Sossusvlei means ‘the gathering place of water”. Finding water here though, is a very rare occurrence. Instead, you’ll find the highest sand dunes in the world, Namibia’s most outstanding scenic attraction.
The dunes are part of the Namib Desert and have developed over a period of millions of years. Climbing to the top of one of these dunes provides breath-taking views of the whole area, including Deadvlei, a large, ghostly expanse of dried white clay punctuated by skeletons of ancient camel thorn trees, carbon-dated between 500-600 years old.
The best time to view Sossusvlei is close to sunrise and sunset when the dunes refract spectacular colours, ranging from burnt orange to deep reds. It’s a photographer’s dream.
At the entrance to Sossusvlei is the Sesriem Canyon, where centuries of erosion have incised a narrow gorge which plunges down for 30 – 40 metres, about 1 km in length. At the foot of the gorge are deep pools of water which are replenished after good rains.