Sossusvlei Dunes (Namibia, Africa)

Sossusvlei Dunes

Sossusvlei or Sossus Vlei is an important destination for tourists visiting southern African country Namibia. It is a salt and clay pan with red dunes surrounding the spot.

Namibian government has taken care of Sossusvlei to facilitate tourism. About a decade ago asphalt road was built to connect the spot with other nearby places.

Sossusvlei Dunes is one of the most photographed spots and has been the popular place in Subsaharan Africa for several music videos, movies and commercials.

Literally the word Sossusvlei means “dead-end marsh” as the dunes come together at the spot preventing Tsauchab River from flowing further. Usually the pan is filled with water during the rainy season. During other time it remains bone-dry.

Tourists are attracted to the spot during rainy season to witness the spectacular site, glassy lake holding reflections of surrounding dunes. It is most photographed then.

Popular attractions at Sossusvlei Dunes

Sesriem Canyon

Sesriem Canyon

Driving about 4.5 km from the Namib-Naukluft National Park entrance gate you will come across the famous Sesriem Canyon. It holds water all the year round. Take note that the canyon may be narrow at places.

Dune 45

Dune 45 is about 45 km from the entrance gate of Namib-Naukluft National Park. It is most photographed dine in the world due to its fascinating shape. It is said the red sand (red due to iron oxide content) here is five million years old. You can climb the 85-meter high dune and watch the sunrise in early morning.



Walking 2 k from the end of 2×4 track, the Hiddenvlei is least visited of all the vleis. Looking closely you may notice various tracks of the animals including Gemsbok and Springbok.

Big Daddy

The tallest dune in the area is Big Daddy. It is located between Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. Trackers are suggested to take water with them. It is 325 meters high.

However, the tallest in the Namib Desert is Dune 7 with the height of 388 meters.



Characterized by dark, dead camel thorn trees, the Deadvlei is a clay pan and was formed when the Tsauchab River flooded the area allowing the camel thorn trees to grow. It is a paradise for photographers.


Solitaire is at the intersection of the C14 and C19. It is a tiny settlement and started with one cottage in 1948. It was built by Christoffel van Coller and his wife Elsie. Today the place has a small shop, a filling station, accommodation and Big Moose’s Bakery.