Соссусвлей (Sossusvlei) — глиняное плато в центральной части пустыни Намиб на территории национального парка Намиб Науклюфт (Namib Naukluft), известное самыми большими в мире красными песчаными дюнами. Во время непродолжительного влажного периода, обычно приходящегося на февраль, плато наполняется водами реки Тсохаб (Tsauchab River). Основная растительность в Соссусфлей — верблюжья акация.

В Соссусфлей находится знаменитая Мёртвая долина (Dead Vlei), известная остовами мёртвых деревьев. Это одно из мест паломничества для фотографов.


(24°31’09.0″S 15°47’40.7″E map & pics) (info: namibia-1on1.comwikipedia.org)
Access to the Sossusvlei area of the Namib-Naukluft National Park is from the Sesriem gate, which is located in the surroundings of the eponymous canyon. From Sesriem, a 60 km concrete road leads to Sossusvlei proper.

Elim Dune

(24°37’46.8″S 15°38’21.4″E map & pics)
The Elim Dune is a high and relatively isolated dune located 5 km past the Sesriem gate, on a branch of the main road connecting Sesriem to Sossusvlei. The dune takes its name from a farm that used to be in the area before the National Park was established.

Dune 45 

(24°43’24.1″S 15°28’15.6″E map & pics) (info: wikipedia.org)
Dune 45 panorama — 360Cities
Dune 45 is so called because it lies 45 km past Sesriem on the road to Sossusvlei. It is also known as «the most photographed dune in the world»; because of its unusually simple and fascinating shape, and its proximity to the road, that make it convenient for visitors to stop by and take pictures. It is 80 meters high and it is not very steep, so that it can easily be climbed.

Sossusvlei during an occasional flood

Sossusvlei is about 66 km past the Sesriem gate. The last 6 km can only be traversed with 4WD vehicles as the concrete road ends and sand begins (the place where the concrete road ends is known as «2×4 parking» as any non-4WD vehicle must stop there). Sossusvlei is a clay pan, of roughly elliptical shape, covered in a crust of salt-rich sand.[1] While the pan has been shaped over time by the Tsauchab river, the actual flooding of the pan is a relatively rare event, and sometimes several years pass between one flood and the next one. The river is dry most of the year, and even when it is not, it carries relatively little water to the vlei. The vlei is surrounded by high orange-reddish dunes, partially covered by a vegetation comprising grass, bushes, and some tree (mostly of species Acacia erioloba).

Big Daddy

(24°46’05.2″S 15°18’08.4″E map & pics) (info: wikipedia.org)
Big Daddy is the highest dune in the Sossusvlei area; it is about 325 meters high (height may vary over time as it is made of sand). Dune 7 which is the highest dune in the world, not Big Daddy, as it’s the seventh dune past the Tsauchab river before dune 45 on your right handside toward Sossusvlei (note that this should not be confused with another «Dune 7» found in Namibia, near Walvis Bay). Big Daddy is located past Sossusvlei proper, near Deadvlei. It faces another very high dune known as «Big Mama».


(24°45’33.3″S 15°17’31.3″E map & pics) (info: wikipedia.org)
Deadvlei panorama — 360Cities
Deadvlei is another clay pan, about 2 km from Sossusvlei. A notable feature of Deadvlei is that it used to be an oasis with several acacia trees; afterwards, the river that watered the oasis changed its course. The pan is thus punctuated by blackened, dead acacia trees, in vivid contrast to the shiny white of the salty floor of the pan and the intense orange of the dunes. This creates a particularly fascinating and surrealistic landscape, that appears in uncountable pictures and that has been used as a setting for films and videos.


(24°44’55.5″S 15°20’08.6″E map & pics)
Hidden Vlei panorama — 360Cities
Hiddenvlei (or Hidden Vlei) is the third most famous vlei in the Sossusvlei area. It is 4 km from the 2×4 parking, and it is the less visited.

Petrified dunes

(23°51’52.0″S 14°46’46.5″E map & pics)
Petrified dunes are found in several places in the Sossusvlei area (one place called «Petrified Dunes» is about 60 km after the Sesriem gate on the road to Solitaire). Petrified dunes are very ancient (~one billion years old) red sand dunes that have solidified to rock and are likely part of the Namaqua metamorphic belt.

Полезная туристическая информация

– Sossusvlei Brochure (PDF)
Sesriem Canyon, Sossusvlei and Deadvlei — Photography tips

Адрес: Namib-Naukluft National Park of Namibia
Координаты: 24°44’43.9″S 15°17’33.9″E


Sossusvlei (sometimes written Sossus Vlei) is a salt and clay pan surrounded by high red dunes, located in the southern part of the Namib Desert, in the Namib-Naukluft National Park of Namibia. The name «Sossusvlei» is often used in an extended meaning to refer to the surrounding area (including other neighbouring vleis such as Deadvlei and other high dunes), which is one of the major visitor attractions of Namibia.
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