Again, Sossusvlei is something Timm and Michaela had been to before, with Lotta as a toddler. But knowing how much the kids love dunes, we decided to go again.
Sossusvlei is probably Namibias tourist atraction number one, considering its beauty not a surprise. It is a 32.000 sc km big area of sand dunes (up to 320m high) and one oft he driest and oldest ecosystems in the world. The air is so dry that a spilled cup of water dries within minutes and lips, eyes and noses hurt of dehydration. Thinking of the boiling heat and the lack of shade we decided to visit the dunes at sunrise, rather than for sunset when we would be to exhausted to climb them. From the gate of the nature reserve to the Vlei ( kind of lake) and the dunes it is another 60km drive, so to make sure to be there at sunrise (6.45am) one has to Camp at Sesriem Campsite (right at the entrance gate) as the gate opens about 45 minutes earlier for Campsite residents.
The campsite is, to say it with the words of a very good friend „Geil, geil, geil!“ (a german expression for awesome, not to be used in the presence of elderly people). Its huge spots are surrounded by little natural stone walls, all under a beautiful big tree and approx. 50 m away from each other- so no snoring neighbors to be heard. The views are fantastic: Dunes, mountains, wide grass plains with Gemsbok, Springbok and Ostrich roaming them and the campsite. And best of all: It has a clean, cool pool fort he kids to cool down.
We got up at 4.45 that morning, put the still half asleep kids in the car and reached the Vlei just before sunrise. As the last 6 km are through deep sand and the shuttle services only start operating at a later state, we had the vlei and the surrounding dunes completely to ourselves for more than two hours. We saw Ostrich waking up, Gemsbok and Springbok crossing the plain and most beautiful the sun rising over the miles of red Sand dunes. By the time we went back after our breakfast picknick (8.30) busloads of tourists started to enter the plain and we could not believe we just had had that all to ourselves! We planed to visit Sesriem Canyon in the afternoon, but the surpressing head just made us sit in the shade, do some homeschooling, reading and drinking litres of water (later beer).