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My husband Hans and I are the owners and managers of Tsondab Valley Scenic Reserve near Solitaire – a private reserve where we operate a small lodge. We offer scenic flights over the Tsondab vlei (only for our guests) and nearby Sossusvlei. Hans has been a bush pilot for many years and looks after the three planes based at Tsondab.

Since grounded aircraft are prone to storage damage – and we had no bookings for a while during the pandemic – we had to take each plane for a short flip every now and then.

On the morning of 28 January, we took off from our airstrip in a Cessna 210. The flight lasted about 50 minutes and I took this photo – using my iPhone 7 – of an area on our property (Tsondab Valley) that we call the Small Canyon.

On another flight, two weeks earlier, we flew over Sossusvlei and the Kuiseb Canyon. We were curious to see the effect of the rains, which had started on 2 January in our area. The Sossusvlei flyover, especially, was mind-blowing! Nobody had expected the tremendous amount of water along the entire dune corridor! We saw cars trying to traverse the flooded road, and a few of them managed to reach the 4x4 parking lot just short of Sossusvlei, which was a huge, glittering expanse of water. The Tsauchab River had brought down so much water the night before and some of the adjacent vleis had filled up, too.

It was a flight to remember, and I am very grateful for the experience. Our life in the desert can be hard. We’re constantly exposed to extreme conditions – heat, wind, drought – and living here can be draining and strenuous. Us desert people deserve a treat like this every now and then! Follow Krissi on Instagram: @buschhexxe and @tsondabval­ley

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