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Sossusvlei is at the heart of the enormous Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia's largest protected area at 50,000 km2 (5 million hectares).

The rich, soft sand has blown in over the centuries to create some of the largest dunes in the world, their shape dynamic and ever-changing. The tallest of these in the national park is Dune 7, standing at 388m, while Big Daddy overlooks the Sossusvlei area from a height of 325m. Scampering up to the top of these dunes on sliding sands presents a view unlike any other – with the umber sands stretching as far as the eye can see.

Not far from Sossusvlei and flanked by Dune 45, Deadvlei is equally scenic. Here, the skeletons of camelthorn trees fed by a river now long redirected bear testament to the harshness of the desert. The lack of moisture has prevented the trees' natural decomposition, leaving them standing as eerie silhouettes against the pale white of the salt pan.

Scroll past the safari packages below to find out EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW about Sossusvlei.

The safaris below include Sossusvlei

Everything you need to know about Sossusvlei

  • The scenic beauty of Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei. A sought-after subject for photographers, the dunes are best viewed at the beginning and end of the day when the warm tones of the dunes are starkly contrasted against the glaring pale surfaces of the large clay pans that are scattered amongst the dunes.

  • The tiring but exhilarating climb up Dune 45 and Big Daddy, amongst the tallest dunes in the world

  • Dawn hot-air balloon trips over the dunes, followed by a champagne breakfast in the desert

  • Desert-adapted wildlife such as gemsbok and ostrich

READ MORE about Sossusvlei and Western Namibia

Sossusvlei is an endorheic drainage basin for the Tsauchab River, with "Sossusvlei" roughly translating as "no return" or "dead-end marsh". Spectacular dunes, coloured bright red and orange by oxidised iron, surround the salt and clay pan. The Tsauchab River is ephemeral, and years of dry can pass before it flows, filling the bottom of the pan with precious but short-lived water.

Formed over millions of years, these huge dunes are composed entirely of sand that has blown in from the Kalahari Desert and the mouth of the Orange River. 


There is no accommodation in Namib-Naukluft National Parkwithin the immediate Sossusvlei area, but numerous options are within a short drive of the entry gate. Check out Sossusvlei accommodation options here (filter by place or lodge name) and follow the prompts to send us an enquiry.

Are you ready for Sossusvlei?

If none of the above packages to Sossusvlei fails to grab your imagination, we will craft that epic safari just for you

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