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  • Writer's pictureLinda Schlencker

Big Daddy Dune Namibia

There is a reason the dunes of Namibia in the Namib-Naukluft National Park are the most visited place in Namibia. The dunes are surreal, stunning, gorgeous, expansive - you can't describe their beauty and photos can't really capture it either.

Oryx (Gemsbok) roaming the red dunes of the Namib desert

Just a few photos of the area...

I can’t remember how many times I have been these dunes but I never tire of seeing these dunes appear slowly out of the darkness and into the early morning glow.

The biggest of the dunes is "Big Daddy". He towers 325m above a pan called "dead vlei" due to black, dead acacia trees spotted across the white clay surface. "Vlei" is pronounced "flay" by the way... Big daddy is the largest free standing sand dune on the planet. It’s hard to describe the height of this sand dune when it is surrounded by so many other huge dunes. These images of me running down the dune might put some perspective on it. I'm the spec with the red circle around me.

It's quite a tough climb, I would only recommend it for the physically fit. It takes me about an hour to get to the top, but then only about 2 minutes running down the front to get to the bottom. You then have about a 20 minute walk back across dead vlei and back to the "car park" (cars parked on sand). I would allow at least 2 hours because you will want to take photos on the pan too - the Acacias have lovely shapes against the background colours of the desert.

Reaching the top of Big Daddy

Here is a video of what the climb is like and the view from the top.

Here is another video of the same place, different time with a guest of ours on a Self Drive Adventures trip, Dave, who was very keen to conquer the dune...

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