Sossusvlei Dunes

The exquisite beauty of Namibia lies in the extensive stretch of the desert where there are monumentally high dunes standing erect. The shadows of their sinuous crests and warm colors keep changing with the ticking away of the day. Visitors always look for these gigantic shaped sandy mountains up to 325 meters high . Sossusvlei’s mountainous dunes lie at the end of the erosional trough formed by Tsauchab River. The warm tints of the sand which range from pale apricot to brick orange and deep red, contrast vividly with the dazzling white surfaces of the large clay pans at their bases. One of these has been named Dead Pan which is a large expanse of arid white clay punctuated by skeletons of ancient camel-thorn trees, dated as being up to 500 years old. When the Tsauchab River overflows after heavy shower and fills the main pan, flamingos and other aquatic birds are attracted to the area, bringing alive this surreal wonder of nature. There is no accommodation at Sossusvlei itself, so the Namib-Naukluft National Park of Namibia.

The name Sossusvlei has a mixed origin roughly meaning ‘dead-end marsh’. The area belongs to a wider region of Sougeneous features (about 32,000 square kms) extending between river Koichab and Kuiseb. The oldest dunes are those of a more reddish colour. Many of these dunes are above 200 meters and the highest which has been nicknamed Big Daddy being 380 meters high. The Sossusvlei area abounds with relatively rich fauna which mostly comprises small animals that can survive with little water, including a number of small reptiles and small mammalians; bigger animals which include antelopes and ostriches. A variety of migrant birds appear along the marshes and rivers during the rainy season. The Namibian authorities have done a great deal to support and facilitate tourism in the area since Sossusvlei is undoubtedly the foremost attraction of Namibia. There is concrete road connectivity between Sesriem and Sossusvlei which was constructed in early 2000AD. The authorities have also built several accommodation structures along the border of the National Park between Sesriem and the nearest settlement Solitaire.

Transportation is not at all a problem there. Accommodation is cheaper as compared to the other tourist destinations. Food served in the lodges or hotels is of grand quality, much to the liking of average tourists. Sossusvlei is a must-see to all the visitors. So it is advisable that they should stay one night at any of the plentiful lodges close to Sossusvlei, go in and tick off and then venture on to Wolwedans and Namib Rand to spend exclusive quality time far away from the maddening crowds. Sossusvlei excursions by road are not offered from Wolwedans, so one can fly over there in the early morning hours if he has a private plane in possession.