Sossusvlei Namibia: Everything You Must Know

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Sossusvlei in Namibia is home to the one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Sossusvlei means “dead-end marsh”  it is a salt and clay pan surrounded by immense red dunes. Located in the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the area is more than 300 kilometres long and consisting of endless dunes in Namibia that are a spectacular to look at. Below are the best top-rated attractions in Sossusvlei.


1. Sesriem Canyon

Sesriem Canyon is a small canyon which is easily accessible The must-visit Canyon is made up of stunning rock formations that have been shaped by the Tsauchab River over millions of years. Walking inside the canyon is an amazing experience. One must go down into the canyon to truly experience its awesomeness.

2. Elim Dune

Elim Dune is one of the most visited sand dunes in Namibia.  You will be able to see some life on the dune as it has grass, insects and birds. It was named after the farm that was once located here before it was integrated with the nature park during its establishment. The dune is especially beautiful during sunrise and sunset when the light gently cascades over the dune.


3. Big Daddy

As the name suggests Big Daddy is the highest dune in the Sossusvlei area.  This beautiful dune is situated between Sossusvlei and Deadvlei and over 300 meters tall it makes the other dunes look very small. The climb can be very exhausting but you will be rewarded with great views when you get to the top of the dune. Remember to take a lot of water

4. Deadvlei


Deadvlei is about 2 km away from Sossusvlei, it is a stunning place to visit that will take your breath away.  This is one of the most beautiful desert attractions in the world. Now a clay pan Deadvlei used to be an oasis with several acacia trees; afterwards, the river that watered the oasis changed its course. The pan is thus punctuated by blackened, dead acacia trees, in vivid contrast to the shiny white of the salty floor of the pan and the intense orange of the dunes. The contrast between the red dunes, white clay, dead trees, and blue sky make for stunning pictures that will create lasting memories.

5. Dune 45

Dune 45 is one of the highest dunes in the world is about 90 meters high and it is composed of 5-million-year-old sands. Dune 45 is the most popular of all the dunes in Namibia. It’s a very exciting climb to the top of the biggest attractions because of its location to the road through the desert. The dune is every photographer’s dream as one can see a fantastic 360 view, with a memorable mix of colours.

6. Hiddenvlei

Hiddenvlei is a 2km walk from the end of the 2×4 track and the route is marked with wooden poles.  This vlei is the least visited of all the vleis letting those who make the journey enjoy some solitude in the beautiful desert surroundings.

7. Hot Air Ballooning in Sossusvlei

Hot Air Balloon Sossusvlei

Get a spectacular view over Sossusvlei from a hot air balloon. This exhilarating hot air balloon flight takes about an hour. To enquire about more information on the hot air balloon you can contact Sossusvlei Lodge


Be careful as you drive so that you don’t get stuck in the loose sand.

It is best to use a shuttle service to take you there if you do not have enough experience in off-road driving on sand.

It can get very hot in summer so bring along lots of water to keep yourself hydrated, sunscreen, sun hat and glasses.

Bring a very good camera.

You can ride over the majestic Sossusvlei in a hot air balloon.

Get there as early as possible to enjoy the climb at your pace before it gets very busy.

The best time to experience the beauty of Sossusvlei is close to sunrise and sunset.

Accommodation in Sossusvlei

There are various accommodation choices around Sossusvlei. The options available include luxurious desert accommodation, campsite options and self-catering accommodation. Below are 2 places you can stay at during your Sossusvlei visit.

Kulala Desert Lodge

Kulala Desert Lodge
Photo Credit: Kulala Lodge

Sossusvlei Lodge 

Sossusvlei Lodge
Photo Credit: Sossusvlei Lodge

Also, read 10 Countries you need to visit in Africa 

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