emerged from my tent. Jackals scattered as we lit the breakfast fire to prepare coffee and biscuits before beginning our journey to the waterhole.

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A leopard fell asleep under our car! We sat there for about an hour waiting for her to wake up. I had half of my body out of the window trying to take photographs, as she suddenly looked up at me with pure wild eyes, burning holes right through me! Apparently leopards are extremely rare to see, we were so lucky!

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The Spitzkoppe

The Spitzkoppe is an ancient volcano in Africa, enough said.

Actually, this was one of my favorite spots to photograph. Watching the sunset below an ancient volcano, as the sky changed from blue to pink, orange, red, and finally, a deep shade of purple. We stayed awake all night, gazing up at the stars and painting with light from our torches. Looking up into the vast heavens, I never felt so alive or my mind so clear that this is what it is to Live; to experience the raw beauty of nature and marvel in all of it’s power and mystery.

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The Skeleton Coast

We found this shipwreck right on the edge of the Skeleton Coast, marveling at the magnificent power of the waves crashing onto shore. It was pretty epic, but I seriously don’t know how anybody in their right mind would paddle out there willingly for a surf!

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The Himba Tribe

My night with the Himba tribe is one that I will never forget, and an experience that I am eternally grateful for. Staying with these nomadic goat herders, learning about their beautiful culture, and even getting bare-naked in front of the whole tribe to dress in the traditional Himba dress, was both exhilarating and peaceful. Village life is simple, but also incredibly beautiful and real.

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Traveling through Namibia was a dream, and one I hope to return to in years to come. But the end of one adventure is the beginning of another. Namibia will always hold a place in my heart, it’s light shining through every part of me when I look back and remember my time there. This is my photography in Namibia, but also a journey that has changed me in every way possible for the rest of my days.

Please leave me your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below!