Namibia’s Desert Amphitheatre of Dunes
Sossusvlei is situated in the Namib-Naukluft National Park in the central Namib dunes and is easily accessible during a luxury Namibia safari. The Sossusvlei itself is more than 300 kilometers long and 140 kilometers wide and consists of seemingly endless sand dunes. The meaning of the Nama word for the Namib translates to “empty space” or “place where there is nothing”. The spectacular height of these dunes creates a phenomenal attraction to visitors. These dunes can reach up to 300 meters high and look like an amphitheatre surrounding the huge salt pan or “vlei”. Near to Sossusvlei, surrounded by dunes you will find Sesriem Canyon, which amazingly is filled with water year-round.
Ascend and Admire The Highest Dunes in The World
The Namib-Naukluft National Park is your safari gateway to some of Namibia’s most scenic highlights as well as the highest dunes in the world. Your early-morning safari excursion to Sossusvlei provides the ideal opportunity to marvel at and walk up these majestic dunes, including Dune 45 and Elim Dune, just in time to see the sun rise. Driving further along an off-the-beaten track you will also visit the surreal Deadvlei pan, famous for its 900-year old fossilized camelthorn trees dotting the landscape making for incredible photography. The Sossusvlei pan itself is situated further along still; a large white salt clay pan surrounded by its own majestic dunes. The pan is only filled with water once every 10 years.
A Water-Filled Canyon in The Desert at Sesriem
Close to Sossusvlei, the Sesriem Canyon has been shaped by the Tsauchab River over millions of years and is one of the few places in this desert area that holds water all year round. Sesriem Canyon is an interesting place to walk and appreciate the canyon’s multiple layers of exposed rock. It is best appreciated at sunrise or sunset, where the changing shadows and soft light foregrounds the area’s breath-taking scenery, setting up excellent photography opportunity or offering a weary traveller a chance for some quiet reflection. After good rains, pools of water collect in the narrow, sheltered sections on the floor of the canyon. These pools of crystal-clear water are an invigorating sight in the barren and stark surrounds, and some of the larger pools even present adventurous explorers with a chance to enjoy a refreshing swim.
Soar Over The Desert in a Hot-Air Balloon
If you are keen to see the dunes from another perspective, one of the best ways to view the desert and dunes is from above as you take to the skies in a hot-air balloon. These early-morning luxury hot-air balloon flights offer the perfect vantage point over the red dunes at sunrise, as you slowly soar over them. Your flight is perfectly rounded off by a champagne breakfast after your flight. Other recommended activities in this area include nature walks, nature drives, helicopter flights, quad biking and much more, depending on where you are staying for the duration of your Sossusvlei luxury safari.
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