Dead Vlei

Dead Vlei of Namib Naukluft national park, the remains of a dead tree with sand dunes in the background as seen at dusk<sup>1</sup>

Dead Vlei of Namib Naukluft national park, the remains of a dead tree with sand dunes in the background as seen at dusk1
A white salt pan in Namib Naukluft national park that is isolated by red sand dunes.

It's name means 'Dead marsh' — a mixture of English and Afrikaans, referring to a marsh that once was, but will never be.

It was formed long ago when heavy rains flooded the Tsauchab river, turning the area into a marsh. Subsequent dry years and movement of sand formed completed it's formation.

A few dead camel thorn trees and thorny bushes dot its surface.

The area offers stunning scenery — especially at dawn and dusk, when the light hits the features at different angles.

What to do thereHiking, quad biking, sight seeing, picnics, game viewing, camping nearby, balloon safaris, air safaris.

Be sure to have a full day to explore area, and bring lots of refreshments, food, sunscreen, shade.

Best time to visitAny time of the year, though not during the afternoon when it temperatures are high for walking.

Location of Dead Vlei At the heart of Namib Naukluft national park — a short walk from where the Tsauchab river is said to end, surrounded on every side by sand dunes.

A few other pans and dunes have to be crossed before getting there.

Nearby are other pans such as the Sossusvlei, Hidden Vlei and Nara Vlei.

How to get thereBy vehicle, about a 5 hour drive south west of Windhoek — using tarmac roads.

The parking area is a bit distant from here, requiring a walk.

4x4's are not necessary, though using one may improve the experience as well as number of areas explored.

Apart from a self drive tour, bus tours are also available and it is part of the tour offered by the Rovos train.

References1. By Daniel Kraft - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83227502

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