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Namibia Safari

Sossusvlei Wilderness Camp

Sossusvlei, Namibia

Having drinks on the red dunes at Sossusvlei, Namibia
Return to Map of Sossusvlei & NamibRand

UPDATE: 

SOSSUSVLEI WILDERNESS CAMP IS CLOSED
This camp is closed until further notice.

SOSSUSVLEI, NAMIBIA
The world-famous Sossusvlei is an enormous clay pan, flanked by the famous red sand dunes that stand out starkly against the blue sky. These dunes - the most well-known being Big Daddy or Dune 45 - have developed over millions of years, the wind continuously remodelling the contours of this red sand sea. The 'vlei' itself only fills after rare heavy rainfall when, in a complete turn-around, it becomes a spectacular turquoise lake. The camp offers easy access to Sossusvlei as well as privacy and exclusivity, so early morning excursions to the dunes and the vlei are most popular. Awe-inspiring ballooning safaris are at extra cost. Experienced guides bring the desert to life during nature drives and walks, with night drives producing sightings of nocturnal species.

Sossusvlei itself means 'the gathering place of water' in the local Nama language, and, odd as it may seem, in good years seasonal rains in the foothills of the Naukluft and Tsaris Mountains succeed in reaching the vleis, creating temporary lakes that mirror the sand dunes surrounding them. The vleis have evocative names such as Hidden Vlei and Dead Vlei, while the dunes rise up to 300 metres above the valley floor with razor-sharp edges that stand out against the blue sky.

Sossusvlei is situated within the Namib Desert which itself is part of the Namib Naukluft National Park that stretches 400km south of Walvis Bay and is sandwiched between the west coast and the escarpment that runs parallel more than 100km inland. Its huge red dunes and flat valley floors make up the archetypical view of the Namib that is world famous. Desert-adapted wildlife such as ostrich, springbok and gemsbok eke out an existence and are sparsely distributed here. Larger predators include spotted hyaena and occasionally brown hyaena, an almost mystical shaggy-coated scavenger. Smaller creatures such as bat-eared fox, black-backed jackal, porcupine, Cape fox and aardwolf can be seen at night in the cool desert air, and one bird, the aptly named Dune Lark, has its entire global distribution limited to the area, so dependent is it on the area's characteristic sands.

Despite the lack of vegetation and low rainfall, a surprisingly diverse array of insects, reptiles and rodents make their home here - surviving thanks in part to the coastal fog that creeps up off the sea each dawn and penetrates up to 50km inland. Shovel-snouted lizards with their peculiar thermoregulatory dance and tenebrionid beetles have all adapted to life here. Nocturnal explorations can reveal dancing white lady spiders and perhaps Grant's golden mole, a Namib Desert endemic.


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For further information about the National Parks of Namibia, click Nam Parks
For History and General information about Namibia, click More Namibia


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