In the southwest of Africa, in Namibia, is the oldest desert in the world called Namib. It is in this arid desert where no vegetation survives that the highest sand dunes in the world are found. They are in the part of the desert made of salt and clay called Sossuvlei. This unreal desert site attracts many tourists every year. Here’s everything you need to know about this off-the-beaten-track destination.
Namibia is a country in southern Africa bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and having the particularity of containing the Namib Desert. This country is little visited compared to other countries on the continent such as South Africa for example. Yet, it is home to many spectacular landscapes as well as a great diversity of wildlife.
The Namib Desert
This desert would exist for more than 55 million years , so it would be the oldest desert on Earth. With its area of approximately 80,900 km² , it is the second largest desert in Africa after the Sahara. As you can guess, it is therefore a very impressive desert! Many plant and animal species survive there thanks to the humid fog brought by the sea wind. Many reptiles, small rodents, camels, hyenas, foxes, lions, some elephants and horses inhabit the Namib.
Sossusvlei: the most visited site in the country
The most easily accessible part of the Namib Desert is Sossusvlei. This is good, because it is in this part of the desert spaces that the highest sand dunes in the world are found. These are very impressive thanks to their size, but also because their color is intense.
Many tourists visiting the region stay in Sesriem, in camps and bivouacs directly on the sand in the desert. From there, there are 60 kilometers to travel to the site of Sossusvlei. To make the most of the show, it is best to go there at dawn, so the colors are even more beautiful. It is possible to venture into the dunes and even climb them for the most motivated!
Dune 45 is the most famous and the highest, it culminates at 170 meters above sea level.
At the foot of the huge dunes are plateaus, which can (rarely) be covered with water. This is called vlei. The most famous is Dead Vlei , with its dead trees and the Big Daddy dune overlooking it. This spectacle of nature is unique in the world and you will only discover it by going to Namibia.
So, what do you think of spending an authentic stay in these desert dunes? You will then be able to practice trekking, sleep in camps and live an experience like you cannot live in Europe. If you want to experience a stay in an arid zone without flying over half the globe, you can also opt for southern Morocco.