Sossusvlei is one of the most amazing places we have seen in Namibia. Despite being deserted, secluded and difficult to reach, this place, which houses the oldest desert in the world, at the same time the most photographed place of the country. Complete silence and peace dominate in these lands, sometimes there are winds of the wind and antelopes, oryxes and ostriches who watch you from afar.
Namibia, located on the southwest of Africa, is a very surprising country with its almost every corners. Within Namib Naukluft National Park, Sossusvlei, 65 km from Sesriem, is also one of the most unique places in Namibia.
Sossus vlei is generally known as Sossusvlei because of it is surrounded by a small saline surrounded by sand dunes. Sossus literally means "the place where the water is gathered" and "vlei" is literally "salt".
The Orange River, starting from Lesotho, crossing South Africa and extending to the Namibian borders, dragged the red colored sands for millions of years and poured into estuary south of the present Namib desert. Thanks to the cold Benguella currents of the Atlantic Ocean, the sand drifted to the north of the shoreline and the tides that followed took the sands towards the shore.
Strong Atlantic winds dragged the sand to the inner parts of the land by sweeping for millions of years. Today these masses of sand stand as the most spectacular sand dunes in the world. The magnificent red sand dunes in Sossusvlei were taken to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2013 as a part of the Namibian Sand Sea.
The red color of the sand is a result of oxidation of the high amount of iron contained in it for years. Nearly every 5 years, after a very heavy rain, the saline fills with water from the Tsauchab River and it create an extraordinarily beautiful image with the red sand dunes that surroundering it.
Clay at high rate collected in saline, allows the water to remain on the surface without being absorbed for a long time. Do not miss it if you come across this period. Namibia is very dry now.