Sossusvlei and Deadvlei
Towering red sand dunes and a tucked-away “vlei”, a large clay-covered pan sparsely dotted with the skeletons of camelthorn trees, await visitors to the striking Sossusvlei and Deadvlei.
Located within the Namib Naukluft Park in the Namib Desert, at its proclamation the largest protected area in Namibia at close to 50 000 square km, Sossusvlei and Deadvlei are accessible by 2WD and 4WD respectively. No visit would be complete without a sunrise climb up Sossuvlei’s imposing Dune 45, the race to be first to the top rewarding with incredible views and panoramic photographic opportunities.
Deadvlei is located a little further on, the tarred road giving way to a sand track about 5km long. Surrounded by dunes, the vlei was formed by sand shifting in the wind, and has tricked many a visitor into thinking that the dunes on the opposite side of the entrance can be easily reached - these in fact are a good few km away. At the edge of Deadvlei is Big Daddy, thought to be the highest sand dune in the world. The 1.5 to 2 hours it takes to climb this dune is well worth the effort, as much for the photos as for the fast run- or roll-down at the end. Do this in the early morning however, by mid-morning the sand is scorching hot, especially in summer!