Here are the 7 things you should know about the Sossusvlei safari, Namibia:
Sossusvlei sand dunes provide one of the most fascinating sights in the world. Experiencing the curving, clean-lined slopes which rise at remarkably 300m above the ground gives you a much fulfilling experience. Sossusvlei is located right at the center of Namib Naukluft National Park, with its dunes surrounding many dry pans which fill up on rare occasions when it rains. If you are looking for a place where you can take photographs of sand dune perfections, then you should plan your safari to Sossusvlei.
This is an isolated desert outpost that serves as the gateway to Sossusvlei. To reach here, you will have to drive through lonely long roads crossing wide empty land. The settlement found in this outpost revolves around two main functionalities which include the park office for Namib-Naukluft National Park and the petrol station.
You will have to pay your parking fees at the park office then obtain your entry permit. It is essential to note that accommodation within this outpost is limited, but you may find few choices scattered miles away. These accommodation facilities offer a great view of the Sossusvlei dunes, rising like ramparts to the southwest of Sesriem.
Perhaps what really attracted you to Sossusvlei were some images of charcoal-black skeleton trees standing on wide sheets of sand and signaling life dwarfed by the golden mountains. If that is the case, then your perfect destination is Deadvlei. These images have always been used to define the sand dunes in Namibia.
When you visit Deadvlei at midday, you will experience an apocalyptic scene. It is within this place that you can see the Big Daddy Dune, which is the highest of all Sossusvlei dunes. Watch out for the posted 4WD car park because that is where the sandy track to Deadvlei begins. If you are having a 2WD, remember you cannot drive it past the 4WD car park.
This is one of the most fascinating compliments to the moving sands and the wide horizons of the dunes found elsewhere in Sossusvlei. It is located by the roadside from Sesriem to Sossusvlei. This Canyon is a unique place in Namib. It has a labyrinth of trails, secluded water pools, and strange rock structures.
The feeling you may receive from experiencing this Canyon can either be claustrophobic or one of great intimacy. If you are wondering how this Canyon is formed, visit this place and you will realize the formation is through the merging of gravel and sand, and intensive solidification over the past millions of years. You will feel the permanence of air here, what can only be described as “a feeling that is impossible out amid the shifting sands.”
This is the major sand dune experiencing a destination in Namibia. Early in the morning and late at dusk, long queues form at the gate. To reach the location of the exact dunes, you will use the road following the path of the dry Tsauchab River. Far towards the northeastern side of the river valley, you will see Elim Dune. This is the best place you should mark for watching the dunes later in the evening because it is nearer to the gate.
WHEN TO VISIT :
Ranging from July to November, desert temperatures are at their mildest. This marks the high season for visit at Sossusvlei, and if you plan a safari at such a time, expect the highest accommodation costs. Additionally, it is during this time that you will meet the highest crowds here. From May to June, temperatures will have begun to cool, and several lodges will be charging cheaper accommodation costs. However, for the remaining times of the year, the temperatures will be soaring thus limiting the amount of time you can spend in the dunes.
OPENING TIMES :
The entry gate to Sossusvlei located at Sesriem opens during sunrise and closes late after sunset. If you want a smooth safari that will ensure you get in before the closure time, plan for a stay at either Sossus Dune Lodge or the Sesriem Campsite found right within the park boundaries. These camps provide you with the best opportunities to catch both morning and afternoon light.
It is critical for you to note that driving into and out of the park before dawn and after dusk is not allowed. Thus, by sleeping inside the park, you will be avoiding the queues at the gate. During high seasons, there may be many vehicles in the back, making the place less comfortable. That said, if you will not be staying in the park, ensure you came back to the gate before sunset.
PLAN OF VISIT :
Visiting the Sossusvlei can be done in different ways. However, you are advised to drive to your furthest destination which is the 4WD post. Be as fast as possible to ensure that you have the most improved chances of enjoying good photographic light in places such as Deadvlei. To ensure you don’t come back late at the gate, late in the afternoons be within striking distance especially in places such as Elim Dunes hours before sunset. This ensures you don’t waste much of the good photographic light driving back to the gate from far into the pan.
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