The Namib Desert is one of the oldest in the world, encompassing fascinating landmarks such as Sesriem Canyon, the dunes at Sossuvlei and the remarkable scenery at Dead Vlei.
The Namib-Naukluft National Park encompasses part of the Namib Desert, the Naukluft Mountains, Sesriem, Sossusvlei and the NamibRand Nature Reserve. Covering an overall area of almost 50, 000km², the park is the largest in Africa, the fourth largest in the world and one of the oldest on earth.
Mention the Namib Desert and images of orange sand dunes and windswept landscapes come to mind, but the region has a surprisingly diverse collection of creatures which survive here. Wildlife includes hyena, steenbok, jackal, zebra, kudu and klipspringer. The mountains are also a classic environment for leopard and the smaller cats – although these are almost always never seen. Most iconic of all the species which live in the Namib is undoubtedly the Oryx.
The spectacular sand dunes in the Namib Desert are the tallest in the world, rising in some places over 300 meters (almost 1000 feet) from the desert floor. When people speak of visiting the Namib Desert, Sesriem and Sossusvlei are the areas they usually mean. The classic desert scenery, stark pans and red dunes are a keen photographer’s dream, and best captured at sunrise and sunset.
The Sesriem Canyon is a narrow fissure carved out from the sandstone by the Tsauchab River, up to 30 metres deep in places. At some times in the year, rock pools offer the perfect place to swim and cool off from the heat of the day.
Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei are probably the most famous parts of the Namib Desert, known for their impressive sand dunes and salt pans scattered with the skeletons of dead trees – some over 500 years old. Both are highlights of a photographic safari through Namibia.
The climate in the Namib is typical of a savannah desert region, with warm, dry winters and extremely hot summers. The dry season is considered the best time of year to visit, although rare periods of heavy rainfall bring with them waterbirds and waders, and miraculous fields of lilies.
Take a look at our selection of tours including Sossusvlei and be inspired to book your once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Namib Desert.