Namibia :: Namib-Naukluft
:: Sesriem Area
Category: Places :: Town Small
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SESRIEM IS A SMALL SETTLEMENT in the Namib Desert, renowned for the Sesriem Canyon, Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. The name Sesriem (‘six belts’ in Afrikaans) was given to the settlement by settlers returning from the Dorsland Trek. They tied together six straps made of Oryx hide to lower buckets into the canyon to get water. The canyon, a narrow gorge about a kilometre in length and 30 to 40 metres deep, was formed by erosion over many centuries.
Sossusvlei is possibly Namibia’s most spectacular and best-known attraction. Surrounded by some of the highest dunes in the world (reaching almost 400m), Sossusvlei is a large, white, salt and clay pan. Sossusvlei literally translates to ‘dead-end marsh’, it’s the place where dunes come together to prevent the Tsauchab River from flowing any further. However, due to the dry conditions in the Namib Desert the river seldom flows this far and the pan remains bone-dry most years. Only during an exceptionally good rainy season will the Tsauchab River fill the pan to create a truly spectacular sight.
Deadvlei is an area very close to Sossusvlei where, ages ago, the Tsauchab River used to settle in a small pan. Bushes and trees used to grow in the pan until a sand dune blocked the flow of the river and diverted the water into Sossusvlei. The bushes and trees in Deadvlei died but due to the exceptional dry desert conditions the tree stumps have petrified and remain to this day. Visitors are requested not to climb on these ancient trees.
|Address :||Namib Naukluft, Namibia|
|Cellphone Reception :||Intermittent||Main Cellular Network :||MTC|
|Petrol :||Yes||Petrol Type :||LRP/ULP|
|Towing Service :||Yes||Towing Service Telephone :||+264(0)81 129 7490|
|Facilities :||Shops, ATM, Internet Cafe, Lodging, Camping, Restaurant, Airstrip, Tyre Repair, Tyre Sales, Mechanical Repair|
Take note: Garage or Petrol cards will no longer be accepted as a legal tender for purchase of fuel, spares or repairs in Namibia.
Cash, Debit and Credit cards are legal payment instruments, but many fuel stations choose NOT to accept Debit and/or Credit cards. But generally credit cards are accepted at garages in bigger and touristy towns. Take extra cash with still in case!
Sossusvlei Lodge can assist with mechanical repairs.
Another natural phenomena near Sesriem is Elim, a petrified dune.
Reportedly, the roads around Sesriem are in bad condition due to the many tourists visiting. Be prepared to damaging your tyres.
Oasis Coffee Shop at Sossus Oasis, next to the garage sells basic foods, fresh bread and takeaways.
The shop inside the Sesriem Rest Camp sells curios as well as basic food supplies.
The gate to Sossusvlei opens at sunrise and closes at sunset. There is a 4x2 parking area just before the vlei; beyond this area an off-road vehicle is a necessity. Guests can either walk to the pan (about 5km one way), or make use of the 4x4 shuttle service to and from the sites. It is best to visit Sossusvlei early in the morning when the red colour of the sand is brightest and the light and shadows offer breathtaking scenery. Otherwise, visit in the late afternoon when the sun isn’t baking down relentlessly on the desert sands. The nearby Deadvlei is of great photographic significance with the skeletons of Acacia trees dotting a dry white pan.
The tow-in number is for Polka 24 hour service they can help anywhere in Namibia but they are based in Okahandja. Alternative numbers include +264(0)62 500 132 / +264(0)62 504 250. (Oct-17).
Tyre repairs can be done at the Engen fuel stop at Sossus Oasis.
If you’re a keen photographer you might prefer to stay at Sesriem Rest Camp inside the park. This will allow you more time in the early morning and late afternoon to take photographs of the Sossusvlei dunes before and after the park gates open and close.
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