excursion to southern africa, pt. 5 – swakopmund to sesriem

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prof. bortenschlager talks about the quiver tree (aloe dichotoma)

september 4th was almost entirely a driving day. on the one hand, that’s an “i’m hot and sitting in a moving box with at least 20 other sweaty people”-day, but it also means “i get to see a summary of the vegetation changes along a 300 km drive within a few hours.”
our route: swakopmund [G] – walvis bay [G] – kuiseb canyon [G] – sesriem [G]1.

we had a first encounter with quiver trees (aloe dichotoma), had a look at the flora around kuiseb river (or kueseb river), which is carrying water underground for most of the year, and finally arrived at sesriem restcamp in the late afternoon.

sunset at elim dune, sesriem

sunset was observed from this spot: [G] on elim dune, with an optional sip of red wine.
on the way back, most of us rolled down the dunes (it was completely dark by that time, and we had forgotten to bring flashlights), which is about ten times more fun than it sounds now.
a side-effect of this was, that the professors and maria ended up with all our backpacks, which they had kindly offered to carry down during our phase of extensive rotation. i don’t think they knew how many backpacks there were when they made the offer. :-)
 

[view photos: swakopmund to sesriem]

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  1. if you zoom in enough on that last link to google maps, you can see dark specks at the marked location. these were the giant shade-providing acacias in the middle of each tent pitch (see photos). []
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