Sossusvlei is possibly Namibia’s most spectacular and best-known attraction. A large dried-up pan surrounded by large red dunes which are among the highest in the World at 400m creating surreal photographs in the early morning and evening light. The dunes lie in the Namib Naukluft National Park and form part of the Namib Desert, the oldest desert in the World.

 

It is best to visit Sossusvlei early in the morning or the late afternoon, as this is when the light makes the colour of the dunes appear at their best. There are several dunes that you can climb like Dune 45 which offers good views of the dune field.

 

The main attractions at Sossusvlei include Sesriem Canyon, Dune 45, Hiddenvlei, Big Daddy and Deadvlei.

 

All these attractions can be accessed from the road that takes you to Sossusvlei and all are well worth a visit. Only the last 5 km of the 65 km drive to the vlei is untarred.

 

Shuttles provide access to the last 5 km, should you not have a 4×4 vehicle.

 

Big Daddy is the tallest dune in the Sossusvlei area. This magnificent dune is situated between Sossusvlei and Deadvlei and at around 325 meters it dwarfs the other dunes. Deadvlei is a dried-up pan which was fed by the Tschaub River and camelthorn trees grew around it. When the climate changed the pan dried up and the trees died. Their skeletal remains create wonderfully contrasting photos against the backdrop of the dunes.

 

Access: How to get to Sossusvlei

The small town of Sesriem is the main access point to Sossusvlei. It lies about 306 kilometres from Windhoek. The main thing to note is that Sossusvlei lies inside the Namib Naukluft National Park, which opens at sunrise and closes at sunset. Yhese hours vary with the season. There is a second gate inside the National Park which closes an hour earlier. Deadvlei lies 65 kilometres from the park gates.

 

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