Spring into Sossusvlei
Trip Start May 03, 2011
129Trip End May 10, 2012
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Where I stayed
The name "Sossusvlei" is of mixed origin, and roughly means "dead end marsh". Vlei is the afrikaans word for "marsh", while "sossus" is nama for "no return" or "dead end". Sossusvlei owes this name to the fact that it is an endorheic drainage basin (i.e., a drainage basin without outflows) for the ephemeral Tsauchab River.
We left Walvis Bay and headed to Sossusvlei
We found one of the camping spots recommended by our friend in Wavis Bay and decided to stay there. To camp was only €10 and as we hadnīt got a tent we parked the car in the camping spot and decided that we would sleep in the car for one night. The good thing was that there was a bar, toilets and hot showers as part of the camp that we could use so for €10 it was well worth it. The bar was an honesty bar and I am ashamed to say that I was a wee bit dishonest that night and the next morning but needs must when you are an impoverished back packer
Our camping spot became a little unnerving as we spotted a massive black snake slithering along the ground right near to where we parked the car. It looked poisonous and VERY mean and I did wake up a few times in the night expecting to feel something thick and slimy crawling up inside my shorts. We both kept our feet inside our sleeping bags that night.
The next morning was an early start to drive to Sossusvlei National Park. As it was still dark when we left we had to take it steady as a herd of Gemsbok ran across the road in front of the car. Luckily their eyes had been shining in the morning light as we approached so were not taken completely by surprise. As this is Africa there was a little bit of bureaucracy to get through when entering the park. First you had to park your car and buy a permit and give the (miserable) lady behind the counter your car registration. She wrote all of this down on the permit (at a snails pace of course). You then had to drive to the gate whereby a guy checked your permit and wrote down your car registration again (at a snails pace). I am sure there is a much easier way of doing this but as this is Africa you just accept these little idiosyncrasies
Once inside the park the views of the mountains and the sand dunes just got better and better. We saw more springbok, gemsbok and ostriches running across the plains. Our little car could only take us so far due to the sand and mud and so we had to stop and park 5km before Sossusvlei. We decided to walk the 5km even though the locals looked at us as though we were completely mad. It seems that no one else really does this and they all either take the shuttle or are part of a 4X4 guided tour. A 5km walk over difficult terrain is p*ss easy to us. The walk was absolutely fine and we waved at the lazy b*stards who passed us in their 4X4īs. Sossusvlei is an incredible place and has to be seen to be believed. We climbed the main dunes in the area and all of the lakes around the dunes were full with water which apparently is not common so this made the whole experience even better. We decided to get the shuttle back as we were running short on time and the driver commented on how fit we must be as he had seen us walking the 5km earlier in the day. We were amazed that more people didnīt do the walk as it wasnīt difficult and means that you get to see more of the surrounding area and take more photographs.
Sossusvlei is such an amazing place and deserves the highest possible score of 10/10 on our tripometer. Next we have a long drive ahead of us as we travel 700km from Sossusvlei to Otjwarango and the wildlife phase of our Namibian trip.