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World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers

Namib Sand Sea

Namib Sand Sea
Photo provided by Michael Novins

The Namib Sand Sea is a coastal fog desert of high natural beauty. It consists of two dune systems, with numerous coloured dune fields. /Sand is carried and deposited here from afar.

Namib Sand Sea is part of Namib-Naukluft Park. The most well-known part of the area is Sossusvlei, a salt and clay pan surrounded by high red dunes.

Map of Namib Sand Sea


  • Natural

Community Reviews

Kbecq Belgium 05.06.16

Namib Sand Sea by Kbecq

The most well known part of the Namib desert/Namib sand sea are its salt/clay pans such as Sossusvlei & Deadvlei.

However, from the park gates to Sossusvlei it is an approx. 70 km drive through the dunes (for 65 km on a tarred road). If you are at the gates by sunrise these orange dunes are a stunning sight.

Also the 'vleis' (especially Deadvlei) are magical with white salt/clay, black trees, orange dunes and a blue sky.

One of the most beautiful places we have visited...

Walter Switzerland 17.03.16

Namib Sand Sea by Walter

I was suprised no one has reviewed this site yet, as it is considered the number one destination in Namibia. I visited the area back in 1996.

The « Namib Sand Sea » is a huge desert of sand dunes blocked between the semi-arid plains in the east and the cold atlantic ocean in the west. On an independant basis, the Sossusvlei area is the easiest to visit. Nowaday, I’ve read that there can be long lines to enter the park. Back in 1996, it was a solitary place.

Sossusvlei is a magnificiant and magical area. A road, now tarred, is following a large white salt and clay pan deep into the sand sea. All around are numerous high pink dunes, some being more than 300 meters high. It is a photographer’s paradise.

The road follows the bed of the Tsauchab river. The harsh and dry desert conditions prevent the river to flow, and the river bed is almost always dry. The road from the park entrance (in a settlement called Sesriem) to Sossusvlei is 60 km long. The last 5 km requires a 4x4 drive. For fit people, and with plenty of water (2 liters per person), it is pleasant to walk those last 5 km to Sossusvlei. It seems that there is now a shuttle service for those last 5 km. Sossusvlei is a clay pan that some year is flooded and transformed into a lake. In 1996, the lake was full, but the water was grey and did not reflects the hugh dune in its water.

Climbing up the biggest dunes is possible either from Sussusvlei, or along the road.

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Site Info

Full name: Namib Sand Sea

Unesco ID: 1430

Inscribed: 2013

Type: Natural

Criteria: 7   8   9   10  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 2013 - Inscribed 


The site has 1 locations.

  • Namib Sand Sea