Africa / Namibia / Photo Gallery

Desert Abstraction – Flying over Namibia

Sometimes, to really see something, you have to get further away, not closer. And when something is really, really big, you have to get so far away from it that your feet are no longer touching the ground. This is the only way to really appreciate the vastness of Namibia, with its seas – oceans – of russet and gold dunes, punctuated by unexplained fairy circles, isolated mountains and the odd, hot oryx.

A safari is normally characterised by trying to get nearer – tracking something down, pursuing it, getting the long lenses out. But a flying safari is about being just far enough away to make out the horizon beyond the mountains, to watch the coastal fog creeping up behind the dunes, to observe the earth becoming an abstract artwork of shadow and light, the known and the unknown.

What words cannot capture, pictures can. This is what Namibia looks like from the air.

Dry river bed in Namibia

A typical Namibian river – a dry bed flanked by vegetation

Unexplained "fairy circles" in Namibia

The “fairy circles” of the Namib Desert remain unexplained – were they caused by termites, fungus or spirits?

Wreck of the Eduard Bohlen on Namibia's Skeleton Coast

The Eduard Bohlen ran aground in 1909, off Namibia’s notoriously treacherous Skeleton Coast.It now lies several hundred metres inland.

Walvis Bay Salt works

The colours of the salt works in Walvis Bay

Flat-topped mountains in Damaraland

Flat-topped mountains in Damaraland, northwestern Namibia

Tree in the Namib Desert

A lone camelthorn tree battles to survive in the Namib, the world’s oldest desert.

Strange formations of coloured sand and rock in the Namib Desert are only visible from the air

The Namib’s strange formations of coloured sand and rock are only visible from the air

Namibian desert viewed from the air

The endless dunes of the Skeleton Coast

Lagoon at Sandwich Harbour, Namibia

The colours of the lagoon at Sandwich Harbour create an abstract painting when viewed from above

Sandwich bay viewed from a plane

Sand spits, salt flats and algae create abstract works of art in Sandwich Bay lagoon

Flamingoes fly over the Namibian coast

A flock of flamingoes is seen from above, flying over Sandwich Harbour, before the rainy season lures them inland

Flamingoes at Sandwich Harbor, Namibia

Flamingoes trace their flight paths in the algae of Sandwich Harbour lagoon

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