The Sossusvlei is located in Namibia and is surrounded by a Namib sand dunes beige salt and clay pan ( " Vlei " ) in the Namib Desert, which results only in rare good rainy season water. Then, a few centimeters to several meters forms even for a short time deep lake at the end of the vlei. " Sossusvlei " means " blind river " in the language of the Nama. "Blind " refers to the fact that after heavy rains from a mountainous region inland, coming, flowing in the direction of the Atlantic river Tsauchab at Sossusvlei in the sand dunes of the Namib coastal desert ends, or sanded - about 50 km from the sea. The area is part of the Namib -Naukluft National Park.

The Sossusvlei is since June 21, 2013 part of the UNESCO world heritage of the Namib Sand Sea.


The surrounding orange dunes are up to 380 meters height difference from the pan to the highest in the world. The highest among them is Big Daddy, which is also called Crazy Dune. The orange color of the sand is caused by iron oxide.


The result is the Vlei by sanding the Tsauchab, originally probably flowed to only about 50 km away Atlantic. The adjacent and each by a dune cut off from water Deadvlei and Hiddenvlei reflect this development until today. There are dead trees that fall only very slowly due to the dry climate. Near the park entrance to the Sesriem Canyon, which has dug more than a kilometer into the gravel is.

Animal and plant life

Despite the extreme conditions of life there are many adapted to the desert creatures in Sossusvlei. In addition to mammals, such as the gemsbok and the Wüstengoldmull there are, inter alia, the Anchieta - sand lizard, the fog drinkers Beetle and the puff adder. Frequently serve as camel thorn trees along the watercourses, and on the dunes of the Namib endemic in Nara is encountered.


Among the special attractions include the dunes, the Hiddenvlei at the end of the road and the Dead Vlei at the end of Sossusvlei.

From the park entrance to the Namib- Naukluft National Park in Sesriem first performs an approximately 65 km long, bordered by dunes paved road to Sossusvlei, which branches off from the main road C27. The road has been renovated in 2006 and is located in a very good condition. The last five kilometers can be traveled only on foot or by four-wheel vehicles.

In the summer months it is extremely hot there, but the winter months are characterized by warm temperatures. The best pictures succeed in the sun is low in the early morning or evening, because then the dunes especially coming through her shadow advantage.

The State of accommodation Namibia Wildlife Resorts offers the opportunity before sunrise and after sunset to drive to Sossusvlei; all other visitors is only allowed between sunrise and sunset times of access.

Some tour operators offer flights over the dunes, either by small aircraft or hot air balloon. The aircraft usually start in Swakopmund or Walvis Bay, the hot air balloons in the early morning in Sesriem.


Dune at Sossusvlei

Gemsbok in Sossusvlei

Dunes at Sossusvlei

Dunes at Dead Vlei in the evening sun


Walk directly dune at Sossusvlei