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Travel Namibia 15 “Dry and undulating, the horizon stretched out for miles in every direction” Laureen Middley / Getty

16 Travel Namibia Freewheeling Steve Davey the rainy season makes for an exquisite, complex pattern of colours and textures which leaves you understanding the value of water in this fragile semi-desert. The open views to the horizon are breathtaking and unique. South of Windhoek, the countryside seems vast. In the centre of the Namib-Naukluft Park is Sossusvlei, one of my top ten unmissable African sights. The delicate, layered splendour of the desert at sunrise or sunset is exquisite. If you can afford it, a balloon flight at dawn is an experience you will never forget. Hanging silently and utterly still over the dunes as the sun comes up behind the curve of the earth, you look down at the combination of desert sands, atmospheric dust and long, sloping rays which create colours that you will never see anywhere else. From Sossusvlei I drove out of the desert through the Namib Rand private reserve. The distances are long and the scenery so vast and ancient that driving through them, with the late afternoon sun casting long shadows across the veld, was exhilarating. I played my Buddha Bar compilation at full volume as I drove through the pristine, mountainous terrain that was layered blue and dove grey in the ever-nearing horizon. Alone in the car with the music and my own thoughts, the outward journey turned inwards, until it took on a solitary, almost spiritual quality. As the sun was setting crimson and turquoise, I came to the tiny town of Aus and the grassy plains that lie to the south and west. Klein-Aus Vista Lodge is worth an overnight stay to see the wild desert horses that roam the southernmost tip of the Namib Naukluft. There are many rumours about the origins of these horses. Some believe that the animals are descended from cavalry horses that were abandoned by the German Imperial Army. Another theory is that they originally escaped from a stud owned by Baron Captain Hans-Heinrich von Wolf - the original owner of Duwisib Castle. A third suggestion Above: Which way now? A rare fork in one of Namibia’s long and empty roads. Nasa / Science Photo Library A view of the Namib Desert from the space shuttle Endeavour. Just below the centre of the picture is the dark circle of Namibia’s Brandberg Mountain (2630 metres), the remnant of a large volcano. A bank of fog covers the sea, but stops abruptly a few miles inland. It’s this fog that gives enough moisture in the desert for a fascinating array of wildlife to survive. a view from above …