We had seen so many photos: bright orange dunes sharply contrasting the radiant blue sky. In the foreground, dead and almost black tree trunks, breaking through the white dusty ground. Surreal. The Dead Vlei in Namibia.

When our Namibia safari finally leads us here, it is just as impressive as we had imagined.

 
But first: the sunrise

We get up and out of our tent very early in the morning – as so often on our Namibia safari – and embark on a tour to explore the area. The only sunrise we will certainly never forget in our lives awaits us in the Namib on Dune 45. Our feet in the cold sand, we watch the first rays of sunshine crawl across countless dunes, colouring everything they touch in their magical light.

 

A highlight on our Namibia safari

We don’t linger too long and continue further. Mornings turn into middays quickly, and these we have learned on our Namibia safari by now, should be spent in the shade not on a dune. Along the way, an oryx appears, galloping on the side of the road through the cool morning air.

Arriving at the Dead Vlei parking, the decisive question: shoes or no shoes. Potentially burning your feet or having sand in your socks? We’re brave and give it a go, trudging barefoot through the still cool sand. To our left, the ascend to “Big Daddy”, the highest dune in Sossusvlei.

If you make it up here, you can run, jump and roll down the more than 300-metre high dune. Destination: Dead Vlei.

The pan is not as deserted as many of the photos make it look. Probably around one hundred people walk across the dried up swamp. The gigantic dunes and almost mythical aura absorb the presence of the others. We hardly even notice them.

The thought that a few hundred years ago the Tsauchab River washed small lakes and swamps into this hot desert sand – we can hardly believe it. On the other hand: nature makes the impossible possible. This much we have learned on our Namibia safari at this point.

Most visitors make their way back to the parking after only a short walk and a few quick pictures. We stay behind. It’s getting quiet. Deep scores carve into the dead and almost black sunburned tree trunks.

Their roots break into the dusty, hard soil. The water they were hoping to find in the deep has long gone.

We continue further, deeper into the Dead Vlei. Back here, there are neither trees nor people. Just silence and solitude as you will only experience it on a Namibia safari.

The soil underneath our feet is slowly getting hot. It is almost ten thirty. When we leave the Dead Vlei, we almost burn our feet in the hot sand. Quick now!

Embark on your own individual Namibia safari with us and experience the magic of the Dead Vlei. Get in touch and we’ll plan together.