The Namib-Naukluft Park is the largest reserve anywhere in Africa. The size of a small country, it covers the heart of the Namib Desert, one of the harshest places in the world. Covering nearly 500 km of Namibia's dramatic coastline, the dunes extend nearly 100 km inland. It is a dune wonderland, with towering peaks up to 300m high surrounding a huge, dried-up pan. They extend as far as the eye can see and their rich tints vary from pale apricot to vivid reds and oranges. It you see them from the air they are even more beautiful because of their shape they are known as star dunes as most have 4 or 5 arms which come together at the highest point.
Between the dunes are the arid clay pan floors, one of the more interesting being Dead Pan, a huge area of bleached mud, cracked in the blistering sun. During a good rainy season the Tsauchab River flows into these pans which creates a haven for water birds. Even during the dry season, Oryx, springbok and ostriches can be seen feeding off the sparse vegetation along the dry water courses. There are also nearly 200 types of bird adapted to these conditions.
The most spectacular place to see the famous dunes is at Sossusvlei, where these ancient dunes are at their highest and most beautiful. This dry pan, almost circular in shape, is surrounded in dunes on all sides to give the ultimate Namib Desert view. While not easy to reach, the reward is one of the most unique landscapes in the world and a night-sky to behold. Any Namibia holiday must include a night in this isolated, awe-inspiring region.
With many of our self-drive tours we suggest you park the wheels at your lodge and be guided to Sossusvlei. We arrange all this for you. This way you can relax and find out about this incredible destination at leisure. Guides often include a trip to the Sesriem Canyon where you can cool off in a natural pool after climbing the dunes! Heaven!