July 18, 2012

Naukluft Geology – Mountain range on the move

by Sven-Eric Kanzler There is no doubt about it: Naukluft is a fascinating picture book for geologists and laymen with an interest in geology. And those […]
April 3, 2017


April 5, 2017


This is the second in a series about the gemstones of Namibia. While definitions vary, most gemstones are naturally occurring minerals or rocks selected for their beauty, hardness, durability and rarity, for use as human adornment.
April 5, 2017

Gemstones of Namibia series

April 19, 2017


Most of Namibia’s mineral wealth has been discovered in the western portion of the country, where the arid climate has prevailed for millions of years, preventing minerals from eroding away, and precluding the development of topsoil and vegetation, making it easier to locate and extract them
April 27, 2017


This is the fifth article in a series about gemstones of Namibia. The first European awareness of Namibia's great mineral wealth came from the diaries of the Stellenbosch farmer Captain Hendrik Hop, recorded during his 1761-1762 scientific expedition, sponsored by the Dutch East India Company.
April 28, 2017


This is the sixth in a series of articles about gemstones found in Namibia. Lustre is a measure of the amount of light reflected off a surface. Among gemstones, diamonds possess the highest lustre, and are categorised as adamantine. Other categories include vitreous, resinous, pearly and silky.
May 22, 2017


This is the seventh in a series about the gemstones of Namibia. Hardness is a measure of a gem’s scratch resistance capability, based on its position on the graduated Mohs scale, which rates minerals from talc, the softest mineral (1), to diamond, the hardest (10). Dioptase displays a hardness rating of 5.
May 23, 2017


This is the eighth in a series on the gemstones of Namibia. Dispersion is a measure of a gem’s property of separating light into its constituent colours, as a prism does, and is frequently referred to as the ‘fire’ of the gem. Demantoid ranks high among gemstones for dispersion; in fact, even higher than a diamond.
May 26, 2017


This is the ninth in a series about Namibian gemstones. Specific Gravity (SG) is a measure of the relative density of a gem, which varies in its chemical composition and crystal construction. By comparing the weight of the gem in air with its weight suspended in water, an SG value is established. Specific Gravity values are useful in identifying an unknown gem, or in determining the size of a new gem to be fitted into an old setting.
May 29, 2017

Rose quartz

This is the tenth in a series about Namibian gemstones. Brittleness is one factor to be considered when buying and mounting a gem; it is not uncommon for a relatively hard stone to be brittle, particularly along facet cuts. To minimise damage, brittle stones are frequently used for necklace beads, pendants, or small ornamental sculptures. A relatively brittle stone, rose quartz has been cherished as a symbol of romantic love through the ages, and polished stones shaped like a heart are commonly presented as gifts to loved ones
June 20, 2017


This is the 11th in a series about the gemstones of Namibia. For a gem crystal to form, it must have room to grow, and time to develop. Crystals of quartz are among the largest in nature. They are found in pegmatite chambers where they have developed over hundreds of thousands of years.
June 22, 2017

Two-tone beryl

April 4, 2019

Wilderness, Waterfalls and Wildlife

April 30, 2019

Travel Notes from a Vagabond

August 6, 2019

Land Art: A Celebration of Water

How did it come about that a scrambled note written on a serviette in a Starbucks Café in Washington, D.C., in 2013 ended up as, well, a message about water conservation written in the sand at Namtib Biosphere Reserve in 2016? In May 2019 Anni Snyman, PC Janse van Rensburg and a team of volunteers from the Site-Specific land art collective fine-tuned the last lines of the giant earth drawing of a desert horse at Klein Aus Vista. This message of intent recently evolved into yet another possible new chapter – as I made my way down a secluded gravel road to a breathtakingly beautiful house in the middle of the desert: an artist’s retreat in the making at Wolwedans. But more about the other outcomes later: drawings of a wild horse – and the realm of “dancing wolves”.
August 28, 2019

The mountains are calling and I must go

Our daily lives can be a wonderful maelstrom of exciting moments, and yet our hearts may still yearn for new places, new faces, new moments of unique experience. A few years ago I came across the term “Generation Wanderlust”. It struck a chord.
August 30, 2019

Kaokoland for the intrepid explorer

Kaokoland... The ephemeral rivers in Namibia’s far northwest and the land between them are as fascinating as the different seasons. What you see is determined by the wind and the rain and the time of day.
January 9, 2020

Travel Notes from a Vagabond: Scientific Names

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