From sunrise to sunset: Sossusvlei in 16 photos

Posted on 14 August 2014

There’s no shortage of Sossusvlei photos out here on the interwebs, and adding my own few to the pile seems just a little self-indulgent. Clearly not too self-indulgent though, ’cause here they are. If they help inspire you to visit Sossusvlei then I’ll be glad. It’s perhaps the most beautiful, peaceful and contemplative place I’ve ever been and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Also see: Photoblog: south and central Namibia in photos


sossusvlei, dunes, namibia, driving

You get to Sossusvlei along a 60km tar road from Sesriem. The tar ends 5km before the end and you’ll need a 4×4 to get through the last section of deep sand. 

sand, 4x4, dunes, sossusvlei

And the sand is deep. The park does provide a 4×4 taxi service for this section, but it’s best to have your own vehicle if you want to be there for sunset and sunrise.

dawn, sunrise, sossusvlei, namibia

And dawn/dusk are definitely the best times to be there. We got up before dawn to make the 60km drive to the Deadvlei parking area, and then jogged as quickly as we could to get up Big Daddy dune for sunrise.

Big Daddy Dune, sossusvlei, sunrise

Up to the top of Big Daddy Dune (which divides Sossusvlei and Deadvlei).

sossusvlei, dunes, namibia, sunrise, dawn

The early rise was definitely worth it.

deadvlei, namibia, sossusvlei, dunes, pan

From Big Daddy Dune we slipped our way down the steep dune face into Deadvlei and watched the light creep slowly across the pan.

tree, deadvlei, namibia

It was a good opportunity to capture the pans iconic dead trees in the contrasting light.

deadvlei, trees, pan, desert

It’s hard to imagine the pans with enough water to let these trees grow so big.

deadvlei, trees, namibia

The tree trunks are so hard and dry they seem almost petrified.

pan, dry, texture, deadvlei, namibia

I also loved the texture of the dry pan. With your shoes off it’s like walking on some kind of etched plastic laminate.

sand, dunes, namibia, textures

The textures and patterns of the unspoilt sand ripples were another favourite.

sand, namibia, dry, textures

Sand and pan, side by side at Sossusvlei.

deadvlei, namibia, dusk, sunset

We returned to Deadvlei at around 4pm to capture a very different, warmer evening light as it slipped across the pan.

deadvlei, namibia, dusk, sunset

A wider shot of the lengthening shadows at Deadvlei.

sunset, dusk, deadvlei, namibia

The last rays of light across Deadvlei pan.

sossusvlei, roads, sand, dunes

But let me leave you with this, lest you think that Deadvlei and Sossusvlei are empty playgrounds with not a soul but you in sight. If you get there early and can stay a little late then you definitely will find plenty of opportunity for quiet, solitary reflection. But the crowds do come as evidenced by this well-trodden pathway from the parking area to Deadvlei pan.


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