Sesriem Canyon

After picking up the rental truck in Namibia's capital Windhoek, I proceeded south-west, to Sesriem.  This would be the furthest point south I would visit on this trip. It was also a place that I had researched tremendously online and basically drooled over thanks to Google images. This was the land of the red sand dune, at the heart of the Namib Desert.  This place was a landscape photographers paradise, it had it all: huge salt pans, endless rolling sand dunes, a beautiful winding canyon, and some spectacular wildlife.  

First stop -  Sesriem Canyon


When I checked into the park, I asked about Sesriem Canyon that I had heard about briefly before. I asked how deep the canyon was but no one seemed to know - more on that later.  From the car, it is a short walk down into the canyon. Being on the canyon floor is something quite special, as it was clear that water not only once flowed through here as the Tsauchab river, but was the reason for its existence.

The light slowly moving across the canyon over several hours. 

The light slowly moving across the canyon over several hours. 

I walked through the canyon looking at the various highlights and shadows that formed along the walls and eventually found a nice spot to setup.  I began a 6 hour time-lapse and sat myself on the comfiest rock I could find. Visitors slowly trickled in, saying hi, and continuing through the canyon. One couple stopped and enquired what I was doing.  We began talking about the canyon and the gentlemen began to talk about its history.  Still wondering how deep the canyon was, he informed me about the name Sesriem itself.  Years ago, when people wanted to fetch water from the canyon floor they used Oryx tail braided end to end, attached to a bucket.  Each rope was approximately 5 metres long and it turns out it took 6 ropes strung end to end to reach the bottom. So 'Six Rope' canyon translates to Sesriem.

*This 6 hour time-lapse will be featured in the "Namib Grand" trailer in a few weeks.