Exploring the dunes of Sossusvlei is an experience we highly recommend! During our trip to Namibia, we loved this unique site in the Namib Desert.
We’ll give you all the advice you need on what to see and do to make the most of your visit!
1. Organization of the site [carte]
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.
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. 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!
Entrée : 80 N$ par jour et par personne (environ 5€). Ouvert de 5h45 à 17h, horaires du site à consulter sur place.
Partez dès l’ouverture du site afin de profiter du lever de soleil sur Big Mama. Le soir admirez le coucher de soleil depuis Dune 45 située à 45km de l’entrée du site ou depuis Elim Dune située à 5km du camping.
2. Our must-sees: Dead Vlei, Big Daddy, Big Mama and Hidden Vlei [carte]
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’s a unique and photogenic place, as you can see from 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
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 magnificent Sossusvlei dunes. We stayed there for the last night after leaving the site.
The lodge is located in a splendid surroundings in the middle of the desert. Don’t miss the sunset which is simply incredible.
The bungalows are comfortable and tastefully decorated. The staff is lovely, they know this area very well and will give you good advice!
Camping : Sesriem campsite se réserve directement sur le site du NWR, prenez-y vous à l’avance car il y a peu d’emplacements. Prix : 200N$/par personne (environ 15€).
Lodge : le We Kebi Safari Lodge est disponible sur Booking. Essayez de réserver le plus longtemps possible à l’avance la plupart des lodges proposent un petit nombre de chambres. Prix : 115€ avec petit déjeuner et dîner.
What to see and visit in Namibia
We’ve written an article about our 3 incredible weeks in Namibia, explaining in detail how we organized our trip to Namibia on our own! We tell you more about our 4-day Safari in Etosha National Park. If you love adventure and wild animals, go for it!
As you can see from this article, planning a trip to Namibia takes time and energy to find all the right information.
If you would like to organize your stay with an organization, we recommend the French organization Evanéos. We recommend that you contact a local expert for a free, no-obligation quote, to save you time preparing your trip and give you plenty of ideas for activities and itineraries!
We wish you a great stay on this incredible site! Don’t hesitate to leave us a little note or 5 stars below, to tell us if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, here or on Instagram, we’ll get back to you with great pleasure.