Rarely on this planet do you step foot on terrain that appears to be out of this world. Sossusvlei, in the Southern Namib desert is one of those locations. A landmass with some of the world’s largest most vibrant sand dunes contrasting a bold blue sky and rich vegetation. It’s name is a blend from the Nama and Afrikaans languages to roughly translate into “dead end marsh”. The sand people would have come here looking for water, and a lot of them never returned.
Neighbouring the Sossusvlei is the more intriguing white clay pan known as Deadvlei. An astonishing landscape scattered with “dead” Acacia trees. The area was once an oasis of water and allowed vegetation to grow and prosper. It was when the life source dried up 900 years ago that the landscape left was what we see now, a surrealistic yet beautiful scene. It is like wandering around your own imagination of a cartoon like universe. Ironically, being surrounded by the dead will make you feel alive.
To get to Sossusvlei you must ensure you have 4×4 transportation, the last few kilometers are a sand road and can be a bit tricky to navigate. The sand also gets extremely hot during the day so aim to visit during the early morning to explore in comfort. You’ll surely want to roll down the dunes at one point, so prepare for that in advance (accept the fact you’ll have sand in every crevice of your body for a few days).
In addition to exploring these amazing natural wonders, do your absolute best to view a sunrise or sunset in this area. The colours and imagery will remain with you for a long time, and will often be triggered by words such as “beautiful” and “alluring”. Namibia is a special place, and Sossusvlei should be a bucket list destination you tick off as soon as possible.