The Sossusvlei lakebed marks the end of the Tsauchab River and is located in the middle of the Namib Naukluft Park, surrounded by the barren wastes of the Namib Desert. The vlei - and in Afrikaans "vlei" means "watery ditch" - is hardly ever moist and is typically only a barren patch of sundried sand, but this particular sand-patch lies between some of the largest sand dunes in the world. Sossusvlei has a unique and stark beauty, and visitors eagerly travel the 60-odd kilometers from the nearest Naukluft Park gate to catch the many colors of the vlei's dunes on film in the early morning or late evening.
Those visiting Sossusvlei during the day should be aware that the place can become almost unbearably hot - even in the coolest seasons - and should plan accordingly. There is, however, no substitute for watching the magnificent dunes, which often reach between 300 and 400 meters in height, slowly change color from a shady stronghold near the relative oasis of the small vlei, and cameras should always be held at the ready.
Sossusvlei - and its surrounding dunes - is one of the wonders of the desert world and will delight the most jaded of travelers.