It's 4am when I am brusquely awakened by the vigorous shaking of my tent. Time to get up for our hike up Sossusvlei, the lofty red sand dunes in the southern part of the Namib Desert.
I am not an early riser by habit and very rarely wake up naturally to see the sun creep into the morning sky. So, reluctantly and still half asleep, I slap on some clothes and brush my teeth.
After a short drive in the pitch black, we begin our ascent, slogging through sand to the top, still not fully awake. Then we wait.
Soon the sky starts to stir. Yellow and red flickers emerge on the horizon, quickly and completely turning our sandy surroundings into a deep crimson red. Spectacular!
I'm always a bit skeptical of these early morning touristic awakenings, but this was most definitely a sunrise to remember.