"Doing the Sossusvlei Shuffle at Dune 45!" Top 5 Page for this destination Namib-Naukluft Park Things to Do Tip by CatherineReichardt
Namib-Naukluft Park Things to Do: 81 reviews and 169 photos
Dune 45 on the way to Sossusvlei is so named because it is 45km from the park gate. It is probably the most climbed dune in the entire Namib and for obvious reasons: at over 170m, it's one of the highest dunes in the Namib, as well as being easily accessible and stunningly beautiful.
Given the fact that you want to do this as early as possible - both to avoid the heat and get the best photographic opportunities - the challenge is to decide whether to hike Sossusvlei or climb Dune 45 first. Personally I'd get as early a start as possible, do Sossusvlei and stop off at Dune 45 on the way back.
If you do Sossusvlei first remember that if you only have 2WD, it's a 5km hike each way over often soft sand, so the round trip (complete with photo opportunities) will probably take you at least two hours. So in summer, even if you enter the park when the gate opens at 06:00, it will already be 09:00 by the time you're finished at Sossusvlei and about another half hour back to Dune 45.
Climbing Dune 45 is fun and I would highly recommend it if you're fit or just plain mad. Just be prepared to do the Sossusvlei Shuffle: mastering the steps is easy (even for those of us who have two left feet) as it's simply two paces forward and one pace back! Because of the steepness of the dune and unstable footing - combined with the heat - it's hard going and I wouldn't recommend it for younger children or the unfit. By contrast, the descent is an absolute doddle!
For fear of stating the obvious, when you're hiking any dune - Dune 45 included - you are extremely exposed and at severe risk of serious sunburn and particularly dehydration as climbing the dune involves serious physical exertion. So come armed with a hat, high factor sunscreen and preferably a long sleeved top made of a lightweight natural fabric, as well as plenty of water.
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