Africa Specialist Hamish discovers the beautifully barren and untouched Sossusvlei and finds out why Namibia has become such a popular destination of 2019
Namibia is in the top ten least densely populated countries in the world, and after spending a short amount of time there, it’s not hard to understand why. The country is beautifully barren and dry, and is not designed to support large populations and, the end result that vast pockets of the country have been beautifully untouched by man.
The well-known Sossusvlei dunes are a perfect example of this. Once you enter the reserve there is not a sign of mankind in sight, apart a single-track road taking you to one of the reserves largest red dunes, appropriately named Big Daddy, standing high at 325m.
I would recommend making your expedition here early to make the most of the sunrise over the dunes and to be able to explore whilst the temperature is still cool. On arrival you can start your assent up the dune, a climb that reminds you of the old saying ‘two steps forward, one step back’ as your shoe sinks into the fine red sand. The effort worth it, and you are rewarded with a spectacular 360o view over Sossusvlei.
Look down, North West, and you’ll see Deadvlei, a white clay pan with a scattering of dead trees providing a glimpse of what there once was, the Tsauchab river. The decent is far easier than the assent, with the sand breaking your speed, whilst making a very satisfying rumbling sound, allowing you graciously step down to Deadvlei. From here you can fully take in the size of Big Daddy and appreciate your recent achievement.
The end result is stunning views all round, and it’s no surprise that it’s at the top of everyone list of places to go during a trip to Namibia.