Namibia: Wandering silent in Sesriem

Driving towards Sesriem in Namibia, on the one side of the road the granite mountains have become huge chunks of part-cut amethyst lit by the sinking sun. On the other side the dunes are lit red on the western side but remain inky shadows on the other side of the crest.

The wind carves the dunes into amazing formations. There are multi-cyclic or parabolic dunes, or more romantically star-shaped dunes. Each crest slides, sinuous towards the valley floor, all curves and rills and a final flourish before merging with the yellow tussock.

Sesriem, Namibia

The constant desert wind is my companion in Namibia. It comes and goes like clockwork, drying the air and lungs, sending up dust whirlwinds over the plains. But still there is life.

Desert

I’m still in the Namib Desert, and in the Namib Naukluft National Park, but this sea of mighty red dunes at Sesriem has become one of Namibia’s most popular natural attractions.

From the campsite at Sesriem vehicles take visitors in to Sossusvlei, a salt and clay pan in the midst of the red dunes. It is hot, unbearably so, and walking becomes a struggle. I really think I am going to pass out in the heat.

Sesriem, Namibia

The famous dead trees twist artistically against the white salt pan but I have to wobble to the shade of a Camelthorn, one of the few leafy trees.

The conditions are much more bearable next morning for the ascent of Dune 45 (so-called simply because it is 45 kilometres past Sesriem). It is only 80 metres high but my feet sink into the soft sand as I hurry towards the summit for sunrise.

Sesriem, Namibia

The first rays of light turn the grey dunes of Sesriem pink and the colour becomes warmer and warmer until at last they are in their full red glory again. And yes they really are this red – no colour-enhancement here!

Sesriem, Namibia

In the distance what looks like a rain shower moves across the ocean of sand, surreal in this desperately dry landscape.

Sesriem, Namibia

Once again, the beauty of Namibia is overwhelming.

By Natasha von Geldern

Have you experienced the red dunes of Sesriem in Namibia?

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The Red Dune Sea of Sesriem Namibia

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14 Replies to “Namibia: Wandering silent in Sesriem”

  1. CreditDonkey

    Hi Natasha,
    Wow, these are beautiful, beautiful photos! They are…(couldn’t find the words)…amazing is not enough but it has to do.:)

    I haven’t experienced the red dunes of Sesriem in Namibia but I would love to!

    I have experienced the Swiss Alps though and I guess that comes close to this beauty.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  2. [email protected]

    Very beautiful pictures, thanks!
    [email protected] recently posted..DESTINATIONS: Volunteering On A Vineyard in the Spanish PyreneesMy Profile

    Reply
  3. MAGGIE

    Hi!
    I have never been to Namibie! In my dream there is lots of red dunes, but no sea!!
    Where is the red dunes without the sea??? Thanx would like comments on this issue!!

    Reply

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