Namibia is a country filled with many features that everyone should see when they visit Africa and one of them are the sand dunes. A country that is known to be the second when it comes to being least populated in the whole world, Namibia’s sand dunes are worth the trip to the country. The sand dunes in Namibia are one of the mostly visited tourist destinations in the country and most of them are located in the Namib Desert. Most of these sand dunes are hundreds of years old and it is a bit difficult to actually guess their age and that is why many tourists travel to the country just to see and climb these dunes.
The sand dunes of Namibia were formed after a lot of coastal sand was blown to the Desert for a long period of time. They have a reddish color to them which gives them a good look especially during sunrise and sunset and when you visit these sand dunes, you are barely visible due to their huge nature. Some of the activities that can be carried out while exploring the sand dunes of Namibia include the following:
- Quad Biking, there are quad bikes for rent that are always available for hire and these are taken out by tourists as they explore the sand dunes but only with the guidance of an experienced tour guide.
- Hiking, this is a tiring exercise and is mostly carried out by mostly people who are physically fit and for all those that would love to take on the hike note that it is carried out in the mornings before the sun comes up.
- A Balloon Ride over the sand dunes, this is one of the best ways in which one can view the sand dunes especially from a different angle and it is best for all those that do not want to take the long hike and all those that love photography. The balloon ride is done in the mornings when the air is still and it will take you over most of the sand dunes that are located within the Sossusvlei.
Most of the sand dunes that are found in Namibia can only be accessed after one passes through the Namib-Naukluft National Park and when climbing up these dunes you will get a chance to see the animals that habitate within the park. Remember that you cannot be allowed to go up the sand dunes without a tour guide because these help you to ascend and descend the sand dunes with ease.
The Big Daddy Sand Dune
The big daddy sand dune which is located in Sossusvlei is one of the highlights in the city that should not be missed. The big daddy sand dune rises up to a height of 325 feet making it one of the highest sand dunes in the whole world and in Sossusvlei but it is not the tallest dune in Namibia. The climb up the big daddy sand dune is not for the faint hearted and you must really prepare if you want to enjoy the climb up this dune. Due to the high temperatures that are experienced in Sossusvlei, the climb up big daddy begins very early in the morning before the heat starts up and this does not matter whether you are going to walk up the dune or quad bike your way to the sand dune.
The big daddy sand dune has two major plateaus and it takes about fifty minutes to reach the first one and by the time you get there, the sun will be out and after reaching the first plateau, you can then proceed to the second one which will take you about two hours but while you are at it, do not forget to carry lots of water because due to the heat that is experienced in the area, you will not want to become dehydrated.
Most of the tourists who visit the big daddy sand dune do so for mostly two reasons and that is the good view of the Deadvlei as you climb the big daddy and sand dune and the fact that you have managed to climb it while most people failed.
The Hiddenvlei is a sand dune that is located within Sossusvlei and although it is the least visited sand dune in the area, it is still a good place for one to visit especially if you are not into climbing the big sand dunes. It is a good place for tourists who want to learn how to track down animals especially the small ones and this is done with the help of the tour guides who help with identifying the different animals using their foot prints. It will not be easy for you to get to the Hiddenvlei with just a normal car and therefore you have to use a 4×4 to get you through the sand before heading out on foot to enjoy the walk to the peak of the vlei and do not forget to take lots of water with you if you do not want to be dehydrated in a short period of time.
The Elim Dunes
The Elim sand dune which is located just a few kms away from the Sesriem camp area very good place for many tourists who want to experience what sand dunes have to offer in terms of adventure. They offer tourists with a good view of the Namib- Naukluft Mountain and are the first dunes that you get to see when driving through the Sossusvlei. The beauty about the Elim sand dune is that it can easily be reached by vehicles that are not 4×4 which means it is quite easy to explore them and if you ask any tourist guide and other tourists, you will be told that this is the perfect place for one to enjoy the sunset unlike the other dunes that surround it. The Elim dunes are strategically located in that they are the only ones that have a green patch of vegetation over them and tourists can rest from the overhead sun that is experienced in the area.
The Dune 45
The Dune 45 is one of the highest sand dunes in Namibia rising to a height of about 560 feet and when climbing up the Dune 45, one gets a feeling that they are about to reach the sky. It was named the Dune 45 because it is just 45 kilometers away from the Sesrium gate and one of the many dunes that provide a perfect place for photo safaris. It is sometimes referred to as the moonscape and this is due to the fact that there are times when the sand that is found here sometimes looks like the moon with the holes in them and this is mostly experienced in the mornings and evenings. The climb up the Dune 45 is not an easy task but once you have put your mind to it, you can easily get to the top and get a good view of the Namib-Naukluft National park and the rest of Sossusvlei.
The Dune 7
The dune which is located within the Namib Desert is considered to be the highest dune in the whole world rising to a height of 1256 feet above sea level. Many tourists can be seen preparing to go out and climb this monstrous dune and although getting up the dune might not be an easy fit, slopping is quite easy and it does not take more than five minutes when you are already down.
After looking at the different sand dunes that are located within Namibia, there a few things you need to know before getting a climb up these monsters and some of these include:
- Climbing up the sand dunes will not be an easy task and that is why you need to take your time and set your own pace otherwise you might not be able to enjoy the ascent at any of the sand dunes.
- They keep on telling everyone to take good hiking shoes while exploring the sand dunes but as the tour guides will tell you just after a few minutes of climbing, it is advisable that you remove your shoes and walk in your socks because then, the climb will be much easier.
- It is also better if you do not carry anything on your way up the sand dunes as this might make you slow down. The only thing that you can carry is a lot of water but make sure you leave your luggage behind.
As you head out for a safari to Namibia, make sure that the sand dunes are part of your itinerary because there is no way that you will enjoy your trip to the country without visiting these dunes that are believed to be hundreds of years old located within the coastal Namib Desert and enjoy all the activities carried out within the sand dunes.