The rolling mountains and stunning dunes all contribute to a variety of lovely landscapes which adds to the beauty of the land. As an extraordinary desert land, Namibia has vast, open spaces which make it home to some of the world’s largest dunes and mountains. We have compiled some of the most notably Namibian mountains and dunes.
Sossusvlei is surely Namibia’s most iconic landscape. The rust-red dunes, bleached white pans and deep blue sky are instantly recognisable, and symbolise the country’s vast, dry, uninhabited expanses. The dunes of Sossus are some of the highest in the world, and the tallest in this area – at a whopping 325m, hence the name Big Daddy.
Reasons why you would love to climb Big Daddy is because it overlooks the surreal landscape of Dead Vlei, a white pan filled with the dark fossils of camelthorn trees, and it also give you ultimate bragging rights.
It’s not for the faint-hearted. Climbers need to start as early as 4:30am. This allows time to reach the park gate when it opens at sunrise, and then make the 65km drive to Sossusvlei in a 4×4 over the soft sand. An early start also displays the dunes as their most picturesque.
The rising sun causes one side to glow a fiery red, while the other is entirely in the shadows. It truly is a paradise for even the most amateur photographer. As the sun soars higher in the sky, the landscape appears to flatten as the shadows disappear.
If the early wake-up call has left you feeling dizzy, ascending Big Daddy’s crest will really make your head spin! It takes an average of 50 minutes to reach the first plateau – which rewards adventurers with awesome dune panoramas, a peek down into Dead Vlei, and gorgeous photo opportunities
Big Daddy may be the tallest dune in Sossusvlei but not in the Namib Desert because that honor belongs to the giant 383m Dune 7. Dune 7 is the highest dune in the coastal dune belt, situated 10km outside the town of Walvis Bay.
There are planted palm trees and erected toilets and barbeque sites. Dune 7 is perfect for sand boarding tours; the dune is approximately 130m high and has a very steep slip-face consisting of soft powder like sand, ideal for sand boarding. A quad bike is used to shuttle boarders to the top of the dune again and again.
The Brandberg Mountain Range or rather just the Brandberg is Namibia’s highest mountain situated in the Erongo region. It covers an area of 760 km² and the mountain range has a mean height of 2500 metres and impressively surmounts its surrounding by some 2000 meters.
The name of the 30 km long and 23 km wide Brandberg derives from the glowing colours that the setting sun paints onto the mountain range as if the mountain is on fire.
The geological history of Brandberg is just as interesting as the thousands of rock art paintings and engravings on the mountain and its surroundings. The Brandberg itself is not a volcano but is a granite plug which was pressed out of the volcano’s pipe and stopped at about 10 000 meters under the surface. That is why the granite of the Brandberg is younger than the Dolorite which lies around the
The visit to the painting is best to be done early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid extreme heat of the midday. The ‘’White Lady’’ was presumably painted by San people. Although the Brandberg is not one of the highest mountains in the world, it is the highest in Namibia.
The Waterberg Park is located 280 km north of Windhoek. The mountain owes its name to the springs surfacing on its lower slopes, and the lush vegetation that grows here contrasts sharply with the thorn savannah of the surrounding plains. The plateau itself is one of the most interesting geological sites in the country. Some features such as dinosaur tracks and petrified dunes make it almost a must stop for travellers on the way further north.
One of the reasons for establishing the park was to protect and resettling endangered species (black and white rhinoceros, buffalo, roan and sable antelopes). It is also not unusual to encounter leopards, rock dassie, klipspringer, tsessebe, wild dog, lesser bush babies and cheetahs. The only Cape vulture colony in Namibia lives in the Karakuwisa Mountain on the western edge of the Waterberg plateau. One of the Waterberg’s many interesting facets is its diversity of flowering plants, trees.
The plateau rises more than 200 metres above the surrounding plains with a width of between 8 and 16 kilometres and a length of about 49 kilometres from south-west to north-east. The average altitude of the plateau is between 1650 and 1700 meters above sea level.
The Auas Mountains is the highest peak in the range and the second highest in Namibia. Located near Windhoek, the range is 56 kilometers long, and is rich in flora and fauna. Auas Mountains has become an ideal place for hiking.
Apart from hiking and sand boarding these scenic wonders will feast your eyes and lift your spirits to greater heights, why not explore?