Marking the border with South Africa, the Orange River – sometimes referred to by its Nama name, Gariep – carves its way west through ancient rock to the Atlantic. Just before the border post on the B1, the tarred C13 heads west to Aussenker, 50km downriver. The settlement is surrounded by a vast and ever-expanding emerald carpet of grape farms, which provides a striking contrast to the otherwise desolate but scenic desert hinterland. Many of the reed huts empty at the end of the grape harvest in December, with workers mainly from northern Namibia returning the following June.

In the dry season in particular, it’s easy to be put off by the barren landscape, though the verdant ranks of grapes, butternut and peppers hint at the lush riverine environment that lies beyond. Reed-lined banks hide warblers and fluorescent bishops, while kingfishers, fish eagles, cormorants, darters and herons gorge on the fish-rich waters. On the opposite bank, in South Africa, a metamorphic escarpment overlooking the river provides a picturesque backdrop, making it a perfect spot to enjoy a day or more of birdwatching or canoeing.

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Namibia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

In pictures: the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia

In pictures: the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia

From the spectacular dunes of the Namib Desert to the serpentine chasm of the Fish River Canyon, the rugged mountains of the Great Escarpment to the acacia-stud…

15 Feb 2018 • Sara Humphreys camera_alt Gallery
Namibia from above: the world's most extreme landscape

Namibia from above: the world's most extreme landscape

The Namib desert is one of the world’s most extreme environments. Covering 81,000 square kilometres, its vastness can only truly be appreciated from above. He…

17 Jul 2017 • Lottie Gross local_activity Special feature
27 awe-inspiring pictures of Namibia

27 awe-inspiring pictures of Namibia

Namibia has some of the world's most astonishing landscapes. It's home to the world's oldest desert, a long and undeveloped coastline and national parks that te…

31 May 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
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