Discover the Sossusvlei, a red sandy landscape that boasts the highest sand dunes in the world. It is hard to believe that it covers nearly 50 000 km2 of the mighty Namib-Naukluft Park, one of the oldest deserts in the world.
Bet you didn’t know that the famous and popular Sossusvlei is actually a clay pan? And that when it rains, the Dead Vlei (wetland) and its ancient camel thorn trees are transformed into a lake? Sossusvlei means ‘the gathering place of water’ in the local Nama language. The Tsauchab River stopped flowing when it met these dunes years ago.
Be prepared when you come to Sossusvlei– camera in hand. This unique phenomenon offers mind-boggling beauty and dune climbing challenges for all. Watch the best sunrise or sunset that you have ever imagined possible. Capture on film the shy Springbok, black and white Oryx, ostriches and Cape Fox that have made it their home.
Find out more about how the colour of the dunes deepens with age. At Sossusvlei, the orange colour develops over years as the iron in the sand is oxidised – so the brighter the dune, the older it is. Hypothetically, the dunes are the result of sand from the Orange River that was carried away to the Atlantic Ocean. The strong ocean currents then moved this sand northwards, back onto the land.
These mountains of sand were shifted constantly by the winds over millions of years and today they are still evolving. You will be entranced when you see them for the first time. Combine this trip with nearby attractions Sesriem, Dune 45, Sesriem Canyon and the entire Namib-Naukluft Park. Go hot air ballooning, take scenic air flights or sunset game drives. Nature walks, hiking trips and horseback trails take you deeper into the Sossusvlei.