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  • We drive for a few days to what friends assured is the most beautiful landscape in all Namibia: to the Namib Rand Reserve south of Sossusvlei. And the land is truly breathtaking: purple and dark blue rocky mountains float above red sand dunes! Light yellow gras grows on the deep red dunes. I observe what I have already seen in the dunes of Sossusvlei: that everywhere in between the grass - covered dunes there are perfect circles where no gras grows. I wondered what these were. Our guide, Edward, explains to us that these mysterious circles are called “fairy – circles" by the people.

    “At first the scientists thought that under each of these circles lies a termite nest, which extrudes certain chemicals which don’t let grass grow,” Edward tells,” But then nobody could ever find termite nests underneath. Others supposed that at an earlier time a certain very poisonous plant stood at the center of each of these grassless circles and the poison kept doing its work even after the plant was long dead. But these kinds of plants never grew in this area. There are even people who believe that aliens from outer space are responsible for the fairy – circles. They keep being a mystery!”

    Edward Laughs and adds,” If you take earth out of these circles and put it into a flowerpot at your home and plant grass seeds, they do grow!”

    Later in the lodge our room is a huge tent which stands on a wooden platform that has been built on top of a red sand dune. It is warm enough that at night we can open half of the tent to let the stars in. At 2 in the morning the moon wakes me up: it just rises over the mountain in front of us. The moon – light tickles the tip of my nose and I have to sneeze several times.

    Suddenly I hear a loud and rhythmic knocking at our entrance stairs. I hold my breath. Otherwise the night is silent. Again the knocking! Forceful… I get up and slowly make my way to the stairway. Thanks to the moon light I discover a huge animal: an Oryx tearing out and munching the dewy grass! His movements let his precious long horns touch the stairs in the rhythm of his eating. I watch the Oryx. It lifts his head and looks at me for a moment. Oryx are shy animals and it is rare to be able to come that close to one. If it had just one horn and at the center of its forehead it would be a perfect unicorn!

    I relax into the stairs under me. A warm breeze brushes my hair. The Oryx returns to eating grass. If the moon kissed me awake and this gorgeous animal knocked me out of bed, I guess, really: there must be fairies at work!

    Photography by Kiki
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