Deadvlei & Sossusvlei Namibia
Sossusvlei is actually Namibia’s most visited landmark, although, because of its remoteness and vast expanse, it really doesn’t feel as crowded. On the contrary, I’ve never enjoyed the silence and solitude more than from Dune 45’s peak, watching the early lights of the day reveal the outline of the surrounding dune crests, alongside just a handful of other visitors.
Found in South Namibia, within the Namib-Naukluft National Park, Sossusvlei first strikes by its remarkable desolated beauty. While the famous acacia skeletons trapped in white clay unearth as one of the best photo opportunities, the ever-changing orange dunes in the background rise as a challenge to be climbed and ran down for the most reckless out there… These are in fact, some of the tallest dunes in the world!
Deadvlei is a white clay pan located near the more famous salt pan of Sossusvlei, inside the Namib-Naukluft Park in Namibia. Also written Deadvlei or Dead Vlei, its name means “dead marsh”. The pan also is referred to as “Dooie Vlei” which is the fully Afrikaans name
One of Namibia’s most iconic sights is the unique dead trees surrounded by red sand dunes. The shifting of these massive sand dunes turned what was once a fertile marsh into a dry barren pan. Slowly over time the winds move the massive dunes and have cut off water to a series of “deadvleis” which translated means dead marsh.
The ground dried into a cracked and crusty salty-clay and the only thing left is the skeletons of twisted Acacia trees. The trees are thought to be around 1,000 years old, they are not petrified, but they have not decomposed because the air is so dry here. A visit to one of the few Deadveli’s is a must-see attraction in Namibia.
How to get to Deadvlei & Sossusvlei Namibia
Sossusvlei is located about 350km southwest of Windhoek. If you’re planning to visit as part of a Namibia road trip, a day should be enough time (6 – 8 hours). While driving the route in a 2WD car is possible, we recommend using a high clearance vehicle (SUV or 4WD) as parts of the route can get a little treacherous.
Where to stay while visiting Deadvlei & Sossusvlei Namibia
Sesriem is the main place to find a place to stay near the salt pan and dunes. Most accommodations are found outside the Sesriem gate which means you will only be able to enter the park at sunrise and will need to leave at sunset. If you wish to spend more time inside the park, there are little lodging within the park but be prepared to pay a lot more than the accommodations available on the other side of the fence.
Kulala Desert lodge
Kulala Desert Lodge is situated on the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve and in easy reach of the magnificent dunes of Sossusvlei. The lodge offers private a entrance into the Namib- Naukluft National Park.
It draws its inspiration from North Africa with the main guest area incorporating a lounge, bar, and dining area. There is a plunge pool for cooling down on simmering summer days and a wrap-around veranda boasting incredible views of the waterhole in front of the lodge.
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