In the southwestern reaches of Africa, within Namibia, rests the Namib Desert, the world’s oldest. This arid expanse, where traditional vegetation is sparse, is home to the planet’s tallest sand dunes. These remarkable dunes are located in Sossusvlei, a part of the desert characterized by salt and clay pans. This surreal landscape draws numerous tourists annually, offering a distinct experience far from the beaten path.
Namibia, a country in southern Africa, is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and is distinguished by encompassing the Namib Desert. Although less frequented than other African destinations like South Africa, Namibia boasts spectacular landscapes and a rich diversity of wildlife.
The Namib Desert, spanning about 80,900 km², is believed to be over 55 million years old, making it the Earth’s oldest desert and Africa’s second largest after the Sahara. Its vastness is awe-inspiring, and despite its harsh conditions, various species thrive here, aided by the moisture from sea fog. The desert is home to an array of life, including reptiles, small rodents, camels, hyenas, foxes, lions, some elephants, and even horses.
Sossusvlei is the Namib Desert’s most visited site and the most accessible. Here, you find the world’s highest sand dunes, notable for their immense size and vivid coloration. Many tourists choose to stay in Sesriem, with accommodations ranging from desert camps to bivouacs. The journey to Sossusvlei from Sesriem covers 60 kilometers, and arriving at dawn is recommended for the most stunning views. Adventurous visitors can explore and even climb these dunes, with Dune 45 being the most famous, rising to 170 meters above sea level.
Unique to this region are the vleis, or plateaus, occasionally filled with water at the dune bases. The most iconic is Dead Vlei, characterized by its dead trees and overshadowed by the towering Big Daddy dune. This natural spectacle is unparalleled and can only be fully appreciated by visiting Namibia.
Consider an authentic stay in these desert dunes for a unique experience. Trekking, camping, and immersing in a landscape unlike any in Europe await you. Alternatively, for a desert experience closer to Europe, southern Morocco is also an option.