Holidays to Sossuvlei & Sesriem, Namibia

One of Namibia’s most spectacular attractions, Sossusvlei in the southern Namib Desert is a truly unforgettable landscape – a large white salt and clay pan surrounded by red dunes that are among the highest in the world. The sand here is an astonishing five million years old. As the sun rises to its scorching height and then sets again, the dunes go through breathtaking changes, and at the end of the day dramatic shadows contrast starkly with the bright red sand. It’s one of the most photographed places in sub-Saharan Africa. 

In summer, temperatures here often hover around 40 degrees. But despite the harsh conditions in the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the hardiest of animals manage to survive. From beetles, spiders and geckos to antelopes, ostriches and spotted hyena, a close look at the sand reveals a multitude of tracks from the animals that have made their home in this barren place. 

One of the really iconic sights here is the utterly surreal landscape of Deadvlei, a clay pan scattered with dead acacia trees. Standing starkly upright against the white salt pan floor and the luminous orange of the dunes, these blackened trees look unforgettably eerie. They’ve appeared in numerous films and videos. 

Big Daddy is the highest dune in the Sossusvlei area, at around 325 metres, and it’s a magnificent sight. Another famous landmark is Dune 45, which visitors are allowed to climb. If you do so early in the morning, you’ll be able to watch the spectacular sunrise from the top. And at both ends of the day the floor of the salt pan resembles a lunar landscape – it’s got to be seen to be appreciated. 

Another must is a visit to the nearby Sesriem Canyon, a natural gorge carved out millions of years ago by the Tsauchab River. It’s up to 30 metres deep at points and around 1 kilometre long, and a walk along it is a memorable experience. At sunrise or sunset, the intense light and changing shadows make the stunning rock formations a spectacular sight. 

There’s a range of accommodation around Sossusvlei, catering for everyone from budget-conscious travellers to those seeking a luxury retreat. Some of the lodges offer guests private plunge pools to cool down from the desert heat; others have an observatory for some of the best star-gazing in the world. 

But for many visitors the absolute highlight is a serene voyage in a hot air balloon – maybe the best way of all to experience the beauty and solitude of the Namib Desert. 

Highlights

  • See some of the highest sand dunes in the world

  • Wander across the surreal landscape of Deadvlei

  • Climb Dune 45 to watch a spectacular desert sunrise

  • Walk the length of spooky Sesriem Canyon

  • Take a serene hot air balloon trip over the desert

Jody
Travel Designer & Safari Expert
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I adore Africa and have lived and worked in South Africa as well as travelling across the wider region. Spotting a leopard during a night safari at Namibia Private Game Reserve is definitely an experience I'll remember forever.
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Sossuvlei & Sesriem trip ideas

Here are some trip ideas that include Sossuvlei & Sesriem. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 01483 319 333

Map of Sossusvlei & Sesriem