Situated on the eastern side of Namibia near Serisem we heard that the dunes of Sossesvlei was the place to be. A place of towering dunes that form part of the Namib desert which stretches 2000km along the coast the Oliphants river in South Africa all the way to Southern Angola.
Once you enter you are led straight onto a tarred road (yes..tarred) in the middle of copper red dunes either side of you.
This is bizarre for me but it became obvious once you see the dozens of coaches herding tourists in and out of this park. To be in such a remote place but to see coach loads of people racing down the road all following each other to be able to climb one of a handful of designated dunes was sad.
We ended up at a point 60km into the park whereby only 4×4 could drive beyond that point and drive a further 5km to a place called Dead Vlei. The road wasn’t tarred anymore and instead was thick sand that had several paths that people had driven over the years and it made for an enjoyable drive trying to avoid the possibility of getting stuck which one vehicle had done so along the way.
The timing of seeing the dunes is important and stupidly we had arrived at the dunes at the peak sunshine hours during the midday and in flip flops trying to climb a dune that is scorching hot to touch is something that I wouldn’t advise, it would have been better to be here during the early hours of the morning or around sunset but such is life.
Don’t get me wrong, the setting is stunning but with the excessive crowds of tourists whizzing down the road it felt like the wilderness of this area is slowly being taken away but each to their own. I worked and lived in the Kalahari and I suppose I am comparing what I have been too and seen to before and this wasn’t my cup of tea.
When we arrived at the entrance to the national park there is a campsite and a number of rooms that are expensively priced for long distance travellers.
The camping area was 125 Namib dollars (£12.5) per person which is double the price of a normal campsite.
So it seems that during peak times, the campsite needs to be booked otherwise you’ll have to camp in a overflow area (not nice).
Luckily after paying for the campsite and then realising that we were assigned an overflow area with other vehicles when asked for a refund.
Instead of staying at the Sossesvlei campsite, I would recommend Solitaire if you want some piece and quiet!
Here there are you will find a wonderful camping area for 3 or 4 vehicles and the owners made us feel welcome.