Photograph by Julian Walter, National Geographic Your Shot
Namibia, on Africa’s southwest coast, is a large country with a harsh landscape.
The towering and constantly shifting dunes of the Namib Desert, shown here in this aerial photo submitted by Your Shot member Julian Walter, run right to the Atlantic Ocean and can reach up to a thousand feet high.
This picture, taken at Zimanga game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, using an in-camera multiple exposure, with the first lit for the buffaloes and the second focused on the stars with a spectacular result.
The Argania tree is not the most aesthetically pleasing plant in the world with a rough, thorny bark and gangly, crooked branches, but the Moroccan arbor still tends to attract admirers thanks in large part to the hordes of goats that can usually be found perching in them.
Grown almost exclusively in Morocco, the Argania is a rare and protected species after years of over-farming and clear-cutting.
The tree produces an annual fruit crop. It is this delicious morsel that attracts legions of local goats who hop up into the branches to pick them out. Like an image out of a goat-cast wire-fu film, the animals stand on the impossibly precarious branches and get down to their seasonal feast.
Far from just a single ambitious goat climbing a single tree, the animals tend to swarm into the branches in number.
Local farmers condone and even cultivate this bizarre feeding practice, keeping the goats away from the trees while the fruit matures and releasing them at the right time.
There is also a secondary benefit to the goats’ habits which is found in their poop.
After the goats finish eating the fruit and nuts off the tree, they pass valuable clumps of seeds which are then pressed to create the sought after Argan oil.
Unfortunately, since the tree goats can be quite profitable for their owners, more and more of them have been brought into the area causing a general decline in the health of the remaining Argania trees.
Hopefully the delightful tree goats won’t eat themselves out of a tree to perch in.
Ben Abeba is a restaurant of wide-open spaces, located next to the historic architectural wonders of Lalibela.
Perched high on a hill on the north side of town, it’s often described as looking like a bouquet of flowers or some sort of cooking pot.
The whole enterprise was the dream of owner Susan Aitchison, a retired home economics professor who came to Ethiopia from her native Scotland, initially to help a friend set up a school. Faced with leaving such a magnificent place and going home to Glasgow, she opted to stay.
A chance ride with a local transportation company owner led to a business partnership, and to one of the best restaurants in Lalibela.
Aitchison and her partner, Habtamu Baye, hired local architects to put her ideas into motion, and the curved decks jutting out from the building’s central, spiraling staircase give patrons unobstructed views of the breathtaking river valley below.
The award-winning restaurant serves a menu mixing traditional Ethiopian dishes and western fare, sometimes combining the two.
Rising to the challenges of running a restaurant in a place with sometimes-sketchy electricity and less than reliable refrigeration, they pride themselves on giving valuable training to their young local staff, and especially their sourcing of local ingredients.