Sossusvlei is a small clay pan forming part of the much larger Namib-Naukluft National Park, one of Africa’s largest parks. Naukluft offers a variety of landscape and scenery from mountains and hills to flat desert pans, but nowhere more striking than the gigantic red dunes that surround the Sossusvlei pan. With the highest at over 1000 feet, the dunes tower above the surrounding Namib Desert and are one of Africa’s most iconic sights.
Located just a short distance from the famous Sesriem Canyon, the Sossusvlei area is a photographer's paradise as the gigantic red sand dunes change colour with the light as the sun travels through the sky; sunrise and sunsets are absolutely stunning. The largest sand dunes in the world are found here, and this is what travellers come to see.
However Sossusvlei is actually only a very small part of this massive park. The Naukluft Mountains have flowing rivers and lush vegetation, in stark contrast to the Namib desert, and the area is great for trekking. Further south the NamibRand Nature Reserve is a private reserve where the camps pride themselves on offering a much more exclusive experience than those in the Sossusvlei/Sesriem area, albeit without the towering sand dunes.
Sossusvlei: where to stay
Wilderness Safaris run the best lodges around the Sossusvlei/Sesriem area; Little Kulala is their flagship luxury property.
The gorgeous Sossusvlei Wilderness Lodge has mind blowing views and is the slightly more affordable office favourite, while the Kulala Wilderness Camp offers a more rustic approach to accommodation. Kulala Desert Lodge’s canvas and stone chalets are a good affordable option. Desert Homestead is the best of a number of low-cost lodges in the area around Sesriem.
The NamibRand reserve is home to the Wolwedans Collection of top eco luxury lodges. Wolwedans Dune Camp is the Collection's rustic tented camp that caters for adventurous clientele, while Wolwedans Dune Lodge and the phenomenal Boulders Camp are first class luxury properties. Located just away from the Wolwedans Collection is &Beyond’s Sossusvlei Mountain Lodge, complete with air conditioning, western mod-cons and a first class observatory!