Highlights and Prints

Thanks to all of you who followed our journey, shared our experiences with your friends and family, and provided comments and thoughts while we were away.  It’s been amazing, and having all of you reading has made taking these photos and sharing our travels worth it!

We’re going to be selling framed prints of our travel photos, which you can learn more about on the new Prints section of the website (see the bar above).  Below are some of our favorite photos from the trip—a highlights reel, if you will—and our suggestions of photos that we think would look great framed and up on your wall.  Feel free to peruse these options, or look back through the blog and pick out one of your favorite photos: we’re happy to send you any one of them!  We’ve also got hundreds (err, thousands) of photos that didn’t get posted, so if you can’t quite find what you’re looking for, send us an email and we’ll poke through our library to find something that fits.

Thanks again!

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Civilization at last

Exactly 16 weeks from the day we set out in Cairo, we arrived in Cape Town.  No more tents.  No more cold showers.  No more bush toilets.  Wine, cheese, beds, and restaurants awaited us in the European-feeling city by the sea; and they didn’t disappoint.  As our adventure drew to a close, we couldn’t help but reflect on what we had experienced over the last four months.  Deserts, rainforests, mountains and oceans, gorillas and lions, birds and insects, pygmies and Masai… it certainly felt like everything Africa has to offer.  But we know it isn’t.  Maybe the other side, next time?

Cape Town sprawls out from the mountains right up to the edge of the Atlantic.

A cable car disappears into Table Mountain's famous 'tablecloth.'

Iron sculptures in the botanical gardens of Kirstenbosch, resting in the shadow of Table Mountain's back side.

From the mud huts of Africa to the concrete jungle of New York.

Stay tuned to find out about buying framed prints and (perhaps) a book!

Cape Agulhas at last!

After a long couple of days driving due south, we made it to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost point in Africa.  When the Portugese rounded this point, they named it Cape of Needles, not for the jagged rocks along the shoreline, but because the needles of their compass pointed due North.  For us, it marked the farthest point from our start in Cairo, traveling both the entire length and width of the African continent.  Next stop, Cape Town!

The famous Cape Agulhas lighthouse is still in operation.

 

Waves crash onto the jagged, rocky coast.

We made it to the southernmost tip of Africa!

 

Sossusvlei

Sossusvlei.  We had never heard the name, either.  But we had seen the photos.  Towering sand dunes rising hundreds of feet into the sky, stretching for miles in every direction. In the Southern part of the Namib Desert, the iconic red dunes of Namibia cradle a dry riverbed that stretches roughly 50 miles into the heart of the desert.  Occasional floods bring a trickle of water into the desert, allowing plant life to survive in this narrow corridor.  Sometimes, dunes will block off a section of the riverbed, isolating a small area of scrub and dooming it to dehydration.  This iconic landscape was a perfect change of scene for the last stretch of our trip, and brought us full circle—desert to desert.

A brown hyena cruises along Sossusvlei, alone in the rolling landscape.

Sunrise over the dunes of Sossusvlei.

Climbing up Dune 45, supposedly the most photographed sand dune in the world, to catch sunrise.

And of course the easiest way back down is a good dune run.

Dunes and dunes as far as the eye can see.

An iconic Namibian sand dune, given its red hue by the iron content in the sands.

Cape Cross

At Cape Cross, one of the largest colonies of Cape Fur Seals braves the harsh conditions of the southern Atlantic Ocean.  At any given time, over 100,000 fur seals can be found at the colony.  Pupping season is November-December, so luckily there were thousands of playful, inquisitive four-month-old seal pups around for our visit.

Roughly 100,000 cape fur seals live in the seal colony at Cape Cross.

Hundreds of seals brave the surf, coming in and out of the cold, rough Atlantic Ocean to forage for fish and shellfish.

An adult fur seal plays in the surf.

Spitzkopje

Crossing into Namibia, the landscape changed suddenly to the arid climate one would associate with the Namib desert.  Jutting strikingly out of the vast open plains, Spitzkopje, a peak of jagged granite standing 1,700 meters high, dominates the surrounds.  We spent a night bush camping under the star-shrouded peak, and even (unsuccessfully) attempted to summit Spitzkopje.  We made it to an impassable vertical climb, but not before scrambling across gorges and boulders of epic proportions.

The summit of Spitzkopje, 1,700 meters high, in the light of dawn.

Desert trees, perhaps hundreds of years old, are dwarfed by the limited water and nutrients to be had on the slopes of the Spitzkopje rock formation.

Balancing boulders of granite.

The Okavango Delta

Starting in Angola, the Kavango river meanders 1,600 kilometers southeastward, forming the border between Namibia and Angola, and eventually petering out into the Kalahari desert in Botswana.  Forming the largest inland delta, the Okavango Delta, the river carries 11 cubic kilometers of water into an area of 15,000 km sq. This boon of fresh water in an otherwise arid region makes life possible for thousands of animals and miles upon miles of reeds, grasses and other flora.  Spending three days in the delta—reached by native Mokoro, or dugout canoe—and taking a flight overhead, we were able to get a true scope of the breadth and diversity inside this natural wonder.

A Tswana woman pushes her Mokoro through the flooded reeds of the Okavango Delta, sliding through shallow water. Mokoros have been used traditionally by the Tswana tribe to fish, collect firewood, and gather thatching for their roofs within the Delta.

Reeds and the main Mokoro channel, carved by hippos, at sunset.

Islands within the Okavango delta, growing and shrinking with high- and low-water, support numerous grasses and trees which in turn give life to thousands of game animals.

The skeleton of a cape buffalo, exposed on a small island in the middle of the Delta.

The flooded plains of the Delta.

Game trails through the Delta.

Game trails leading through flooded plains from a hippo-hole.

A hippo ripples in the dawn light.