Exploring Sossusvlei sand dunes and Sesriem canyon, is an experience we highly recommend! During our trip to Namibia, we loved this unique site in the world located in the Namib desert. It’s definitely worth visiting !
We recommend you to stay at least two days to explore this amazing site. We didn’t find a lot of information on internet before coming, so we give you all our tips and our guide to organise your perfect visit of Sossusvlei sand dunes and Sesriem canyon !
- How do I get and visit Sossusvlei Namibia?
- Do you need a 4WD to go to Sossusvlei? [map]
- Why should you visit Sossusvlei? Dead Vlei, Big Daddy, Big Mama and Hidden Vlei [map]
- Big Mama
- Hidden Vlei
- 3. Where to sleep : Sesriem camping site and a lodge in the desert
How do I get and visit Sossusvlei Namibia?
Take a cofee, we will explain you how you can get and then visit it ! Before our arrival on the site we had some difficulties to understand the organization of the site.
Sesriem (point A on the map below) is a small “town” located at the entrance of the site. You will find a gas station, a convenience store and twolodging options (a lodge and a campground).
The pass to visit the site is on sale at the campsite reception. Schedules can be consulted on site.
Do you need a 4WD to go to Sossusvlei? [map]
From the entrance to the site (still point A on the map), you will have to drive about 60 km on a tarred road through the dunes before reaching the entrance to the Sossusvlei site (point B on the map below).
Then the last 5 kilometers in the sand require a 4×4 or 4WD. It was our first trip in a 4×4 on sand, it is feasible even for novices. Just deflate your tires slightly and follow the tracks.
The site also offers shuttles for visitors without a 4×4 or those who dare not venture into the sand in a 4×4. You can leave your vehicle at the entrance of the site. The price is about 6€ round trip, it leaves as soon as it is full.
Here you are on the site, you just have to enjoy the sites, each one more beautiful than the other!
Admission: N$80 per day per person (around €5). Open from 5:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., site hours to be consulted on site.
Leave as soon as the site opens to enjoy the sunrise over Big Mama. In the evening admire the sunset from Dune 45 located 45km from the entrance to the site or from Elim Dune located 5km from the campsite.
Why should you visit Sossusvlei? Dead Vlei, Big Daddy, Big Mama and Hidden Vlei [map]
We stayed 3 days to enjoy the site. Please note that 2 days are enough, as you certainly know we like to take our time to explore the sites thoroughly.
- Day 1: Departure around 3pm from the campsite, exploration of Dead Vlei, Big Daddy and sunset on Dune 45
- Day 2: Departure to the opening of Big Mama and Hidden Vlei and sunset on Elim Dune
- Day 3: Sesriem Canyon then departure for Namibrand reserve
Dead Vlei and Big Daddy
Dead Vlei ” dead swamp “ is a clay basin on which lies dead and sun-dried trees.
It is a unique place in the mode and photogenic as you can see on the photos below!
You will be impressed by the strong contrast between the white ground, the orange sand dunes and the blue sky.
We stayed on the site for a long time. There are two options for exploring the site, park your car in the parking lot in front of the site.
- Walk 20 minutes in the sand (about 1.5km) from the parking lot before reaching the site.
- Climb to the top of Big Daddy, the highest dune in Sossusvlei, for a breathtaking view of Dead Vlei. Count 1h30 of ascent before reaching the top and then you can go down the dune to reach Deadvlei below.
This dune is also a must, it will offer you a panoramic view on the whole site.
Start your climb at sunrise to enjoy the incredible morning colors of the Namib Desert.
If you have reached the site by your own means, you will be able to take your breakfast on the spot while returning from your ascent. A well-deserved moment that we loved!
Hidden Vlei, is also a clay basin on which lies dead trees.
As its name indicates, this salar is hidden (in the back), it is deserved a little more than the other places, because it will be necessary to walk approximately 1h30 to reach the site.
You will be rewarded for your effort as you will arrive on the heights of the site, you will have a beautiful panoramic view of Hidden Vlei.
You may share the place with some Oryx, we were the only tourists!
3. Where to sleep : Sesriem camping site and a lodge in the desert
It is ideal to stay at the entrance of the site, so you can be among the first to enter. Two accommodation options are available to you.
Sesriem camping site inside the gate
The site is managed by the NWR, we advise you to book your nights and locations in advance.
The locations farthest from the reception are more widely spaced. We were located at this site, as you can see we had no other site behind us.
The campsite is pleasant, each pitch has its own tree, its own space delimited by stones and its own barbecue area.
The site also offers a bar/restaurant (with attractive rates) and a swimming pool.
Note that a lodge is also present on the site.
We kebi safari lodge
We Kebi Safari Lodge is located 1 hour from the beautiful Sossusvlei dunes. We slept there the last night after leaving the site.
The lodge is located in a splendid environment in the middle of the desert. Do not miss the sunset which is simply incredible.
The bungalows are pleasant, comfortable and tastefully decorated. The staff is lovely, they know this area very well and will give you good advice!
Camping: Sesriem campsite is reserved directly on the NWR site, take it in advance because there are few pitches. Price: 200N$/per person (about 15€).
Lodge: the We Kebi Safari Lodge is available on Booking. Try to book as far in advance as possible most lodges have a small number of rooms. Price: €115 with breakfast and dinner.
➡️ Find our detailed article about our 4 days in Etosha National Park
➡️ Find our selection of the most beautiful lodges in Namibia
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