Namibia’s largest nature reserve, about 50.000 sqkms in size. It includes a 100 to 150 km broad belt of land that stretches along the coastline from the Swakop Valley in the north, towards the road to Luderitz in the south.
Most parts of this enormous area are not accessible to man.
One can only visit a small stretch north of the Kuiseb River: the Naukluft Mountains and the Sossusvlei in the Central Dune fields.
Namib Naukluft Park provides stunning vistas of landscapes of huge mountain massifs and gravel plains covered in desert ink. The scenery in the entire area is overwhelmingly beautiful.
The Naukluft Mountains, with their rugged rock massifs and deeply incised riverbeds rise up to 1000 m above the surrounding area. The highest peak reaches 1949 m.
The mountains are a hiker’s paradise.
The highlight of a visit to the Namib Naukluft Park is a trip to the Sossusvlei.
Many start their day with an uphill walk to the top of climb Dune 45, a star dune in Sossusvlei. Its name comes from the fact that it lies exactly 45 km on the gravel path that connects the gates from Sossusvlei to Sesriem. Standing over 170m, the star dune is composed of 5 million year old sand that was brought by the Orange River from the Kalahari.
A 4×4 is required to travel to Deadvlei, which means Dead marsh, a white clay pan, surrounded by some of the highest dunes in the world. The pan was formed when the Tsauchab river once flooded the area, temporary allowing camel thorn trees to grow, however when the climate changed and drought hit the land then surrounding dunes encroached the pan and blocked the river. Without water the trees died, leaving the burnt out black skeletons (approximately 900 years old) scattered throughout the pan.
Take a walk through the cavernous gorges and dried out riverbeds of Sesriem Canyon, which were once carved and chiseled by a free flowing river.