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A close view of the Sossusvlei pan. You clearly see that the soil of the vlei is completele dry. It is also a very hard, almost rock-like surface. Still, it's not bright white - rather a very light brown.

Big Mama Dune Sossusvlei

And this is the goal of most visitors to the park: "Big Mama", sitting opposite the bigger "Big Daddy" dune. It takes about 30 minutes to the top and about 20 minutes down (at the left side), leaving about 10 minutes for rest before you are picked up again. But do not rush it, take your time! And of course, please take plenty of water, even if it looks like a short hike. The evaporation rates are quite demanding.

Group climbs Big Mama dune at Sossusvlei

Here we see a group of four climbing the Big Mama dune. If there have been visitors before on that day, it is more easy to climb the ridge of the dune, because you can indeed walk in the footsteps of your forerunner. :-)

Tourist climbs Big Mama dune at Sossusvlei

Another photo of the Big Mama dune, this time showing a tourist climbing Big Mama - and she was very fast! I love the contrast of her against the red sand and the blue sky.

View from Big Mama dune Namibia

Here is a view into the vlei, on the left-hand side of the dune. We suggest to use the path to go down. This way you do not run into people climbing the dune. :-)

Big Mama Dune

A tourist has made it past the top on the "Big Mama" dune and is on her way down already. Again, she contrasts well with the colors of sand and sky.

Tourist hopping down on a dune

This is the alternative method of getting down from a dune: Just run! Take a big step, then take another one, and you will quickly gain speed - more speed than you probably might like, though. :-)

Side view of dune with some grass

Here is a side view of the "Big Mama" dune with some grass. The sun shines brightly in a deep blue sky.

Dune Landscape Namibia

This is the final photo of the dune landscape here at Sossusvlei. The shuttle will take us back to the 2x4 parking, and then we will leave the National Park, heading for Mariental.

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