When you see, hear or read something about Namibia the magnificent dunes of the country will be one of the most prominent things. Moreover 9 out of 10 photos of Namibia contain these dunes around Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. We were lucky enough to experience this while staying at the Sossus Dune Lodge…
We first drove into the National Park to visit The 45th dune, appropriately called Dune 45. It’s a strange sighting to see a perfect tar road in the park. Especially if one knows that to get to the park itself you’ll have to drive of hundreds of kilometers of dirt roads. This tarred road leads you through these huge dunes on both side of the road. While it’s all sand every single dune is different both in shape and in color. One of the most famous dunes is Dune 45. This dune is close to the road and it’s a nice break before heading to the Sossusvlei. We stopped here as well for a couple of once in a lifetime photos.
Sossus Dune Lodge
Like described before we slept in the Sossusvlei Dune Lodge. This lodge had one of the most beautiful houses we’ve seen during this trip. These houses are build on a big deck with a view over the Sesriem Canyon. Since there’s hardly any light pollution at night you also have a great view on the stars at night. That’s one of the reasons why they’ve got huge windows and lounge chairs to relax while gazing at the stars.
Next to the pretty houses you also have the opportunity to visit the Sossusvlei before sunrise and after sunset. Since the lodge is situated inside the park you can experience the dunes when they are at their prettiest.
Sunset near the Sossusvlei
With this thought in mind we jumped in the car in the direction of the Sossusvlei late in the afternoon. The sun would set at 6.50PM so we would be perfectly on time at the Sossusvlei.
At the end of the tar road it was just a couple of kilometers towards the Sossusvlei. Those couple of kilometers however were so sandy that you could get in there until your knees. The first two kilometer went pretty ok. After that we ended up in an area which our car didn’t like: we were stuck.
With sand ladders, a shove and our bare hands we started digging. After a couple of liters of sweat and a lot of digging we managed to drive about 100 meters further down the sandy track. There we started all over again. After being stuck three times we reached the Sossusvlei. Unfortunately the sun had already set behind the dunes hehe. We only saw this tiny bit of sunlight on the top of the highest dune. Completely covered in sand we got back to the lodge. While we weren’t able to get this perfect shot of the sunset we do have a great story to tell!
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Try that again at the Deadvlei
After a great dinner under the stars and an even better shower we only had a short night. The next morning Jolene and I went to the Deadvlei. We had to make it this time before the sun would rise. Our destination was the Deadvlei, a valley in the dunes with dozens of dead but photogenic trees.
Just before we got the the sandy road we deflated our tires, switched to ‘low gear 4×4’ and engaged in second gear. It was a breeze to get to the Deadvlei this time! We were the first ones to reach the Deadvlei that day and we were welcomed by an Oryx. What a wonderful sighting, does it get any better than this?