Embark on a journey with Chameleon Safari to the heart of Namibia and witness the surreal landscapes of Sossusvlei nestled within the ancient Namib Desert, one of the oldest deserts on the globe. Sossusvlei is among Namibia’s most exquisite landmarks and is one of the region’s most photographed locales. At its core, Sossusvlei is a salt pan enveloped by towering dunes, whose mesmerizing shades of red attract adventurers and photographers from all corners of the world.
As you venture into this desert wonder, you’ll find yourself amidst the Namib Sand Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2013. This vast expanse of undulating sand dunes tells tales of a bygone era, where flash floods from the Orange River in Lesotho and South Africa carried the sand grains to the mouth of the river, south of the Namib Desert. The relentless currents of the cold Benguela from the Atlantic thereafter transported the sand northwards along the coastline before the whims of tide and wind carried it inland, forming the dunes we see today. The striking red hue of these dunes owes its allure to the high iron content within the sand, which gradually oxidized over millions of years.
The very name, Sossusvlei, carries a tale of its own – ‘Sossus’ signifying a place where water gathers’, and ‘vlei’, an Afrikaans term for ‘pan’. Though a rare occurrence, roughly once every five years following substantial rains, the ancient Tsauchab River breathes life into the pan, transforming it into a breathtaking lake surrounded by ruddy, shimmering dunes. In this ethereal sight, where water mirrors the fiery dunes, many tourists are enchanted by the rare spectacle.
Adjacent to Sossusvlei lies Dead Vlei, or ‘dead marsh’, a haunting yet beautiful locale. Encompassed by some of the tallest dunes in the world, soaring over 400m, this region once flourished with life, nourished by the Tsauchab River. However, as the climate shifted, the encroaching dunes severed the river’s flow to Dead Vlei, leaving behind a forest of dead acacia over a thousand years. These trees stand scorched and desiccated under the relentless sun, painting a stark yet stunning picture against the backdrop of red dunes and blue sky, a stark contrast that beckons every lens.
With Chameleon Safari, your Namib Desert tour transcends a mere visit; it’s an immersive experience of Namibia’s natural splendour. Each ripple on the dunes and each silhouette in Dead Vlei narrates tales of time, nature, and the indomitable spirit of the desert. Capture the essence of Namibia, frame by frame, as you traverse through the sands of time in Sossusvlei.
Safaris that visit Sossusvlei