Sossusvlei & Sesriem
360 Virtual Video Tour: Sossusvlei Dunes
Sossusvlei has monumentally high dunes; their sinuous crests and warm colours changing as the day waxes and wanes.
These gigantic star-shaped mountains of sand are formed by strong multi-directional winds, they are at their highest and most spectacular where the west-flowing Tsauchab River empties itself into the Vlei.
The warm tints of the sand, ranging from apricot to orange, red and maroon, contrast vividly with the dazzling white surfaces of the large deflationary clay pans at their bases. When it has rained sufficiently in the interior for the Tsauchab River to come down and fill the main pan, flamingos and other aquatic birds are drawn to the area.
At the park entrance to Sossusvlei is Sesriem Canyon, where centuries of erosion have incised a narrow gorge about 1 km in length. At the foot of the gorge, which plunges down 30 to 40 m, are pools that become replenished after good rains. Sesriem derives its name from the time when early pioneers tied six lengths of rawhide thongs together to draw water from the pools.
There are various approach routes -
From Windhoek the best way to travel is along the B1 to just south of Rehoboth and then to turn onto the C24 (signposted Klein Aub). Take the D1261 about 36 km further on, and then the D1275 via the Spreetshoogte Pass to the junction with the C14. Turn left to reach Solitaire after 9 km and continue along Route 36 to the sign posted turnoff to Sesriem some 70 km further south. Motorists are warned that the Spreetshoogte Pass is too steep for towing caravans.
SESRIEM AIR STRIP:
NOT LICENSED: 2435 S, 1550 E
Runway: 08/26, 1900 m, Gravel
The luxurious Sossus Dune Lodge is owned by NWR, and is the only establishment located inside the park.
Sossus Dune Lodge lies just 4km from the Sesriem gate, at the base of a mountain. There are magnificent views of the distant dunes to the west. It is the first, and currently only, lodge to be built in the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Guests can walk directly from the lodge into the nearby Sesriem Canyon.
The main central areas of Sossus Dune Lodge are raised on wooden decking. There is a small reception room, large open-plan restaurant with separate lounge/bar areas, all fitted with large sliding doors. There is also a swimming pool, with a few lazy-loungers, but guests should bring suntan lotion, as the pool area is not shaded. Self-drive vehicles are parked in a shaded parking area, and guests are transferred by electric golf cart!
Each of the 25 Sossus Dune Lodge chalets has been erected using a wooden frame with orange/yellow canvas for walls, capped with a thatched roof. They are loosely modelled on traditional Ovambo homes.
- Dune Chalet: Dune Chalets to the left of the main area have dune views. The chalets sited to the right of the main area present mountain/canyon views. Each chalet is linked by raised wooden walkways constructed from local rock and stone. A large en-suite bathroom complete with a hot shower, double basin and a flush toilet, twin beds, brightly-coloured mosquito nets, solar powered lights and fans, with complementary and environmentally friendly soaps, shampoo, body lotion etc. are standard. Leather and dark wood furniture complimented with suede loungers complete the furnishings. Superb views of the surrounding desert are obtained through frontal floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Open the top of the glass windows to generate additional air flow through the chalet. Step outside onto a large verandah.
- Honeymoon Chalet: The last chalet on either side of the main lodge is a 'honeymoon suite,' which have an additional small open-air lounge. The views, facilities and furnishings are similar to the Dune Chalets.
Guests benefit from staying at Sossus Dune Lodge, because as it is situated within the park, they will be able to reach Sossusvlei before sunrise, and stay until after sunset. Activities include a Sossusvlei sunset drive, guided nature drive, and a guided after-dinner stargazing stroll! Guided walks to the Sesriem Canyon can also be organized here.
Children of all ages are welcome at this lodge.
Sesriem Campsite - For the more adventurous traveller, Sesriem offers of a number of shady camp sites laid out under huge camel thorn trees. Each camp site has its own fireplace and tap, while some camp sites are encircled by a stone wall. Two small ablution blocks, as well as scullery facilities, are provided.
Petrol, diesel, firewood and cool drinks can be obtained at Sesriem, but there are no other amenities and visitors must, therefore, be self-sufficient.
Camping only at Sesriem (not in Sossusvlei) where there are only 18 camping sites plus 2 ablution blocks with hot and cold water
- Maximum, 8 people per site
- No bungalows or tents available
- Fuel, wood and a kiosk are available
- Due to the limited number of camp sites, reservations for Sesriem should be done well in advance especially for school holidays.
- Day visits to Sossusvlei and Sesriem canyon only between sunrise and sunset Ordinary sedan cars can travel the 63 km on the gravel road from Sesriem to the beginning of the vlei, but the last 4 km are only negotiable by 4-wheel-drive vehicles. The nearest dunes are only a few hundred metres away from the sedan car park and are easily accessible on foot or you can make use of the 4x4 Shuttle (to be booked additionally)