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Sossusvlei, Namibia

Hike and Photograph the African Desert at Sossusvlei, Namibia

3.7 Miles Total - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Bryony Richards

Explore one of Africa's most spectacular landmarks, consisting of large red dunes, white salt pans, and a variety of wildlife including ostrich, antelope, jackals, and zebra. Sossusvlei is a must for any adventurer in Southern Africa

Exploring a unique desert landscape doesn't get much better than Sossusvlei, Namibia. At less than 6 hours southeast of the capital Windhoek, the park provides a safe and accessible way to see an African landscape of juxtaposed marshes, desert, and copious wildlife.

Sossusvlei itself consists of a large, white clay pan surrounded by high red sand dunes and mountains. The pan, which can stay bone-dry for many years may fill with water during a heavy rainy season, revealing a world dramatically different to the normal desert landscape and a perfect opportunity for photography.

Regardless of the time of year, the large sand dunes in the area provide hiking, photography, and scenic overlooks of the area. Many of the dunes in the park reach almost 400 meters, creating spectacular opportunities for photography, especially in the morning and evening light. Dune 45, which is well-signed is the most popular dune to hike, with most people starting early in the day in order to avoid the latter day heat.

Getting there: From Windhoek, take the D1265 to the entrance of the park and the Sesriem Gate. Continue along this, well-maintained road ~66 km past the Sesriem Gate, the majority (~60 km). From this point, the road becomes unpaved, with the last ~6 km to Sossusvlei consisting of a 4x4-only road. Note that although most areas of the park are easily accessed yearlong by road, the variable sand comprising some of the roads deeper in the park require good 4x4 knowledge.

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