Deadvlei Desert Namibia

Deadvlei Desert Namibia
Birdseye view of the otherworldly Deadvlei Desert in Namibia.

Deadvlei Desert Namibia | You are neither good at Photoshop nor at Painting, but want to give your friends a really hard fake-or-real-nut to crack? Step 1: Book a ticket to Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport in Namibia. Step 2: Rent a car and drive approx. 6 hours down south. Please don’t forget your camera. Step 3: You need to be up when first daylight catches the huge dunes towering above Deadvlei Pan, a very popular but remote destination for photographers in Namibia. Although Deadvlei has been photographed from literally every angle, it still doesn’t prepare you for the sense of awe you get when you walk through this immense ocean of sand. Not too long ago this surreal desert landscape must have seen days with more water. Dead trees tell us about it.

Deadvlei Desert Namibia fake or real?
Famous photo from Deadvlei in Namibia; fake or real?

Photograph or Painting? National-Geographic photographer Frans Lanting took this amazing photo. He made it at dawn when warm sunlight was illuminating a huge red sand dune dotted with white grasses while the white floor of the clay pan was still in shade. It looks blue because it reflects the color of the sky above. Because of the contrast between the shady foreground and the sunlit background Lanting used a two-stop graduated filter which reduced the contrast. The perfect moment came when the sun reached all the way down to the bottom of the sand dune just before it reached the desert floor … SHUTTERTSECLACK! The money shot was on the SD card. To give you a chance we place some more images from the Deadvlei region right here. Still surreal, but at least one can figure out that these snapshots must be real.

Deadvlei Desert Namibia

Deadvlei is a white clay pan located near the more famous salt pan of Sossusvlei, inside the Namib-Naukluft Park in Namibia. Dead Vlei has been claimed to be surrounded by the highest sand dunes in the world, the highest reaching 300–400 meters (350m on average, named “Big Daddy” or “Crazy Dune”), which rest on a sandstone terrace. The clay pan was formed after rainfall, when the Tsauchab river flooded, creating temporary shallow pools where the abundance of water allowed camel thorn trees to grow. When the climate changed, drought hit the area, and sand dunes encroached on the pan, which blocked the river from the area. The trees died, as there no longer was enough water to survive. There are some species of plants remaining, such as salsola and clumps of nara, adapted to surviving off the morning mist and very rare rainfall. The remaining skeletons of the trees, which are believed to have died 600–700 years ago (1340- 1430), are now black because the intense sun has scorched them. Though not petrified, the wood does not decompose because it is so dry.

Photo taken by Ian Parker, but photoshopped. He placed a gazelle near the tree. It does not have any shadow.
Deadvlei, Photo taken by Ian Parker, but unfortunately photoshopped. He placed a gazelle near the tree, but forgot to add a shadow. The gazelle is walking in the sun with no shadow – makes no sense.
Deadvlei Desert Namibia
Deadvlei Desert Namibia by Peter Carroll. 100% real.
visitors descending into the white sandy pan
Deadvlei, visitors descending into the white sandy pan. This picture finally gives you an idea about the original of all these amazing surreal snapshot.

Deadvlei Desert Namibia. By Chili & Churp | © International Destinations | Visit our Travel Alphabet.