No trip to Namibia would be complete without a trip to the iconic landscapes and rust-red sands of Sossusvlei, and if you want to climb one of the world’s highest sand dunes, this is most definitely the place to do it!
Home to Dune 45, Big Mama, and of course, Big Daddy, Sossusvlei has some of the tallest sand dunes in the world, but if you want to climb the highest sand dune in the Namib Desert, you need to make your way to Dune 7, which currently stands at around 383 metres.
Before we even booked our recent self-drive trip to Namibia, we had decided we were going to tackle Big Daddy’s 325 metre peak, and while our guide tried his best to persuade us to go for the more ‘gentle’ Dune 45 at 80-metres, we had a date with the big guy, and we were not about to stand him up!
Climbing Big Daddy is not nearly as tough as it looks, and as it looms over Deadvlei, a magnificent white clay pan scattered with dead Acacia Trees almost 900 years old, the walk to the top offers amazing photo opportunities and breathtaking views.
Big Daddy’s first ridge is easy, especially if you are second in line and can hop in the footprints of the person in front of you, the second ridge is the toughest part due to softer, deeper sands, but it’s relatively short and once you have made it to the top, the third stretch is a breeze!
Of course, once you have reached the top of Big Daddy, there is only one way down, and if you have never sprinted down the sheer face of a 325-metre sand dune – you don’t know what you are missing! Terrifying – yes, but thrilling all the same!