Originally declared a protected area for the conservation of the endemic Hartmann Zebra, the park is one of supreme contrasts and extremes and a testimony to time itself.
Situated in the oldest desert on earth it is Namibia’s largest conservation area and, together with mountains, the highest dunes on earth and age-old canyons, there is something for every adventurous spirit and nature lover.
It is one of Namibia’s most versatile conservation areas and houses a number of natural wonders as well as Namibia’s newest World Heritage Site, the Namib dune belt.
The Namib is a coastal desert in southern Africa. The name Namib is of Khoekhoegowab origin and means “vast place”. According to the broadest definition, the Namib stretches for more than 2,000 kilometres along the Atlantic coasts of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa, extending southward from the Carunjamba River in Angola, through Namibia and to the Olifants River in Western Cape, South Africa.
The Namib’s northernmost portion, which extends 450 kilometres from the Angola-Namibia border, is known as Moçâmedes Desert, while its southern portion approaches the neighbouring Kalahari Desert.
From the Atlantic coast eastward, the Namib gradually ascends in elevation, reaching up to 200 kilometres inland to the foot of the Great Escarpment.
Annual precipitation ranges from 2 millimeters in the most arid regions to 200 millimeters at the escarpment, making the Namib the only true desert in southern Africa.
Having endured arid or semi-arid conditions for roughly 55–80 million years, the Namib may be the oldest desert in the world and contains some of the world’s driest regions, with only western South America’s Atacama Desert to challenge it for age and aridity benchmarks.
Deadvlei is a white clay pan located near the more famous salt pan of Sossusvlei, inside the Namib-Naukluft Park in Namibia. Also written DeadVlei or Dead Vlei, its name means “dead marsh”. The pan also is referred to as “Dooie Vlei” which is the fully Afrikaans name.
In Google there are many references to the site, its name often being translated erroneously in terms such as “dead valley”; a vlei is not a valley. Nor is the site a valley; the pan is a desiccated vlei.
Big daddy dune
Big Daddy is one of the highest dunes in the world. A climb can be a quite an effort especially in the extreme heat but once at the top, dune climbers will be rewarded with a breath-taking view of the surrounding area.
Lying north of Big Daddy dune is the somewhat smaller dune “Big Mama”. In the Namib Desert not, all dunes are accessible to visitors but some dunes in the Vleis are can be climbed.
This area is best known for its sand dunes, which are often considered the highest in the world. Sossusvlei is one such destination worthy of a visit or visits, as the case maybe.
The scene changes as the weather and climate does – continuously a mystery at different times of the day creating different magical scenes to the naked eye.
It could be a day enshrouded in mystery and mist or a bright and sunny cast of shadows creating a myriad of colours and shades on the surrounding fiery sand dunes.
Where to stay
Moon mountain lodge
An ultra-luxury tented lodge ideally located in the Naukluft Mountains. Enjoy sheer luxury with exquisite views from your bed or private splash pool. Built and completed in 2009 on the Moon Mountain Top, as fixed “tented rooms” with all the comforts of a room, but the airy feeling of a tent.
Moon Mountain Lodge is ideally situated for any holiday guest who wants to visits the world’s highest dunes in Sossusvlei, as the lodge is only 50km away from the entrance gate and close to the quaint little village of Solitaire.
All rooms offer breath taking views of the Namib Naukluft scenery, including mountains, dunes, Springbok, Oryx, Mountain Zebra and birds.
The lodge’s Nebula Restaurant offers seating for 46 people and traditional Namibian Cuisine. The Cosmos Bar is fully licensed and has a big adjoining sun deck from which stars can be gazed upon at night. The Deck also presents a spectacular view of the Petrified Dunes of the Namib Desert and sunsets to awe you.
As we strive to keep noise pollution to a minimum and guest relaxation as a priority, rooms are not fitted with TV’s, the lodge however does have a small cinema, complete with large flat screen TV, surround sound, DVD player and DSTV. This room is also suitable for small conferences of up to 17 people.
Soft Adventure Camp has been designed for the nature-loving visitor who wants to experience the undisturbed Namib Desert without all the facilities and luxuries of a lodge.
It is predominantly used by overland lovers and groups as the ideal get-away for that special occasion you want to share with your loved ones: weddings, anniversaries and family gatherings. For these special groups, our chalet offers all the comfort you need and your private space.
Soft Adventure Camp is located among outcrops of a granite hill, each unit so situated as to provide an open view onto the plains of the savannah.
Each of the 15 chalets is based on a fixed structure with canvas partitions offering a spacious interior with en-suite facilities. The canvas gives the feeling of a close-to-nature tented camp while the fixed structure offers protection.
Namib Naukluft Lodge caters for the individual holidaymaker. Its architectural design allows unity with nature: backed by impressive granite hills, which are granting a natural protection against the East winds. Enjoy the stunning view onto the open plains from every room and the main veranda.
Arrive at Namib Naukluft Lodge after a long drive and the friendly receptionist will welcome you with a drink and a smile. Feel at home and check-into your en-suite, stylishly furnished room with inside and outdoor seating, air-conditioning, private veranda, refrigerator and direct dial telephone.
The main building offers a comfortable lounge exhibiting local décor items as well as original paintings, prints and hand-woven carpets from local artists.
Traditional meals are served on the veranda or prepared by the chef on the open fire in the lapa, enhancing the feeling of a very special desert evening.
Solitaire Country Lodge
On the edge of the Namib Desert, in the midst of gravel plains, bordering the Namib Naukluft Park, there lies a little town called Solitaire. In the middle of nowhere, after hundreds of kilometres driving it will feel like a Fata Morgana coming up.
The mystic little settlement of Solitaire does justice to its name in more than one way. Solitaire with its Charisma will take you back to the beginning of the 19hundreds.
Solitaire is an excellent choice to split your journey between Sesriem / Sossusvlei and Swakopmund or Windhoek. It has an air of tranquillity combined with comfort and affordability.
The nostalgic General Dealer and the Moose Mcgregor Bakery offer home baked bread and apple pie, and of course, drinks, fuel and a small workshop for minor vehicle repairs.
Tucked away behind the bustling scene you find the Solitaire Country Lodge. The Lodge with all its rooms facing a central courtyard with swimming pool surrounded by lush green lawn.
The restaurant and bar cater for lodge and camping guests alike in an environment with a unique character and unsurpassed hospitality.
Capricorn Rest camp is situated next to the Naukluft Mountains making it an ideal stop-over en route from Windhoek to Sossusvlei or from the South to the coast.
The four bungalows are all equipped with twin beds, own shower & toilet, terrace, fireplace (braai) and electrical lights. Parking places are close to the bungalows. The distance between the Bungalows is around 60m, so it is very private.
Normally there are two single beds (twin beds) in each Bungalow, but a third bed extra is no problem. Provide four camp sites with shadow netting, fireplace (braai) and benches/tables. The camp site has a communal toilet- and shower house.
Solitaire Guest Farm Desert Ranch
One of Namibia’s finest experiences is visiting the famous Dunes of Sossusvlei, Sesriem canyon, Naukluft Mountains and Spreedtshoogte Pass.
Solitaire Guest Farm Desert Ranch is the perfect location from which to base your day trips and excursions to these destinations or to simply relax for few days.
The Farm is situated at the foot of the rugged Rand Mountains with a breath-taking view over the vast Namib Desert and beautiful Naukluft Mountains.
Enjoy one of our authentic African themed en-suite rooms, our luxury self-catering house or camp at our peaceful campsite with amenities.
Neuras Wine and Wildlife Estate
The economy accommodation options at Neuras Estate give our visitors a comfortable and ecologically sound way to enjoy the desert. Visit us to taste our wines, or stop by on your way to and from famous nearby landmarks including Sossusvlei, roughly 80km away.
For all guest types we offer economy accommodation in stone built en-suite chalets, shaded by large acacia and ebony trees, with linen and towels provided.
There is a swimming pool for cool dips after a hot day in the desert and sun downers can be enjoyed in the stone-built lappa. Pleasant short walks along the dry river bed or to the springs can be undertaken at one’s leisure.
Guests may choose to have all meals fully catered with our dinner, bed and breakfast option, with home cooked Namibian meals, combining the simple joys of local cuisine with elegance and refinement. Alternatively, guests may decide to cater for themselves using our guest braai set which is located in the shade of trees.