Seeing beyond the average tourist routes and experiencing local life is my type of travel! Living in South Africa I'm an environmentalist at heart, and I continue to marvel at the beauty of the African continent.
Written on: May 02, 2013
I visited in March 2012
High red dunes shimmering in the almost daily golden sunset await you at Namib-Naukluft National Park. Visiting the Namib-Naukluft National Park feels like visiting the end of the earth and you could easily gaze for hours at the miles and miles of undisturbed views, dunes and the Naukluft Mountains.
Although the majority of the Namib-Naukluft National Park is not accessible to visitors, the campsites (Sesriem Campsite, Naukluft Campsite and a third campsite in the northern section of the park) are well located for visiting the main attractions of the park and associated activities such as hiking and dune climbing. Sesriem Campsite is located close to the world-famous Sossuvlei and Sesriem Canyon. Sossusvlei is about an hour’s drive from the campsite and the route up to the Sossusvlei parking area for accessing the Dead Vlei, although at times a bumpy ride, can be undertaken in a normal two-wheel drive vehicle. From the parking area, make your way to the Dead Vlei and sand dunes on foot, or make use of the four-wheel drive shuttle service. Once you find yourself under the majestic dunes staring at the ancient dead trees you will find yourself on a whole different planet!
Climbing Dune 45 along the way to Sossuvlei is another highly recommended activity. Dune 45 is located 45 kilometers from the Sesriem campsite gate – you will easily spot the dune starting point, just look out for the parked trucks and overlanders! Although not an overly easy climb, with a fair level of fitness it is possible to endure to the top, and alas, the view and a quiet opportunity to reflect while watching the panoramic sunrise or sunset is a perfect reward.
For the more active and adventurous traveler, an eight-day hiking trail through the river canyon starts at the Naukluft camping site. The hike is however under strict control, including proof of medical health. Authorities only allow hiking during the winter months due to the desert’s extreme summer temperatures.
Unlike some of the other major game parks around, the Namib-Naukluft Park is not home to any lions - a rather important factor seeing that you will be camping under the stars and hiking in and around the park. Despite a small population of leopards roaming within the park, they are not known to interfere with humans. The Namib-Naukluft National Park is also a perfect place for self-guided 4x4 trails, exploring the Naukluft Mountains while spotting Gemsbok, Klipspringers, Zebra and Jackals.
Whichever activities you are planning for the Namib-Naukluft National Park, know that your visit should be properly planned. Tackle all your activities in this desert environment as early as possible, or late afternoon - even winter days can be scorching hot! Sufficient water and food supplies should be taken along as facilities and supplies within the park are limited.
The Namib-Naukluft National Park is for the serious traveler looking beyond comfortable accommodation and traditional safaris. Visiting Naukluft, rated as one of the world’s top ten parks, with affordability as an added bonus, remains a lifetime highlight!
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: 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...
Written on: Jan 23, 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...
Plan all your food, water and other supplies ahead, the park has very little to offer. If visiting during the summer (Nov-Mar) avoid all activities during midday due to the heat and ensure that you have sufficient water supply with you, at all times!