More about Sossusvlei Desert Reserve
Thought to be one of the oldest deserts in existence, the Namib Desert is also one of the driest and most pristine regions on earth. The harsh environmental conditions have led to the evolution of numerous plant and animal species that are specially adapted to survive in the desert. In some parts of the Namib, the regular fog flowing in from the Atlantic Ocean condenses to sustain plants such as multi-coloured lichens and provide sufficient drinking water for some animal life. Vegetation in the Namib consists mainly of plants that can survive extended arid periods as seeds in order to flourish after rainfall.
Gigantic Dunes at Sossusvlei
The famous dunes of Sossusvlei have a reputation for being among the highest in the world and excursions to this spectacular spot are organised from the Lodge. Rising skywards around a shallow depression (the ‘vlei’), the dunes tower to heights of up to 200 metres (660 feet). The valley itself is lined with huge camel thorn trees, which provide refuge to many small creatures. Although it rarely occurs, in years of extreme rainfall, the Sossusvlei depression may fill up with water, creating a magical kaleidoscope of colour as the surrounding dunes and gnarled trees reflect in the surface of the pool.
An expanse of sandy plains extends immediately in front of the lodge, stretching towards the base of the rocky hills and dune fields in the far distance. For much of the year, these plains are a barren, dusty expanse but undergo a startling transformation when rain falls and the long-dormant seeds of various grass species spring into life. Oryx, springbok and ostrich favour these open plains, where they feed on the scant vegetation. Large bird species like Ludwig’s bustard appear alongside smaller, seed-eating birds such as the lark-like bunting, cape sparrow and sociable weaver.