5 Compelling Reasons Why You Should Tour Namib Desert/

A tour to the world’s highest dunes in Namibia
Written by See Africa Today

Namib Desert’s Sossusvlei dunes in Namibia speak volumes about the epic work nature did over five million years ago. The dunes are the world’s highest. The dunes are the reason Why You Should Tour Namib Desert. Tourists enjoy the thrill of climbing to the top of the star-shaped dunes. It is challenging but also an exciting escapade for tour lovers.

Best National Parks to visit in Namibia

A part of Skeleton Coast in Namibia. [Photo by Audley Travel]

History Of Sossusvlei Dunes

The dune is a salt and clay pan. Neatly arranged high red dunes surround it. Usually, they are washed from River Orange in the Kalahari before the Benguela Current washes the sand northwards. The blowing winds from the northwest blow the coloured iron oxide sand away, leading to today’s splendour-filled dunes.

Sossusvlei dunes’ reddish colour is a significant attraction for tourists visiting Namibia.

Sossusvlei dunes are the highest in the world, with a high of 400 meters. They are a charming attraction in Namibia all year round. The sight of the dunes in the morning as the sun rises and in the evening as the sun sets is mind-blowing.

History says that the dunes signify “dead-end marsh” drawn from the meaning of the name Sossuvlei. ‘Sossus’ means no return, and ‘vlei’ means a lake – shallow. The Sossuvlei dunes are five million years old.


In a year, when the rains finally hit the desert, and the Tsauchab fills the pan, the dunes become more immaculate. Their reflections vividly emblazon in the pans giving photographers the best moments to capture breathtaking images of the dunes. it is one of the reasons why you should tour Namib desert.

Once the winds start blowing, the Namib dunes’ shape is changed. Sand deposits are seen on the windward side of the dune, while on the leeward side of the dune, sand slides down. Parabolic dunes or star dunes are a common sight as they lie around Sossusvlei, and they create dunes up to 50 km wide.

Fog is the primary source of water in the Namib Desert. Most desert animals, including reptiles and mammals, survive on the little water from fog. Some of the animals you will find in Sossusvlei Dunes include antelopes, ostrich, and different bird species.

Sand Dunes Colour

Sand with higher iron content is deposited at the bottom of the dune, while lighter sand deposits land at the dune’s crest. One place that you cannot miss visiting while in Sossusvlei Dunes is the Big Daddy dunes. It has the tallest dunes with a high of 338m. Once you climb to the top and your feet rest on the dunes’ crest, you get to see the sand dunes colour at peak of their beauty. The dunes at Big Daddy stand at 325 meters. It attracts a lot of tourists every year to enjoy the scenic view of the desert.

Star-Shaped Dunes

 Star-shaped dunes Dune 45 in Sossusvlei is the star attraction of this part of the desert due to its star shape. It is 80m high with very loose sand, making it very difficult to climb to the top. The “star” shape forms as a result of wind blowing from different directions. They position the dunes permanently, meaning the sand barely erodes once it forms the star shape.

Surprisingly, plants and animals adapted miraculous survival tactics in this treacherous desert. It something next to magical but, yes, plants and animals survive life in the desert.

A tour to the world’s highest dunes in Namibia

The sand dunes of Sossusvlei, the world’s highest found in Namibia [Photo/Face2Face Africa]

Why not plan for this exciting trip to the Namib Desert worth a lifetime’s memories? There is plenty of accommodation facilities. For example, a desert camp is an excellent option for accommodation for visitors. Another option could be Sossusvlei Lodge which is very popular here. It offers a panoramic view of the expansive Namib Desert right from the comfort of your lodging.

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About the author

See Africa Today

Pharis Kinyua is the editor of See Africa Today. With over seven years of experience in digital media, he has a soft spot for African tours and travel. His drive is to tell the rest of the world what Africa offers, the best accommodation facilities, national parks, culture, shopping malls and best airline deals to travel to Africa

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