Investigate the vast sea of sand around Sossusvlei and find life in the Namib Desert! A ranger, normally grown up in this area, will show you everything the desert can reveal. A 4x4 takes you along a sandy road while the dunes are shimmering red in the morning sun. You stop near the unique clay pan of Sossusvlei in the middle of the Namib Desert.
This arid area is fed by the irregular floods of the Tsauchab River, which is the source of life for the camel thorn trees found here. Believe it or not - this unique place in Namibia can even boast water in the desert, although the clay normally soaks up every drop.
The name Sossusvlei comes from the Afrikaans language. The word "vlei" means "marsh", and the beginning "sossus" stands for "place of no return". As you are seeking adventure, be brave and go on and try to find life in the desert! Not only plant life but also animal life - the hunt for rare and unique little desert creatures can begin!
Your experienced desert ranger from the Namib-Naukluft National Park shows and catches anything you want - from Mice to Lizards and Snakes. No matter how hard they try to dig themselves in the hot Sossusvlei sand dunes, or to wind away from him - he gets them!
Sometimes it's quite hard but fun to keep up with the pace of your enthusiastic Namib Desert Walk guide. Just when you have made your way over the steep dune slopes and look over the rim, he is already waiting for you with something small crawling or fidgeting in his hand.
He tells you about the multitude of insects you can find and how they adapted to the harsh conditions of the desert. He stops at another sand dune and can't wait to show you the next living creature. You wonder what it might be because there is nothing around you but sand, sand and tons of sand in the glowing heat. But after a little while he opens some kind of little door in the crust of the first layers of the dune.
Guess what is crawling in the inside: A little Spider! It looks like you just disturbed it in its own living room, so the "door" is closed again and the ranger leaves the small creature in its little peaceful world underneath the highest sand dunes on earth.
Your guide also takes you to a place that already sounds like the opposite of life in the Namib Desert - Dead Vlei. Indeed, this area is absolutely dry, the sand masses of the dunes made it impossible for the smallest drop of water to come through. A view of black and dead trees on white wrenched clay soil surrounded by 300 metre high dunes will be revealed to you. Absolutely amazing!
Be careful while trying to get the best picture - don't lean on those black and dead trees. They are said to be more than 900 years old and you can easily get a splinter in your skin. Nevertheless, there are two rare plant species that have found a way to survive: Salsola and !nara. Their source of life is the mist that hangs over the dunes in the morning or the very rare rainfall.
This incredible landscape with white clay soil and black tree skeletons scorched by the sun together with the vast orange dunes also serves as the perfect film set: Parts of the movie "The Cell" with Jennifer Lopez were shot at Dead Vlei in Namibia!After exploring this amazing pan, the hunt for animals goes on. The fun part comes at the end when you slide down a dune and meet your guide for a final story about San people who were hunting for Gemsbok in the dying heat or of how important it is to conserve such unique and amazing places like Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei in the Namib Desert.