Experience the desolate beauty of Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, and Sesriem
Namibia boasts plenty of diverse, fascinating attractions and activities for every kind of traveller.
The Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, and Sesriem are almost synonymous with this top African destination, famed for their unique characteristics and unbelievable photographic opportunities.
This area boasts a wealth of adventures for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those looking for iconic Instagram moments, A visit to these top Namibian attractions will leave you wondering how such beauty can exist amid seeming desolation.
Yet, these iconic destinations aren’t without their challenges when it comes to maximizing your visit.
Why You Should Put the Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, and Sesriem on Your Itinerary
The Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, and Sesriem are part of the Namib Naukluft National Park, the fourth largest national park in the world, spanning 40 000 square kilometres.
This area incorporates some of the most breath-taking scenery you’ll ever see, awash with towering dunes, golden sands, and exciting activities to enjoy amongst them. It’s a place of extremes and contrasts, featuring clay pans, shifting sands, gravel plains, inselbergs, ephemeral rivers, and the Naukluft Mountains.
Add to this, the numerous arid-adapted animals and plants and you’ve got the perfect recipe for unforgettable experiences. These include fog basking beetles, hundred-year-old plants, and antelope that can survive body temperatures that would kill other living creatures.
It’s a wonderland of unique experiences, wildlife experiences, and botanical discoveries that boggle the mind.
Most importantly, when you return from your Namibia trip, your friends are going to want to know if you got to experience this well-known destination.
History of the Namib Naukluft National Park
The German Colonial Administration set up Game Reserve no. 3 in this area during 1907 and the name was changed to Namib Desert Park in 1966. In 1979, the park was renamed Namib Naukluft. Over the years, more land was added to this protected area, with the previously off-limits Sperregebiet becoming the final piece of the puzzle in 1986.
Long before mankind ever came to this area, nature was at work crafting this masterpiece, importing sand from the Atlantic Ocean, and shaping massive dunes by means of powerful winds.
The Deadvlei came about over 1 000 years ago when the Tsaucheb River flooded last, retreating to leave a shallow marsh comprising shallow pools of water.
Two hundred years later, the climate changed, and drought came to the area, drying out the marsh. The trees died and the dry climate fossilized the trees where they stand today.
The Tsaucheb River was also responsible for forging the depths of the Sesriem Canyon.
Navigating These Unique Spaces When Visiting Sossusvlei
Nowadays, the number one factor to consider in your travels is safety according to the prevailing rules. Before you depart on any adventure, it’s vital to check any current travel advice and safety legislation currently in place.
Once you’ve navigated the paperwork and other requirements, you’re free to make the most of your trip
Although this area experiences over 300 days of sunshine annually, summer days are extremely hot. So, it’s best to visit between May and October, during Namibia’s winter.
South Africans have latched on to the incredible beauty and diversity of this place, so you should also check the school holidays in this country if you want to enjoy the park at its tranquil best.
Regardless of when you visit or where you go in Namibia, you should always carry adequate water with you to combat dehydrating in the heat. A 4×4 vehicle is essential if you want to make the most of the out-of-the-way treasures Namibia has to offer.
One of the most important tips when visiting the Sesriem, Sossusvlei, and Deadvlei is to take advantage of all the exciting activities on offer. These include:
- Exploring the Dunes
Big Daddy, Dune 45, Big Mama, and Elim Dune are among the largest dunes in the world and Big Daddy is the tallest of them all. When you come across incredible features of this nature, the obvious thing to do is admire the view from the top.
- Don’t Miss Hiddenvlei
Deadvlei lingers at the base of Big Daddy and is hard to miss thanks to the simple signs guiding the way. Resist the urge to fill your camera’s memory card with images of this amazing place (or bring a spare) there’s still plenty more to come.
Hiddenvlei is a smaller, lesser-known version of Dead vlei, and you’ll find this phenomenon a little further along the road. As a bonus, you’ll get to enjoy a 2 km walk from the parking lot to the vlei, which gives you a chance to immerse yourself in the serenity of this beautiful spot.
- Enjoy the Views from Above
What could be better than admiring the shifting star-shaped dunes from aloft, as the sun rises over the desert. A hot air balloon excursion makes this dream a reality, with the added luxury of an alfresco breakfast when you land.
A hot air balloon ride at sunrise is the ultimate item for any Namibian bucket list.
- Sesriem Canyon Hikes
The Sesriem Canyon is a lifeline for animals in this area, feeding underground water sources and providing relief for baboons, springbok, and other antelope. Here, a few scattered pools are all that remain of the once-raging Tsaucheb River. You can dip into this incredible geological formation on walks and hikes both inside and above the canyon. It’s only 3 kilometres long, so most people can manage to explore this enigma on foot.
Self-Guided Tours and Trips
The best way to maximize your trip to the Namib Naukluft is by exploring to your heart’s content with a good guidebook. This gives you the freedom to truly explore while brushing up on your facts as you go along.
Make the Most of Any Trip to Namibia
Any trip to Namibia is made even more exciting when you’re thoroughly prepared and know what to look for in each destination. So, browse our website for more information, check out our recommended activities and accommodation, or get in touch for assistance.
We’re here to help you plan the most enlightening and exciting Namibian adventure when visiting Sossusvlei.