Namibia :: Namib-Naukluft
:: Sesriem Area
Category: Attraction :: Conservation
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The dunes in the Sossusvlei area were formed about 5 million years ago, when the red sand (coloured red by iron oxide) washed from the Kalahari into the Atlantic Ocean. The Benguela current, flowing north along the west coast of South Africa and Namibia, drove the sand north, where it settled in the region of Lüderitz. From here the sand was blown inland and north, forming the star-shaped dunes we today can see at Sossusvlei. The continued winds even today change the shapes of the dunes and they may migrate as many as 10 metres per year. In spite of this, the Namib Dunes are some of the most stable parabolic (or star-shaped) dunes in the world. Dune 45 is exactly 45km from the entrance gate to Sossusvlei at Sesriem Camp and although at approximately 170 metres tall, it is not the tallest dune in the region, it’s fascinating shape and intense red colour at sunrise and sunset, makes it one of the most photographed dunes in the world. (Updated Mar-2016)
The ancient sand dunes of Sossusvlei forms part of the Namib Sand Sea World Heritage site (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1430) and travellers are reminded to minimise their impact on the environment when visiting this eco-sensitive area by adhering to a few simple guidelines:
• Stay on the main trails rather than walk criss-cross over the sensitive vegetation areas – they may seem bare and lifeless, but many plants remain dormant until the first rains.
• The “lifeless” trees in Dead Vlei are preserved by the harsh, dry climate and are estimated to be about 900 years old. Do not damage them by climbing on them, or break branches off for firewood or keepsakes.
• The red dunes in the area has been formed over millions of years. Limit the shifting of sand down the dunes by following the trails of others, rather than sliding or running down, taking half the dune down with you.
|Address :||Sesriem, Namib Naukluft, Namibia|
Sunrise to sunset
From the entrance gate at Sesriem, continue for 45km along the tarred road, to the Dune 45 parking area on your left.
Entry fees/permits are payable at Sesriem Gate/Sesriem Reception. Please do not drive off the road.
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