Sossusvlei

When to Go?

Best Time to Visit Sossusvlei

With annual rainfall of little more than 50 mm (2 inches), Sossusvlei can be considered a year-round destination in terms of avoiding rain. Nearly all rain falls in the summer, usually in the form of thunderstorms from December through February. Low-lying areas between the dunes – the vleis – occasionally fill with water, making for magical imagery.

There’s very little rain for the rest of the year, and the dry winter coincides with the best time for safaris in Namibia and neighbouring Botswana. Temperatures are pleasant, getting progressively colder from May through August when you can expect night time and early morning temperatures at 0°C (32°F). September through November can be extremely hot and arid with temperatures over 40°C (104°F) at times.

Dec Jan Feb
Mid-summer; hot temperatures, possible rain
Mar Apr May
Early winter: dry with warm to mild temperatures, best time to visit Sossusvlei
Jun Jul Aug
Winter; sunny & dry with cold nights; good time for safaris in Namibia & Botswana
Sep Oct Nov
Early summer; very hot & dry; Sep & Oct great for Etosha & Chobe safaris
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What To Do

Activities to Look Forward to

1. Visit the Dunes

Sossusvlei’s dramatic dunes are best seen at dawn; their sweeping shapes & shifting colours make for fantastic photography. Kick off your shoes at Dune 45 & walk to the top for sunrise over the Namib.

2. Fly High

Whether it’s by light aircraft or hot-air balloon, a flight over Sossusvlei is the best way to grasp the scale of this ocean of red sand. Dawn balloon safaris end with a champagne breakfast!

3. Discover the Wildlife

Expert guides reveal what lies just out of sight; jackals in the shade, hidden birds & secretive reptiles plus bizarre plants. Several lodges lie on private reserves, adding antelope, zebra, hyena & ostrich to the list.

4. Sit Back & Stargaze

The night skies above the Namib deliver world-class stargazing. There’s no light pollution, barely a sound & the stars stretch between the horizons. Some lodges have telescopes & ‘star guides’ to steer you through the cosmos.

5. Hike, Bike or Ride

Lodges on private reserves offer opportunities to lace up your hiking boots or settle back & let horse power do the rest: with reins & saddle or from behind the handlebars of a quad bike.

6. Visit Sossusvlei & Dead Vlei

World-famous Sossusvlei is the name of an enormous clay pan, flanked by the famous sand dunes that flush red in the early morning sun. Dead Vlei, another pan where water once flowed, but now all that remains are the skeletons of trees reach up out of the cracked earth.

7. Sleep under starry skies

Sleep out under the starry starry skies of the Namib and be lulled to sleep by the sounds of Africa on the roof or your unit. The Namib is known for its clear night skies, and with no light pollution it is the ideal spot to enjoy the stars and planets.

8. Search for Critters

After dark, another realm of the Namib Desert awakes. Night walks around the lodges reveal some of these captivating critters such as dancing white lady spiders and scorpions which fluoresce under UV lights.

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