The Namib is the world’s oldest desert, as it stretches along the entire length of Namibia’s coastline. For a big sandy desert the scenery is remarkably varied, with the giant red dunes of Sossusvlei being the most famous part. The incredible beauty of the dunes has been immortalized in the countless photos of sandy dunes, cut with shadow, or set against a backdrop of the day’s changing light.

Because of how old it is, the Namib is home to numerous species that don’t occur elsewhere and an amazing array of flora and fauna. One of the highlights of a visit to the Namib-Naukluft Park is viewing the fascinating Welwitschia plant, which can reach 1500 years in age. This region is home to zebra, oryx and springbok, uniquely adapted for the harsh climate. Activities include hiking the dunes, hot air balloons, nature drives and star-gazing in this International Dark Sky Association “Gold" rated dark sky reserve.

Our favorite luxury property here is probably AndBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge because of the numerous activities they offer (making it perfect for a 3-night Namibia extension to a longer safari). For a serious photographer, Sossus Dunes Lodge is perfect, as it is the only property in the park giving you unique late night and early morning access to the dunes without the crowds.

Wolvedans is a private reserve adjacent to the Namib-Naukluft Park and is a quieter alternative to Sossusvlei, which can get very busy in peak season. With the same desert scenery and dune climbing, Wolvedans is a good option for those looking for a more exclusive desert experience. The only downside is that Wolwedans is too far from Sossusvlei to visit the famous dunes on a day trip.

Another noteworthy activity with the Namib-Naukluft is the TokTokkie hiking trail.

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Jenna Stockman