Justins World

Sossusvlei the Namibian dessert

Words are hard to describe the desert of Namibia. It is so stunning, so incredibly hard to describe how that can be so much beauty in such a lifeless place. But its there and a couple of days at a desert lodge was the perfect way to kick off the Namibian leg of my travels. We can ignore the night in Windhoek, as many people say get out of Windhoek sooner rather than later and I got the same impression.

Road to the desert lodge

The drive to the Desert lodge just south of Sesriem was a longish day on mostly gravel roads, but we did spot early on 3 giraffe and thinking we’d spot more, didn’t pull over at the time. We didn’t spot any giraffe or much of any wildlife that day. We found a little coffee shop called Conny’s that served coffee, just coffee and if we wanted lunch we needed to order in advance. The stop though was a good rest stop to stretch legs before we got to our accomodation, a very nice room with stunning views of the desert.

Sand dune in Namib-Naukluft desert

Sossusvlei is a postcard place that is probably the thing that puts Namibia on the map. Sure people come here for game drives and other sites worthy of attention, but anyone that knew anything about Namibia asked me was I going here when I told them I was coming to Namibia. Despite the 5 hour drive on mostly decent gravel road its well worth it. The lodge we stayed in was amazing with great meals, horseriding and also tours if you don’t want to drive any more. We opted to drive to the Sossusvlei dunes and it was about 100kms away surprisingly with 70kms on a sealed road. We spotted an Oryx pretty soon on our drive and thats when i found out my telephoto lens was broken. The one lens you need for a safari and its broken. I’ve since found a replacement “superzoom camera” just to get some photos in Etosha. It is a real bummer thats for sure. But the beauty of this place makes you forget your worries.

Sossusvlei panorama

Specifically the place I came to see was called Deadvlei, where all the dead trees are, but these dunes stretch all the way to the coast. If you are really unsure have a look at the satellite image on google maps, the area the dunes cover is massive. Some energetic crazy people tried to climb “big daddy”, the dune at the back of Deadvlei with views of all these other dunes, but I found the walk in the sand to Deadvlei was enough to convince me that climbing “big daddy” was a challenge I’d not achieve that day.

Deadvlei tree

It was an amazing serene place until every tourist in Namibia turned up. Seriously we don’t know where they all came from but it was crazy to think in the middle of nowhere so many people were here. Luckily we were car #20 through the gate and bypassed people taking snap shots at every opportunity. We spotted more Oryx, plus some Springboks and Ostriches. We both agreed the lodge was amazing to return to and that another day would have been good to relax. The stars werer also so bright early in the morning after the moon had set. I just couldn’t drag myself out of bed the next day which was another long drive.

So the drive from out lodge to Swakopmund was just infinitely worse than the first long drive. The roads were corrugated a lot of the way, meaning i was trying to find the smoothest path on a very wide gravel road. We spotted more Oryx, we saw a Springbok do its “spring” as well. At Solitaire we found a nice bakery, but skipped the Apple pie, only finding out in Swakopmund we probably shouldn’t have skipped it. After Solitaire there was very little to see except for the Tropic of Capricorn sign, some interesting geology and then as we got close to the coast we saw the mist that can engulf the coast. We arrived a little later than I expected but we are here now and thats where i’ll leave this entry so i’ve got to leave something to write in the Swakopmund and Walvis Bay blog post next time.

one of the very sparse highlights of the road trip

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