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Sossusvlei & Namib-Naukluft NP

Why visit Sossusvlei & Namib-Naukluft National Park?

The towering orange sand dunes of Sossusvlei are one of the iconic images that we instantly associate with Namibia.  Best avoided midday due to the heat, the dunes are at their peak for photography either early morning or late afternoon.  There are other interesting places to visit in this vast national park. Nearby, Sesriem Canyon at 3km long makes for an interesting hike, and the stark beauty of Dead Vlei, where dark skeletons of old trees are scattered, provides yet more great photography.
Reasons to visit Sossuvlei & Namib-Naukluft NP include:

  • This is the perfect opportunity to climb some of the highest dunes, Dune 35 or even the aptly named Big Daddy are popular options.
  • Stretch your legs and go for a hike at Sesriem Canyon.  It’s 30 metres deep in some places and the views from the top are also quite breath taking.
  • It is possible, with an early start, to see the dunes from the air via hot air balloon, it’s a spectacular experience.
  • A scenic flight over these immense dunes will give you a sense of scale of the area and the vast coverage of the dunes.
  • Take your time exploring this park, it’s larger than Switzerland and provides you with stunning views and several different contrasting landscapes.  
  • With spring-fed ravines providing year round food in certain parts of the park, the wildlife is plentiful and varied, though may be hard to spot.  Look out for Hartman’s zebra, oryx and steenbok. Springbok, ostrich and warthog are also found, mostly on the plains.
  • 200 bird species have been recorded in the park, the varied habitats attract different species. See how many you can identify.
  • Explore the NamibRand Private Nature Reserve, the largest private reserve in Namibia. This is the place to experience a spectacular starry night sky with virtually no light pollution.
  • Visit Dead Vlei and take some spectacular images. The contrast between the dead black trees and the white salt pan with beautiful rust coloured dunes as a backdrop guarantee postcard perfect photos.
  • As the name suggests Hidden Vlei is a little more off the beaten track. A visit here, promises fewer people and a chance to experience the desert in almost solitary splendour.

When to visit Sossusvlei.

Like much of Namibia, Sossusvlei can be visited all year round, but bear in mind that temperatures soar in the summer months and the dunes are best avoided in the midday heat.

How to do it

These rust red dunes are part of many Namibia itineraries. It's possible to fly-in or drive, be it self-drive or part of a guided tour. A trip here combines very well with a stay in Swakopmund allowing you to explore the coast too.

Accommodation in Sossusvlei

You can choose one of the up market lodges in this area for a more luxurious stay, or opt for a self catering option such as the relatively new Desert Quiver Camp. Either way you will be well positioned to explore the entire area. 

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Sossusvlei & Namib-Naukluft NP accommodation

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facts and information

Time: GMT +2 hours

Flight time:

Flights from UK to Windhoek are usually via Johannesburg or Frankfurt and take about 12.5 hours. Windhoek International Airport is 60km from the city centre.

Language: Namibia’s official language is English. Afrikaans, Dama/Nama, German, Herero, Oshiwambo, Sukwangali, Setswana and Silozi are also recognised.

Visas:

Visas are not required British citizens for stays of up to 90 days.

Health:

Malaria is present in Namibia. Certain areas are more high risk. A yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission; this includes transiting through a yellow fever risk country; make sure you have a valid yellow fever certificate with you.  

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