Once upon a time this was an oasis. There was a river flowing through, nourishing these 500-year-old acacia trees. But the river decided to go elsewhere, and the acacia trees could not follow. In the hot, arid desert climate they dried upright, like skeletons from better times.
The dark scraggly trees against a white lake of salt and the red dunes and blue sky is one of the most photographed landscapes in Namibia. And at 7.30 am it is all mine. I am the only person on the entire salt pan.From time to time (not even once a year), the rains come and the dry white pan becomes a flooded lake. When an oryx walks across the mud, its footprints dry up like those of dinosaurs, waiting for the next rains to come.
Deadvlei also serves a more modern purposes: fashion shots. And less fashionable tourist shots. That’s me on the far left. (Deadvlei, Namib-Naukluft Park, Namibia; July 2017)