Sossusvlei; an unforgettable and otherworldly landscape, alive with such vivid colours, a raw and simple beauty… The landscape will be forever embedded in your mind’s eye. Imagine majestic burnt orange sand dunes, the tallest in the world, rising in smooth undulating waves around you. Behind the dunes is the sky, always cloudless and the deepest shades of blue. Dotted around, are the skeletons of scorched trees for contrast, and the ground under your feet kicks up a chalky dust. If you’re lucky, an oryx with its distinctive horns will wander into view. This is Namibia's iconic Sossuslvei and it is simply mind-blowing.
It is best to climb the dunes before dawn, when the sandy structures around you are silent and grey, with just the whisper of grains of sand shifting in the soft breeze, slowly erasing any sign of footprints. Then as the sun makes a slow appearance, blotting out the stars, watch the dunes run a gradient of colour from grey to yellow before bursting into a blaze of red – it’s practically impossible to take a bad photograph! Absorb this mesmerising sight for as long as possible, then get your adrenaline kick by sliding down the dune! There are a number of dunes that can be climbed, but Big Daddy is the largest. It is especially challenging and unpredictably high, but once at the top you are treated to gorgeous vistas below.
After sliding down, one can explore Deadvlei, a nearby white clay pan. At ground level, you can learn about the small reptiles that call this inhospitable habitat their home, including the Namibia Sand Gecko who can run on scorching sand by spreading his webbed feet. Another fabulous way to view Sossusvlei is by air. Either by light aircraft on a scenic flight from the coast, taking in views as you head over the white younger dunes, before reaching further inland where the older dunes’ iron contents have been oxidised by the sun, creating the beautiful burnt red colour. Or enjoy silently floating over the dunes by hot air balloon whilst watching the sun slowly rising over this awe-inspiring landscape. Star gazing is excellent in this region with many of the luxury lodges offering a ‘star bed’ experience where luxuriously comfortable beds are made up on top of your room to sleep out under the stars.
Features in the following itineraries
- An African Extravaganza – Namibia, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique
- An Offbeat Namibian Adventure – An Explorer’s Dream
- Namibia Express: Sossusvlei, Damaraland and Etosha
- Namibia in Style: A heady mix of safari, dunes and culture
- Namibia with the kids in tow
- Namibia: Dunes, Wildlife, Coastlines – the Works!
- Starry-Eyed Namibia: The Ultimate Romantic Getaway
- Whales, Dunes, Shipwrecks & Wildlife – From Namibia’s Bush, Desert & Skeleton Coast to South Africa’s Garden Route & Cape Town
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
- Leslie Siben, India
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
- Susan Ford, India
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
- Mr David Wallace, North India
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
- Jaime Benitez, South India