UAE coasts: RAK beauty spot is a favourite for wildlife photographer
To find inspiration for her work, Priscilla van Andel heads for the Northern Emirates.
The Dutch wildlife photographer looks for remote and scenic areas where she can find rare animals and plants. One favourite location is on the outskirts of Ras Al Khaimah, close to the end of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road.
The highway ends with a roundabout and drivers headed in the direction of RAK will notice large sand dunes running parallel to the coast.
This is where Ms van Andel goes off-road, climbing the high dunes in her four-wheel drive. It is not an easy drive but the view from the top is worth the effort.
“I love it there,” she said. “I think it is pretty special.”
The top of the dunes offers panoramic views of the coastline and the shallow sea waters. As the dunes slope downwards, more shrubbery appears, adding patches of green among the yellow and orange of the sand.
The sandbanks and shallow coastal waters form various shapes and often flamingos and other birds can be seen in the distance. Because of the difficult terrain, there are relatively few visitors at the spot, she said.
Besides various birds, desert foxes also call the area home, based on markings they leave in the sand, as well as different types of lizards.
“We could see the tracks, so 100 per cent these animals live there, but we did not see the creatures themselves,” she said.
Although she takes a lot of shots on her camera, Ms van Andel is yet to take that one, outstanding picture of the striking landscape as each time she visits the weather or the light leave a lot to be desired, although that does not deter her from regular trips down the E11 highway.