Sesriem Travel Blog› entry 2 of 18 › view all entries
After a decent English breakfast shopping for the next few days: two days of camping, so take allong breakfast, lunch and dinner, and drinks for the ride.
We leave for Sesriem at 11 AM. The road, the C26, turn into a gravel road after a few kilometers of tarmac. The gravel roads are actualy wider tham the tarmac roads, although it is advisable to keep away from the skirts. The gravel roads are generaly well kept, maintained by crews who litteraly live on the roads they maintain. Speeds of up to 90 Kmh. are feasible without much discomfort.
The first part of the journey goes through gentle mountainous terrain. After some 100 Km. the terrain becomes flatter, although still with mountains. It's easy to see that this is the arid part of the country; yellow grass, low shrubs, lots of dust.
We've had lunch by the side of the road. No problems with dust clouds from passing cars, as there are virtualy none. We've probably met 10 cars during this part of the journey.
At Sesriem we registered at the campsite and got shown our site. Under a large tree, with the next site some 80 meters away. Plenty of space here! Water, but no electricity at the site, but both in the toilet building (genericly known as "ablution facilities"). Beautiful wide view of the landscape. 5 cm. crickets in the tree, making a hell of a lot of noise. We bought two bags of wood at the camping shop to cook out dinner. We had our first BBQ, and tucked in early (night litteraly falls here. It goes from light to pitch black night within one our from sunset). An unparraleled view of the stars; so that's what the Milky Way used to look like before we started putting up all those lights!
Next morning (July, 18th) an early rise, to be able to see the sunrise in Sossusvlei. We entered through the gate at 6 AM. We were not the first ones (some cars had been waiting for up to half an hour before being able to enter), so when we arrived at Dune 45 there were already some people on their way to the top. Climbing up takes some time (it's some 170 meters high, by far not the tallest dune) due to the fact that is all loose sand. The view from the top is spectacular, especially when the sun is still low on the horizon. As the sun get higher, shadows disappear and everything get's a "flatter" look.
After Dune 45 we traveled on towards Sossusvlei. We skipped the 2x4 parking lot and went on towards the 4x4 parking lot. The tarmac road ends, and continues as a very sandy track (several tracks actually, as appearently people took alternative tracks when the original trakcs appeard to be too sandy).
From the parking lot a walk of about 3 kilometers acroos rocks and sand to "Dead Vlei'. A desolate, white saltpan with the stumps of long dead trees. Beautifull in an eerie sort of way. It's easy to imagine the plight of sailors in earlier times who were washed up from one desert (the ocean, no drinkable water) to another one (one of the worlds most barren sand deserts, no water at all).
At the end of the day return to the camp to prepare dinner (using the skottelbraai, this time).
Again, early to bed, to prepare for the journey to Swakopmund the next day.