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Sesriem Campsite

Sesriem Campsite

Sesriem Campsite dates from the time of the early pioneers and gets its name from a nearby canyon. Sesriem is the Afrikaans word for “six thongs,” which was the number of connected leather strips required to lower a bucket into the canyon to reach water.

Situated in Namib-Naukluft Park, the campsite is the gateway to the sand dune desert and to one of Namibia's most famous attractions, the dunes of Sossusvlei. It is situated in beautiful landscape, with mountains to the east and dunes to the west.

Namib-Naukluft Park is an ecologically unique area, sandwiched between two deserts—the Namib in the west and the Kalahari in the east. The arid southern region of Namibia has some of earth’s most inconic topography. It is a vast wilderness of almost 50,000 square kilometres, containing Sossusvlei, Sesriem, the Welwitschia Trail, Sandwich Harbour, the Naukluft Mountains, and the Kuiseb Canyon. Covering an area the size of Germany, it is made up of dune fields (some of those at Sossusvlei are among the highest in the world), gravel plains, and rugged mountainous areas.

The Sesriem Campsite is ideal for those wishing to camp while touring Sossusvlei, as camping within Sossusvlei itself is not permitted. Sesriem encompasses 24 campsites, all constructed in the shade of camelthorn trees and each one offering running water and barbecue facilities shaded by large camelthorn trees. The campsite does not have telephones but does have a petrol station and a kiosk that sells beer, soft drinks, and basic groceries. There is also a swimming pool and bar. The ablution block has showers and toilets.

Of course, the main attraction here is Sossusvlei, and since Sesriem Campsite is inside Namib/Naukluft Park, overnight visitors are allowed access to Sossusvlei one hour before sunrise. Most visitors agree that the large sand dunes are best seen in the early morning or in the late afternoon because of the changing colors that occur as the sun rises and sets.

Sesriem Canyon offers great photographic opportunities. During the rainy season, rock pools often form in the canyon and are perfect for a swim. During the drier months hikes in the canyon yield surprisingly good game and birds viewing. Elim Dune is a petrified dune near Sesriem and has proven a popular spot to watch the sunset.

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