Destinations Western Africa

Big Daddy Namibia and Why Some Tourists do the Unthinkable Here

big daddy namibia
Avatar of Teresa Mwangi
Written by Teresa Mwangi

Talk of beautiful dunes and Big Daddy Namibia takes it home. However, this breathtaking scenery at the Namib Desert, Africa’s home to the biggest sand dunes is attracting ‘overexcited tourists.’

A short while back, a group of tourists posed for photos while in their ‘birthday suit’ and this drew lots of criticism from Namibians. They couldn’t comprehend why the Big Daddy Dune had to be shared with the rest of the world in this manner. Consequently, Namibian authorities denounced the visitors who took photos atop the Big Daddy dune while in a very compromising physical state.

A spokesman for the tourist ministry informed local media that the unidentified international visitors might not be allowed to enter any of Namibia’s parks ever again.

Where is the Big Daddy Sand Dune?

The stunning Big Daddy dune is located halfway between the Deadvlei and Sossusvlei regions of the Namib Desert.  It dwarfs the other dunes at 325 meters to stand as the tallest sand dune in Sossusvlei.

How Long Does It Take to Climb Big Daddy Namibia?

big daddy namibia

The Big Daddy Dune in Namib Desert. Photo/Pinterest

Big Daddy Namibia, is more than simply a charming landscape. It is a war against nature posed as a tourist destination. Despite the gorgeous climb it presents in photos, it hands you a perfect endurance test in reality.  Big Daddy is not as tall as he looks at 325 meters. Your feet sink into the searing sand, making every stride feel like two back. The already difficult ascent becomes even more difficult due to the unrelenting heat in the desert.

Although it may seem doable, most people consider one hour to be an optimistic estimate.  It’s a mental and physical struggle to climb.  Lungs scream for oxygen, muscles burn, and the top feels forever away. However, something amazing occurs. As you cross a ridge, the Namib desert opens up in front of you. A reward worth every drop of sweat is Deadvlei’s skeletal trees, which stand guard against an unending crimson dune landscape.

Even though the fall is simpler, it still poses a unique difficulty.  The loose sand turns into a river that flows and tempts you to run, which is a surefire way to end badly.  Interestingly, even the most experienced climbers are humbled by Big Daddy Namibia. It’s an ongoing struggle against the environment, oneself, and the constant want to give up. But what really makes the trek an amazing experience are the bragging rights, the stunning vista, and the sense of accomplishment at the top.

What is the Highest Dune in Namibia?

Dune 7 is the highest dune in Namibia. It is the crowned monarch of Namibian sand dunes, rising to a whopping height of 383 meters.  A clean sand mountain, the hues of blazing orange changing with each gust of wind characterize this dune. The ascent is a pilgrimage for daring individuals. Every footfall sinks a momentary imprint on this ever-shifting terrain. The unrelenting heat of the sun causes perspiration to shimmer like mirages in the distance. But the world changes more the higher you go. Below you, the desert stretches out endlessly, a magnificent canvas adorned with intense shades of purple and orange.

big daddy namibia

Dune 7 in the Namib Desert. Photo/Peter Ndungu

It is a victory to reach the pinnacle. You are dwarfed by the sheer size of the desert as you stand atop a giant. As a sobering reminder of the unadulterated power of nature, the planet appears to go on forever. The azure Atlantic Ocean waves shimmer far away, as to a precious gem against the arid landscape.

Those who have been to Dune 7 describe it as an experience rather than merely a geographical wonder. It’s an endurance test, an incentive for determination and a window into Namibia’s breathtakingly beautiful desert interior. Even if the wind quickly wipes them away, it’s a spot where you leave your mark on history.

Where is the Tallest Sand Dune in Africa?

Sossusvlei dunes – Dune 7 in particular – at the heart of the Namib Desert is Africa’s tallest sand dune.  It rises to 1,256 ft (383 metres). Climbing to the top is treacherous but rewarding too with a panoramic view of the desert and breathtaking sceneries to soak in. Another unique thing about Dune 7 is that it is also close to the Atlantic Ocean. It is at the top that you enjoy the best of both worlds; the desert and the ocean.


The Namib Desert is a sight to behold with the best views and experiences in an African desert. It is the other option for mountain climbing in the wetter regions of Africa adorned with mountains such as Mt Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro.

[convertful id="221063"]

About the author

Avatar of Teresa Mwangi

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

Leave a Comment