Namib-Naukluft National Park


  13 reviews
Sossusvlei, Namib-Naukluft National Park
Sossusvlei, Namib-Naukluft National Park
About Namib-Naukluft National Park
Country found in:
Parks total area:
50,000 km² (19,000 mile²)
Year established:
1907
Anti-malarial:
Recommended
Park wildlife:
  • Home to the Namib--the world’s oldest desert
  • Largest conservation park in Africa
  • For the bird enthusiasts and ornithologists, Sandwich Harbour a key wetland for waterbirds, flamingoes and cormorants among them
  • Orange sand dunes of Sossusvlei, the forest of Dead Vlei and the Naukluft Mountains
  • Large mammals include Hartmann’s mountain zebra, giraffe, gemsbok, springbok, leopard and cheetah

Situated on the west coast of Namibia, beautiful, orange-duned Namib-Naukluft National Park is home to the Namib, considered by many to be the world’s most ancient desert. Established in 1907, vast, 50,000 km² (19,000 mile²) Namib-Naukluft is the largest conservation park in Africa. Its wetlands couch bird-wealthy marine sanctuary Sandwich Harbour, and its deserts boast the magnificent sand dunes of Sossusvlei, the haunting, clay-bed-based forest of Dead Vlei, the Naukluft mountain range and several cutting canyons.

Not to be missed are spectacular Sossusvlei’s haunting, rust-colored dunes—among the world’s tallest and most spectacular--and its leafless forest of dead, sun-scorched camel thorn trees. Fog blown in off the Atlantic Ocean accounts for most of the desert’s moisture and the winds that blow it for the dunes’ oxidized hue. Jackal, hyena, raptors, snakes, scorpions and myriad other tough beasts, birds, reptiles and insects have adapted to living in the region’s desert, and lichens, succulents and grasses contribute to the park’s botanical abundance. Large mammals protected in this park include Hartmann’s mountain zebra, giraffe, gemsbok, springbok, leopard and cheetah.

While much of the park is not accessible, visitors to this wondrous place can plan to slide down sand dunes, embark on rugged hikes, photograph, 4x4, stargaze and camp (the park’s only in-house accommodations are basic campsites). The dunes’ colors are finest at sunrise and sunset. 

When is the best time of year to visit Namib-Naukluft National Park? 

Most consider April to October the best months to visit, followed by the dry winter months of July to September. High summer temperatures mean that hiking is only permitted between March and October, and the park receives 106 mm (4.1 inches) of rainfall each year, generally in February and April. Sandwich Harbour does not allow camping and is open to visitors—4x4 vehicles only—before and after dark. No angling is allowed between the end of January and mid-April.

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(3/5 stars) Written on: Apr 28, 2015   |   Visited: Apr 2015.
Anybody in love with desert landscapes should visit the park, best hours, of course, early morning and at dawn. Sandy stretch arriving to Sossusvlei can be tricky, be careful with your driving! read more

I saw

Ostrich
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9 people gave this review kudus.

(5/5 stars) Written on: Apr 07, 2015   |   Visited: Mar 2015.
Namib National Park is an adventure of a lifetime. After spending a days photographing the beautiful red dunes, you'll agree too.

The Namib-Naukluft National Park is located in SW Namibia ending at the Atlantic Ocean. I recommend a plane or helicopter ride while you're there to really see the vastness of the Dunes.

I didn't go to sand dunes to see wildlife, ... read more

I saw

Chameleon
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8 people gave this review kudus.

(5/5 stars) Written on: Jul 15, 2014   |   Visited: Jul 2014.
The Namib Desert with its massive dune fields was recently inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage site as the 'Sea of Sand'. Stunning beauty of this desert region of Namibia is overwhelming! At Sossusvlei: huge sandy dunes stand tall over clay floor of Dead Vlei and hidden valleys. Blue, white and orange colors blend creating tri-color desert scenery unequal to any... read more
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12 people gave this review kudus.

(5/5 stars) Written on: Mar 18, 2014   |   Visited: Dec 2009.
"The Earth is not ours, it is a treasure we hold in trust for future generations". This was one of the first pieces of wisdom given to me by my Ju'Hoansi guide during my visit to Namib-Naukluft National Park. And as we both stood there, I looked peered around at the towering dunes, I knew exactly what he meant.

Namibia is a country of extremes, and nowhere is it... read more

I saw

Warthog
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9 people gave this review kudus.

(4/5 stars) Written on: Jan 24, 2014   |   Visited: Dec 2011.
I'd always wanted to see Sossusvlei, ever since I'd seen some of the lunar-like photos my friend took on her trip a few years ago. I finally got my chance two Christmases ago. I went with a few photographer friends. We hired a car in Cape Town and drove up in the scorching heat. In retrospect, December may not be the most ideal time to visit Namib-Naukluft. It was ... read more

I saw

Bat-eared fox
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Nov 25, 2013   |   Visited: Jan 2009.
Sossusvlei is a sea of dunes, there is no other more descriptive word for the area. The first time I visited Sossusvlei I was on a self drive by myself and I had to keep stopping so that my brain could assimilate what I was seeing. The red red dunes of Sossusvlei seemed to stretch for eternity.

The best time to see the dunes is in the very early morning as the s... read more

I saw

Vervet monkey
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9 people gave this review kudus.

(5/5 stars) Written on: Sep 24, 2013   |   Visited: Mar 2010.
I had the pleasure of visiting Namibia in 2010, and I'm still enchanted by this park.

Let me start by saying that I saw very little wildlife in this park, but that didn't matter in the slightest.

The landscape is just amazing. The red dunes and blue, blue sky look almost unreal.

Most people try to get to the park when the gates open at 5am and then head f... read more

I saw

Eland
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12 people gave this review kudus.

(5/5 stars) Written on: Sep 24, 2013   |   Visited: Jul 2012.
A great photographic safari destination is Sossusvlei with its amazing sand dunes in the Namib Desert in Namibia. It offers:

Mind blowing landscapes,
Great aerial photography with hot air ballooning
Great colours
Not so much wildlife, yet great opportunities to photograph desert adapted animals
Great opportunities for team building activities
Wildlife photo... read more

I saw

Ostrich
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(5/5 stars) Written on: Sep 14, 2013   |   Visited: Sep 2010.
Most of the tourist brochures for Namibia feature the dunes at Sossusvlei and the nearby site of Dead Vlei. The barren landscapes have a haunting view beloved by amateur and professional photographers alike: see http://www.flickr.com/photos/22918294@N04/sets/72157625374479829/. It might be thought that the popularity of these attractions would diminish their appeal... read more
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9 people gave this review kudus.
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** Safari guru **

(5/5 stars) Written on: Sep 09, 2013   |   Visited: Jan 2013.
Once inside there is nothing. From every angle the desert is the same, indiscriminate piles of sand connected by sweeping curves and steep unclimbable walls. With each step nothing is achieved. The foot sinks in, the leg pulls it out, and the body moves onward to another indistinguishable angle. A drifting eagle contemplates its chances, concisely breaking the homo... read more
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Showing the 10 most recent reviews See all reviews
Safari suitability: 7 / 10
For the intrepid traveler, visiting this glorious landscape is like celebrating Halloween on the moon. With zebras.
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