When people think of Namibia, Sossusvlei is the place they imagine first. Huge orange sand dunes as tall as skyscrapers dominate the landscape, providing the perfect backdrop for stunning photography. There is little game in Sossusvlei, but what animals there are here, combine with the unique landscape to make Sossusvlei one of the most popular destinations in the country. It is a wonderfully dramatic part of Africa.
We include Sossusvlei on the majority of our Namibia itineraries, due to the ease of accessibility, and the sheer beauty of the scenery. However, we usually recommend that clients should stay here for only two to three nights. The reason for the short stay is that Sossusvlei is so popular – it is one of the busiest parts of the country. Nevertheless, there are private reserves within the nearby NamiBrand Nature Reserve, offering an exclusive environment from which to soak up the scenery and explore smaller dunefields. There is a good argument for visiting both areas to minimise the effect of the Sossusvlei crowds.
WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW
Sossusvlei is a fabulous area, and one that should be visited on any trip to Namibia. However, we also believe that Sossusvlei should only be visited for a short period of time as the area is so busy. We suggest that clients only stay here for two nights, as we believe that there are other scenic areas which are far less touristy. The only exception to this rule is when clients want to extend their trips to the Namibrand Reserve where there are less people.
Sossusvlei offers both game driving at day and night as well as walking safari. There are also a number of other activities offered in the area, such as ballooning, horse riding and quad biking. These activities are only available at certain camps.
TIME OF YEAR TO TRAVEL
Namibia is a stunning destination for much of the year. However, the extreme heat that hits the country around mid November should not be taken lightly. This heat remains until the rains break, and the country remains ‘questionable’ for travellers until mid March when the rains dry up and the country comes to life.
The flight from Sossusvlei up to Swakopmund is one of the finest flights anywhere in the world. We therefore believe that, if it can be afforded, the best way to visit the area is to fly to Sossusvlei rather than to drive.