We wake up when the sun is still sleeping and we grab our packed breakfast from the lodge before heading towards the sand dunes of Sossuvlei. The park only opens at sunrise (7.30) and we are car number 5 queuing in front of the gate. The dunes are supposed to be best seen at sunrise, hence the motivation to enter the park as soon as it opens. There is about 60km between the park entrance and the dunes, which should take about 1h given the 60km/h speed limit. However, everybody seems to drive at twice that speed, so let’s follow the movement.
The landscape of red sand dunes bathed by the first rays of the sun is impressive and full of contrasts. The last 5km are on a very sandy track, and we decide to leave the car and take the shuttle, despite the fact we have a 4×4.
Once around Sossusvlei/dead vlei, we start the climb of the big Daddy dune, which gives us a breathtaking view of the surroundings. Climbing the sand dune requires a fair bit of effort, but going down is a treat: simply run down the side of the dune to the bottom of dead vlei.
Dead vlei is a very well known sight of Namibia, appearing on many guide books, with its dried clay pan, dead trees and a backdrop of red sand dunes.
On our way back to the parking, we realise that leaving the car before the sand was a good decision, given the number of cars that got stuck and have been towed to firmer ground by the locals. Towards the end of the day, we drive back to the desert homestead lodge for a beautiful sunset.