Namibia 2016 Gallery

Namibia 2016

I’ve finished processing my photos from a trip to Namibia, Africa last year (yeah, sometimes it takes a while to get everything processed). Here is a gallery of some of my favorite shots.

Several plains zebra line up to drink at the Okaukuejo waterhole, Etosha National Park, Namibia.

It was a truly amazing trip, as I was lucky enough to

  • Watch endangered black rhinos congregating around a waterhole in the dead of night
  • Walk among the tallest sand dunes in the world (over 1000 feet) in the world’s oldest desert
  • Witness a rare lightning storm in the desert as thunderclouds rolled over endless dune fields
  • Visit Deadvlei, an ancient river valley dotted with 700 year old desiccated tree husks in the heart of the Namib desert
  • Drive 2500 miles (mostly on dirt roads) over 11 days, see a good variety of countryside
  • See the desert-adapted bush elephants of Damaraland
  • Check out the gallery this and much more, including numerous birds and wildlife. Click each image to see the next, or use your keyboard arrows to navigate.

    The Etosha Pan

    A camel-thorn acacia grows next to the Etosha Pan, Etosha National Park, Namibia.

    The Etosha Pan is a large dry lake bed in Namibia, which due to heavy mineral deposits forms a dry salt pan. The name “Etosha” comes from an Ndonga word meaning “great white place”. While the pan rarely sees water, it is surrounded by savanna and sparse forest, teeming with wildlife. The pan is 75 miles long and just shy of 3,000 square miles. Here you can see the white expanse of the pan stretching into infinity.

    A blue wildebeest wanders out alone onto the Etosha Pan, Etosha National Park, Namibia.

    Occasionally the wildlife that lives at the edges of the lake bed wander out onto it to gather surface minerals, making up a portion of their diet. A blue wildebeest is dwarfed by the vastness of the pan.

    The lake was fed by a large river about 16,000 years ago when glacial melt caused the formation of many such rivers. At some point tectonic plate movement changed the course of the river, and the pan dried up to its current state. The only time it sees a few centimeters of water is due to heavy rains, but this is a seldom occurrence.

    Herds of plains zebra and springbok visit a waterhole for a morning drink, Etosha National Park, Namibia.

    The area surrounding the pan is dotted with waterholes which support a wide variety of wildlife. This area is protected within the boundaries of Etosha National Park, which completely surrounds the pan. Although I only spent one full day here, that glimpse of wildlife photographic possibilities will surely draw me back.

    Canada Goose Siblings (Photo of the week)

    Two canada goose siblings stand side by side, waiting their turn to drink from a puddle

    It has been a very busy (and sleepless) couple of weeks for me, as I’ve been trying to keep up with watching the Tour de France while keeping up with my current work load. That translates to earlier mornings and later nights! I’ve been busily processing photos from a recent trip to Oregon, and I’ll have some of those shots posted soon. For now, please enjoy a couple of adolescent Canada goose photos from before the trip.

    These goose siblings were lined up behind a long puddle, taking a break from gorging themselves on grass to drink. In the photo below you can see one of the parents looming in the background. To drink, they would sip water to fill their beaks, and then tilt their head backward to let the water run down their throats.

    Two canada goose siblings take turns drinking from a puddle. A watchful parent stands guard in the background.

    In both of these photos, I stopped down the aperture to f/9 in order to get a bigger depth of field. I knew this was needed to have any chance of catching both geese in focus. In the first photo, the difference in distance from the focal plane was greater than the second photo, throwing the sibling farther from the camera into soft focus. The photo still succeeds however, as the closer sibling is in sharp focus. At least the second goose is easily distinguishable here – if I had gone with a larger aperture, the second goose would have been blurred away into the background.