Thoughts on the dune top: an afternoon in the desert
Written on: March 18, 2014
I visited in December 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 more obvious than in Namib-Naukluft National Park. The sand dunes here are some of the tallest in the world, some reaching upwards of a 1000 feet! It's also the largest National Park in Africa, the fourth largest in the world. But the most incredible thing about this park, it its home to the oldest desert in the world (as old as 80 million years old!!!).
My party and I were led on a guided tour of Dead Vlei and Sossusvlei, ancient salt pans riddled with the ghosts of dead acacia trees. The scenery was so eerie, I had to crouch down for a moment, rub my eyes, and remind myself that it was all real. You know that 'ol saying, the "sounds of silence"...everything was a whisper, the sands absorbed all sound.
I learned about the "San" people, and their unique relationship with the desert. How they would sleep out on the dunes, never worried about the scorpions, snakes or spiders that lurked beneath the surface. And how they would find small springs, eat lizards, and know what desert plants were safe to eat - it was fascinating!
At the end of the day, just before sunset, we ascended Dune 45, arguably the most photographed Dune in the world, and I soon realized why. Its shape is exquisite, and the view from the top was breathtaking.
Despite not seeing too many animals, the occasional gemsbok, the desert was full of life. It's a place I will NEVER forget.
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!
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...
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 ...
I am an independent traveller with a passion for getting off the beaten track and away from mass tourism. I have been spoilt with all the safaris that I have had the opportunity to go on and have had some extraordinary wildlife sightings. I can often be found sittin...
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...
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
Not so much wildlife, yet great opportunities to photograph desert adapted animals
Great opportunities for team building activities
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...
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...
Written on: May 24, 2013
| Visited: Apr 2013.
Driving through the Namib-Nakfult National Park is simply awesome. The enormous and eerily enticing large sand dunes are spectacular. Parts of the park resemble a lunar landscape while other places rise with massive purple-hued rocky mountains of the Naukluft Mountain. Just as tall and certainly as impressive are the stunning orange sand dunes of Sossusvlei, blown ...