Filming in the Oldest Desert in the World
The Namib desert, meaning "vast place," is approximately 1,200 miles long and stretches along the Atlantic Ocean in the country of Namibia. This is thought to be the oldest desert in the world and has some of the largest sand dunes. These dunes regularly change shape, size and location because of the ever blowing winds and can engulf an entire ecosystem in a matter of, well... years. The Running Wild Media crew made the great trek to visit the Namib desert to visit with a fascinating gazelle that calls this arid and hostile environment home.
The sand is so red because of rust and is a characteristic feature of the Namib desert. While filming, temperatures rose to 112 degrees Fahrenheit and the wind blew sand at 30 miles per hour. This made filming extremely difficult, especially when the camera gear was exposed to blowing dust and sand. Despite the major desert obstacles, Co-founder Justin Grubb still managed to have a nice hardy glass of milk and a sleeve or two of Oreo cookies. "Was the best damn cookies and milk I've ever had." - Justin.
This desert was silent, and the immense openness was intimidating. Scattered sparsely throughout the landscape were dead trees and small tufts of grass. The air was the driest air we had ever experienced and sweat would dry up in a matter of seconds. It was crazy to think that a large mammal has adapted to this type of ecosystem. We had our doubts, but the evidence was apparent, every once in a while we would see gemsbok scat or an actual gemsbok roaming around off in the distance. Our goal was to get close to one to take photos and film such an incredible desert dweller.
Once we trekked deeper into the desert with our Avis Safari Vehicle, we came across an area with a few trees and grasses. Here we had found the gemsbok haven, everywhere we looked there were gemsbok moving in pairs and seeking shelter from the sun. In fact, during the day, almost all of our gemsbok encounters were in shade under trees. We were cautious when approaching them for photos because we knew they would defend their shade ferociously. While heading to the final destination of the Namib, our vehicle got severely stuck and wouldn't make it across some of the dunes. We kept pushing our vehicle in an attempt to reach the most famous dune Big Daddy. As we were trying to dig ourselves out, we could hear the gemsbok laugihng at us.