June 07, 2015 · AFRICA
sand dunes sossusvlei namibia

Sand Dunes Sossusvlei Namibia.

Sossusvlei map-of-sand-dunes

fig1. Sossusvlei map

The sand dunes of Namibia are large and dramatic, yet are a short stroll by foot from the road. Near Sossusvlei they rise to 300m (being amongst the world’s highest) with individual sand tongues extending across the gravel plains on either side of the main sealed road, see Sossusvlei map, Fig1.

Prevailing winds sweep the plains clear of sand and preserve their classical shape. This process is so efficient that it is possible to have one foot immersed in sand and the other positioned on the gravel plain free of sand.

Visiting the Sand Dunes of Sossusvlei.


♦ The sand tongues start to appear around 24 km from the gate at Sesriem and continue to Sossusvlei at 65km. (see fig1).
♦ The best time is after sunrise when the air is clear the colour of the sand appears vibrant and the shadows are very dark (fig2).

top-of -Sossusvlei-sand-dune

fig3. top of sand dune Sossusvlei


fig2. Along the road to Sossusvlei

♦ At sunset there is some dust or haze in the air and there is less contrast, but the light is more red (fig4).
♦ Best time to visit is May to September when day temperatures are moderate 20-350C, but the nights can fall below freezing. During November-February peak temperatures can soar well above 400C.

♦ The last 5km to Sossusvlei is over sand and is only passable with 4WD vehicles. Local trucks will shuttle visitors from the car park at the end of the sealed road to Sossusvlei for a fee. At the car park there are toilet facilities.
♦ The park gate at Sesriem opens around sunrise and shuts at around sunset (times vary). During peak season there can be a long queue of cars waiting for the gate to open.
♦ At Sesriem there is a 20 site campsite with toilets and showers, a small kiosk, for basic groceries, and a petrol station. It has its own gate to the park which may open a little earlier (30min) than the main gate. Demand is high and booking is required well in advance during peak season June-September.


fig4. Dune near no.45 just before sunset

♦ Accommodation inside the park is at the Sossus Dune Lodge. This allows visitors to reach Sossusvlei before sunrise and return after sunset. Booking: Sossus Dune Lodge
♦ Other places of interest: Deadvlei, 2km walk from the end of the sand track. Sesriem Canyon 4.5km road from gate.
The frequently climbed sand dunes are no. 45 which has a car park (see fig1), and the dunes (fig3) at the end of the sand track.