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Namib-Naukluft National Park reviews

13 reviews

“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!” - Fran

Finding peace and quietness in the Namib desert

Views: 651 Visited: Mar 2012 Reviewed: May 02, 2013

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!

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