The Sossusvlei is one of the most important landmarks of the deserts of Namibia and is also home to the Sesriem. The best way to enjoy the Sossusvlei is by roughing it out under the sky and the sand around you. Swanky hotels and lodges might give tourists luxury and comfort, but there is nothing like pitching tents at the doorsteps of the Sossusvlei. The Sesriem Campsite is a stone’s throw away from the sand dunes and the Sesriem Canyon. Nature lovers can make the optimum use of the breathtaking landscapes and tourists with an adventurous spirit can benefit from the harsh wilderness in and around the Sesriem Campsite.
The campsite takes its name from the Sesriem Canyon. Sesriem is derived from a legend that says that pioneers had to tie six (ses) leather thongs (riem) to draw water from the pools in the Canyon for their livestock. The Sesriem is the entrance to the colossal sand dunes and is one of the most important tourist attractions of Namibia.
The Sesriem Campsite is owned and managed by Namibia Wildlife Resorts and is inside the Namib/Naukluft Park. There are twenty four campsites in all at the Sesriem Campsite and every camp is placed under a camel thorn tree. The campsites have basic facilities providing just the bare necessities to the visitors. The campsites are all equipped with a fireplace and a tap. The Sesriem Campsite is a community based campsite; therefore there are public telephones and a common gathering place for campers to socialize. The bathrooms are also public and include shower stalls, washbasins and toilets. Since the campsite is in the desert, electricity cannot always be guaranteed; so it is advisable to carry torch lights when using the bathrooms after dark.
The campsite also has a swimming pool, a bar under a thatched roof which sells beer and other beverages and a vending machine selling drinks. Other facilities also include a gas station for refueling, and kiosks selling beer and soft drinks as well as essential groceries. The best time to visit the campsite would be during June to September as it is the right season in the Namib Desert. So tourists must make reservations well in advance to book a campsite.
Camping is possible only at Sesriem and is not allowed at the Sossusvlei. The best feature of the Sesriem Campsite is its prime location. Because it is situated in the Namib/Naukluft Park, overnight tourists can get to the Sossusvlei an hour before sunrise. This is an advantage because not many get to see the magnificent display of colors from first light to well into the day. Also, a number of animal species can be seen prancing around the Vlei. It is a sight to behold for ardent nature lovers and photographers.
Tourists can get to the Sossusvlei by sedans or four wheel drives. It is more than a sixty kilometer stretch from the Sesriem to the vlei. The roads are tarred and can be easily covered by a sedan. But the last 5 km of the route has to be covered in a sturdier vehicle like the 4WD. One can walk to the nearest dunes from the parking lot itself.