Namib-Naukluft National Park
Size: 4,976,800 ha / 49,768 km2
Species Numbers: *38 Mammals *362 Birds *38 Reptiles
Big Five: No – leopard occasionally seen
* Breathtaking desert scenery and the world's highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei
* Visit 550 year old dead trees at Deadvlei, a white clay pan located near the more famous salt pan of Sossusvlei and surrounded by impressive dunes
* Hike up Dune 45 at sunrise and explore Sesriem Canyon
Namib-Naukluft National Park is one of the largest conservation areas in the world - a fitting testament to the word 'Namib' which means 'vast' in the local Nama language. Bigger than Switzerland, it encompasses part of the Namib Desert, considered the world's oldest desert, and the Naukluft mountain range. There are four sections in the park: Sossusvlei and Sesriem, Naukluft, Namib section and Sandwich Harbour. The most well-known area of the park is the ancient dunes near Sossusvlei, which is one of the main visitor attractions in Namibia.
The Naukluft has many animals, including large mammals, though all are elusive and difficult to spot. Hartmann’s mountain zebra, oryx, kudu and klipspringer are occasionally seen usually in the far distance. Over 300 bird species have been recorded in the area. It is also home to the famous Welwitschia mirabilis, a gymnosperm relict plant endemic to the Namib Desert.
For access to Sossusvlei: From Windhoek take the B1 up to Rehoboth and turn right onto the C24 direction Solitaire via Spreetshoogte Pass. Behind the pass, turn left onto the C14 towards Sesriem. Sesriem restcamp lies about 65 km from Sossusvlei (1 hour's drive).
* Malaria medication is not needed
* Visit dunes as early as possible when temperatures are not that high yet and you can take the best pictures. Always carry water with you, sun block and a hat
* Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) manages several campsites in the reserve, a variety of other accommodation options are also available. Sossus Dune lodge is the only lodge inside the Namib-Naukluft National Park
* Entry permits for are obtainable in the MET offices in Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, Windhoek or at Sesriem. If you are planning to stay at a private lodge and not an NWR camp, check with them before arrival to see whether MET permit fees are included in your booking
* Visitors are allowed access to Sossusvlei between sunrise and sunset. The first 60km of road from Sesriem is suitable for sedan vehicles whereas the last 5km is for 4x4 only. A shuttle service is available if you do not wish to hike the last 5km.