A Hike on the Red Sand Dunes of Sossusvlei

After the drinks arrived we started discussing Namibia with our server. She shared her experiences and told us a key point, make sure you run down the sand dunes.

about to run down sand dune 45 in sossusvlei

preparing to run down....

Miles away both physically and mentally we sipped cocktails at the Grand in Camps Bay, Cape Town. In just a few days we’d put on hiking boots and prepare to climb the red sand dunes of Sossusvlei.

Once there, I found myself atop some of the most surreal landscape on the planet. At times I wondered if I landed on Mars and was not in Sossusvlei (on earth).

In words, I am challenged to truly describe the moment and the adventure. All I can say is that when people ask me about places, I often say, “Go to Sossusvlei.”

Sunrise at the Sand Dunes of Sossusvlei

We woke before sunrise to make sure the bus would arrive at the park entrance when it opened. Apparently this is standard practice in order to capture a perfect image of a split sand dune.

After a few minutes the bus stopped and we exited for the first time. Right before us,  the perfect split they had described. A perfect 10.

perfect sunrise at the red sand dunes in sossusvlei namibia

the sun side and shade side.

red sand dunes of sossusvlei, namibia

seeing these shadows reminded me of how magical the sunrise was..

Climbing the Sand Dunes of Sossusvlei

Afterwards we hiked two sand dunes.

Hiking the Famous Sand Dune 45

I braved the high winds and sinking sands to climb up the famous sand dune #45. I also snapped a few images.

rush hour on the popular 45

red sand dunes of sossusvlei, namibia, sand dune #45

hiking sand dune number 45. the most famous


looking down from sand dune 45, sossusvlei namibia

a Different Sand Dune in Sossusvlei

Afterwards, we all boarded the bus and headed deeper into the park to hike another dune. Once again, I took out my camera.

hiking the red sand dunes of sossusvlei namibiahiking the red sand dunes of sossusvlei namibia

Adventure Travel Mindset Tip

Do you remember the Microsoft Windows 95 screen image of a sand dune?

microsoft windows95 sand dune screen saver

Windows95 screen

Days later when I made my way back to Cape Town, I checked into the Westin and stopped in the top floor lounge to catch a sunset, enjoy a glass of Chenin Blanc and write in my journal. I ordered the wine and then decided to check my email.

I smiled.

The sand dune. Sand Dune #45.

I remembered it on the screen from my first job. Much has changed since then, and I looked at the screen so differently that day. I hiked it. I did it. It was just what I wanted to do every time I had stared at my computer screen.

Shortly after my email, I grabbed my pen and my white wine and wrote in my journal. I wrote pages and pages that night including these few words “…it is better in real life, much better. Yes, much better. I love being truly alive…” So go on your next adventure and hike your sand dune.

Stay adventurous, Craig

 This post is part of the Namibia November, the Autumn of Adventure and the Adventure Travel Mindset series.

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  • Conrad

    Great pictures of the Sand Dunes. I believe the most famous in the world. So far from crowded cities and problems of “civilization”. What a great place to visit.

  • http://chowandchatter.com rebecca

    love this post i used to have a picture of Neuschwanstein on my wall and your right better for real hugs

  • http://www.butterflydiary.com Charu

    Ah, I would so love to hike a dune in the desert, but my recent trip to the Warren Dunes in Michigan was actually terrific (New Buffalo, Michigan). I’m sure nothing like the Dune #45, but now I won’t forget that number.

    Nice photos!

  • http://www.stayadventurous.com Craig Zabransky

    @Charu, no, I will never forget the number 45 either, what a hike. Glad you liked the photos.

    @rebecca, you must have eventually got to Neuschwanstein, glad to hear it. So much better in real life. When you can touch, smell, and truly see the place.

    @Conrad, yes so, so far from all forms of civilization, and the journey there made it even more special.

    stay adventurous, Craig

  • http://twitter.com/TheWrldWanderer The World Wanderer

    I am so excited to do this, even more so now that I’ve seen your pictures! :)

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