In the southern part of the Namib Desert, you will find Sossusvlei, Namib’s most famous tourist destination. This area lays claim to so many accolades including being located in the largest park in Africa, part of a World Heritage Site, located in the Oldest and only Coastal Desert in the world and most famous for having arguably the highest dunes in the world. It is, therefore, no surprise that the towering dunes of Sossusvlei and the breathtaking landscape of Dead Vlei are the most visited tourist destination in Namibia.
Best visited early morning or late afternoon, while the sun is still low as this casts half the dunes in shadow creating the most spectacular photo opportunities. Additionally, these tend to be the coolest part of the day which is critical when exploring the desert.
It is also home to a surprising number of animals, including many endemic species including the Dune lark, Namibia’s only truly endemic bird, and the Peringuey’s adder, a snake known for its sidewinding capabilities, the oryx, Namibia’s national animal which is specially adapted to desert life. It is an area that simply has to be experienced on any Namibian journey and it will undoubtedly be one of your abiding memories.
For those that have their heart set on watching the sunrise, or set from the top of Dune 45, or being the first up Big Daddy, the highest dune in the area that encircles Dead Vlei, then overnighting inside the park is a must as it allows you longer access to the dunes (1hour before sunrise, and 1hr after sunset) than if you were to stay outside the park. These days, this means that you have the choice between 2 campsites or 2 upmarket lodges, but these are incredibly popular and we recommend that you do book ahead if you are wishing to stay inside the park.