Sossusvlei is a desert attraction situated within the Namib-Naukluft National Park in southwestern Namibia. It ranks as the country's best-known destination for its spectacular panoramas and stark landscapes. The word 'Sossusvlei' means dead-end marsh, the area being a dried-out salt and clay pan caused by dunes diverting the flow of the Tsauchab River. Only in years of exceptional rainfall does the pan fill with water, otherwise remaining dry and punctuated with the skeletal remains of acacia trees. The area is also notable for the dunes, said to be the highest in the world. It is accessible year-round, with shuttles available for those with a 4x4 vehicle. The area is popular with photographers.

Essential Traveller Information

Sossusvlei offers visitors the option of either self-drive or organised tours to explore this vast desert landscape. With a comfortable 5-hour drive from the capital, Windhoek, visitors have the option of either self-drive or organised tours (which may include charter flights). There is an impressive selection of accommodation available in the region, ranging from self-catering camps to ultra-luxurious lodges. Let Africa’s Eden members plan your trip and advise on the numerous options available to experience Namibia’s premier attraction. Aside from the Sossusvlei Pan, there are numerous points of interest in the area, including the world’s tallest dunes and the settlement of Solitaire. A hot-air balloon flight over this barren landscape is an experience of a lifetime.

Visitors arriving in Namibia via Hosea Kutako International Airport near Windhoek can either rent a vehicle and drive the 360km (223mi) or join an organised tour, accessing the Namib-Naukluft National Park within which Sossusvlei is located, via the gate at Sesriem. The drive should take about five hours. For self-drive visitors, a 2WD vehicle is sufficient on the main routes. For minor roads, a permit and a 4×4 vehicle are required. For those wishing to fly into the area, Africa’s Eden travel members can plan your trip, including all your travel and accommodation arrangements.

The best time to visit Sossusvlei is from May to September when the temperatures aren’t as hot, and there are fewer tourists. In May and June, the price of accommodation is a bit lower, with the high season kicking in from July through to November, when tourist numbers increase significantly along with accommodation prices. While the area is not regarded as a wildlife hotspot, game viewing is best from May through to November. For those willing to brave the heat, the best time to see the Sossusvlei area carpeted in colourful wildflowers and the arrival of migratory birds is during the wetter months, from November to April.

Luxury Camps & Safari Lodges