Sossusvlei is situated in the southern part of the Namib Desert in the Namib-Naukluft National Park of Namibia and the general term Sossusvlei refers to both the place itself as well as its surroundings. This white salt and clay pan is surrounded by iconic red sand dunes that are beautifully contrasted by the blue sky. “Sossu” is the Namib word for “dead end” and “vlei” is the Afrikaans word for “marsh” so roughly translated Sossusvlei means dead-end marsh which fits the destination perfectly as it is a drainage basin without any outflows. Sossusvlei and its surroundings not only makes for a photographic haven but also for an adventurous one.
Sossusvlei is a clay pan that is covered with sand that is rich in salt making the area white in appearance. The dunes surrounding this is area nearly reach 400m high some of the highest in the world. One way of viewing this spectacular destination as well as its surroundings is via a hot air balloon which provides a thrilling adventure over a rare view.
Another clay pan just out of Sossusvlei is Deadvlei which means “dead marsh” in English, this area is covered with skeletons of dead trees that are nearly 900 years old due to a period of drought that hit the area leaving it as forest frozen in time. This area serves as a photographic haven due to the stunning contrasts between the blue sky, white ground, black trees and the red sand dunes surrounding.
Some the iconic dunes in the areas surrounding Sossusvlei include Dune 45 and Big Daddy. Dune 45 due to its fascinating shape and accessibility makes it one of the most photographed dunes in the world. This dune was named Dune 45 as it is situated 45km from Sesrium Gate which is the main access point to the Namib-Naukluft National Park and the sand making up this dune is nearly 5 million years old. Visitors are allowed to climb this dune that is 85m high, so be sure to arrive early to experience the sunrise over the Sossusvlei area. Big Daddy is situated past Sossusvlei near Deadvlei. Big Daddy just like Dune 45 can also be climbed but it is a much more strenuous climb due to its height, the dune itself is 325m making it one of the highest dunes in the Sossusvlei area and provides spectacular views of the Deadvlei area.
Another must see in this area is the Sesrium Canyon which has been shaped over millions of years by the Tsauchab River and is about 1m long and 30m deep. The canyon is situated 4.5km from the Namibia-Naukluft National Park and is one of the few places in the Sossusvlei that holds water throughout the year.
Sossusvlei is one of the top destinations in the Namibia region and one that attract attention purely because of its natural beauty. If you are looking for a bucket list adventure and breath-taking views that are begging to be photographed the Sossusvlei area is for you. Please contact us if you would like more information or sample packages showing how this destination can be incorporated into a package.