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Namib-Naukluft National Park reviews

13 reviews

“The desert gets more beautiful with time. Bring all your provisions and engulf yourself in the landscape.” - Stephen Bailey

Breathtakingly simple and astonishingly beautiful

Views: 476 Visited: Jan 2013 Reviewed: Sep 09, 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 homogeny, but leaving me alone, again. Lizards occasionally scurry around but in this harsh environment there is little living.

Sossusvlei is the park's main visitor attraction, where dunes rise more than 300 metres off the floor and stand over dried out lake beds. Dead acacia trees rise from the ground and occasionally gemsbok prints mark the sand. Once at Sossusvlei the desert extends as far as the eye can see, in every direction. It's breathtakingly simple, and astonishingly beautiful.

You can feel the primitive majesty, surrounded by a 360 degree landscape untouched by human hand for millions of years. The desert paradox induces a transfixion. From every angle it is the same, but no view can ever be the same. Each peak, ridge, curve, and canyon, has its distinctive size and matchless shape. Subtly moving the dunes from yellow to red to black as the sun and moon play their daily part. And tomorrow the dunes will be completely different, perpetual wind making infinitesimal changes every minute. On the one hand there is nothing. On the other hand nothing is the same, and nothing in the world can compare to this landscape.

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