Sossusvlei is located in the coastal desert of Namibia, part of the Naukluft National Park. It is the largest protected area in Africa, south of the Namib Desert and the only desert located close to the sea. This is a natural paradise, home to the tallest sand dunes in the world, home to scenes that anyone would think existed only on paintings or colorful fantasy movies about a distant planet. somewhere outside of this Earth. However, coming to Sossusvlei is real and unique coastal desert landscape.
Sossusvlei comes from South Africa, “Sossus” means no return while “Vlei” means swamp. Literally, Sossusvlei roughly translates as a swamp of death. Sossusvlei is located in the drainage basin of the Tsauchab River, but due to the extreme and dry weather conditions in the Namib Desert, the river rarely flows into Sossusvlei, making it a truly “dead” place.
Sossusvlei is one of the rare places in the world where visitors can witness a breathtaking spectacle: rumbling waves crashing underfoot and lofty desert sand dunes. It is always outstanding and brilliant, the warm red sand dunes stretching endlessly to the sky, each grain of sand is forming high sand dunes with an estimated lifespan of five million years.
Besides, visitors can experience the feeling of off-road driving with unexpected turns on the lofty desert. Flying to the top of the sand hill and plunging down the creepy vertical sand slopes, “diving deep” into the giant desert and leaving wheel trails on the sand. Occasionally through the car door, visitors can see a herd of jackals, a deer walking leisurely in the bushes, or seals frolicking on the sand.
And if you are lucky you will see beautiful flamingos like in a fairy tale.
Moreover, visitors can also try to drink champagne in the vast sandy sea, while the sea in front of you constantly waves. Along with the high sand hills form deep basins, the most famous is the Deadvlei White Clay Basin. Amid the towering red sand dunes, the valley of Deadvlei appears haunting: no water, a harsh climate, and trees die.
However, they do not disappear over time, instead of decomposing, the desert sun burns the trees into black bones. Leafless branches of trees are trapped for hundreds of years in the black and white clay swamps in the heat of the desert. As the sun rose out of the sand dunes, winding like a silk strip in the distance, the dead bodies of the trees in Deadvlei had been standing there for hundreds of years and beautifully beautiful. And underfoot are streaks of hard white mud, overhead is a blue sky and surrounded by sand hills are transforming in a miraculous light strip.
What is a better experience than that? This is one of the places for visitors to see the clearest sky on the planet. This is the place where photography enthusiasts want to get a great photo in sunrise or sunset. Red sand dunes, blue skies make dead lagoon more magical, resonating with morning mist, salsola shrubs and nara melons can still exist, giving life to the barren forest, making The scenery here is so unique that visitors cannot see these strange things anywhere else in the world.
In the middle of the deserted Namib desert, Sossusvlei maintains a rare beauty and the local authorities have made it a tourist hub in Namibia. They built a paved road connecting Sesriem and Sossusvlei, to increase accessibility for tourists. In particular, for visitors to experience the feeling of day and night here, some of the accommodations inside the park were built. And for visitors to see the dunes in the most complete way, there is a helicopter service or a hot air balloon.
Sossusvlei is also known for the ghost city Kolmanskop and the morgue built in bold German architecture lying alone on the sand – a town once flourishing now completely deserted and neglected for nearly a century. by. Kolmanskop lay deadly silent on the hills.
There hasn’t been any life in this city for decades. In Namibia’s harsh sun and sand constantly filling the stairs, windows and paths, the door hinges were not shaken, the pillars stood still and the glass windows were intact like newly installed.
If you don’t fond of going this kind of creepy city, don’t worry there are more interesting things waiting for you to experience in this unique salty pan. For instance, searching for the stars light in a massive space from luxury desert lodges.
Sossusvlei is Namibia’s most popular tourist destination. Going to Namibia without going to Sossusvlei, tourists do not fully understand this country. What is better than exploring the unique coastal desert and being immersed in the vast sandy surface. Surely, the trip to Sossusvlei will make anyone here unforgettable.