Travel article: Namib Desert- Sossuvlei, DeadvLei, Dune 45, Dunes Elim, Big Daddy

Travel blogger: Christelle & Cedric

Trip story: 100 days in Africa!

Image for blog article: Namib Desert- Sossuvlei, DeadvLei, Dune 45, Dunes Elim, Big Daddy

Sossusvlei, Namibie

Namibia 3 days - May 2019









The Namib desert is a visual paradise (yes, I’m not afraid of the superlative here). Clearly in the top 5 most beautiful places we have ever seen. The oldest desert in the world (80 million years already) has amazed us. Let’s go for 3 days with shoes filled with 5 kilos of sand!


Getting there is hard. The road to Sesriem (tracks more or less with holes) is long. We have met three 4x4 cars who had a pinch in a type. We are lucky we didn’t get any issues with our mini car so far. (Fingers crossed).


From time to time in the middle of nowhere, we meet some locals walking on the side of the road. To go where knowing that there is maximum a house every 150 kms?

On the side of the road, there are also some shepherds and laborers who lack water resources. We refuel them with our emergency 15 liters.

We are at the end of the world. Dust dominates, there are more animals than cars.


We stop at the forest of Kokerboom (Quivertree Forest) this tree emblem of Namibia family Aloe. The desert and hundreds of Kokerboom is beautiful.


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Arrived at Sesriem at nightfall, escorted by owls, raptors and foxes, we discover the Lodge  buffet and we test for the first time Oryx, Impala, Antelope, Zebra, Gnu, Kudu meat. I wanted to limit or even stop meat consumption, in Africa it is a daily challenge ...

We reach the entrance to the Namib-Naukluft National Park and are immediately captivated by the height of the Dunes, colors, textures, shapes. It's crazy !


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We drive in an exceptional landscape escorted by the Oryx and ostriches and start the walk in the Sesriem Canyon, shaded canyon dug over more than one kilometer. The light enters through the natural arches, the colors change with the hour, we lose ourselves in the rock formations.




At sunset, we climb our first dune (the dune elim) which offers an impressive panorama of the surroundings and vast plains of the desert.




 The next day we leave at 6am  to arrive at sunrise at Dune 45.

This time they are zebras and Oryx who welcome us.

It takes 20 minutes to get on top of the Dune 45. The sun rises slowly, it's cool and we watch the morning colors, incredible, it's quiet, we love it. Walking on the ridge is a balancing exercise.

To go down, we run (more or less fast!).



Then we reach the end of the park, Sossusvlei, making infidelities to our little city car to be taken in a 4 * 4 car on the sanded slopes this time.


Big Daddy is huge! One of the highest dunes in the world with its 350 meters high, a challenge is coming up, climb up! We take our time to take it up and 45 minutes of climb were necessary (easier climb than expected) and we are rewarded by dunes as far as the eye can see, an infinite desert, sand squeaking under our feet. Unbelievable !





At our feet, DeadVlei! A dry lake that we reach after a crazy race-5 kilos of sand in each shoe.

It is noon, the sun is beating and we are literally alone in this dry lake which offers a breathtaking panorama. An unreal landscape, the dead trees as if petrified, the white of the lake which contrasts with the orange of the Dunes and the bright blue of the sky. The cracks that remind us that one day it was filled with water. Nature frozen, it looks like a painting!

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Amazing landscapes that we have not seen anywhere else, thank you desert Namib, we loved it!


Some recommendations:

# so far so good, the tracks are drivable with a small city car.

# we have rented a small car for 50 days at 11 euros per day (including border crossing fees) Good surprise, these fees are unique and do not take into account the number of borders crossed! We will therefore pay 175 Euros less than expected!

# We stayed an hour from Sesriem (the lodges around Sesriem are horribly expensive and we did not have any camping gear) at Hammerstein Camp for NZ $ 740 per night ( 50 euros).

# the buffet is at $ 280 Namibian but was offered at $ 150 for an unknown reason!

# Namib-Naukluft Park: 80 Namibian dollars per day per person (5 euros).

# accessible by 2*2 car until kilometer 60. Then shuttle service for 170 Namibian dollars round trip.

# two days are needed to enjoy the park. One day Sesriem Canyon, Dune 45 and Dunes Elim at sunset. Day 2: Big Daddy, DeadVlei and Hiddenvlei if time. The colors of sunrise and sunset are magical!

# The doors open at sunrise (an hour before for those camping in the park).

# not to be missed it's amazing!

# there is a gas station and mini mini mini supermarket in Sesriem.



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