Sunrise and sunset are the best times to see the magnificent sand dunes of Sossusvlei on the Namibian coast. But the only way to do so is to camp in the Namib Naukluft Park, which is otherwise closed at these times of day.
These high dunes, which are blown as sheer as silk with razor-sharp edges, surround a vlei – a red-clay water hole that fills up every now and then.
Sossusvlei is a salt and clay pan surrounded by high red dunes, located in the southern part of the Namib Desert, in the Namib-Naukluft National Park of Namibia. The name “Sossusvlei” is often used in an extended meaning to refer to the surrounding area (including other neighbouring vleis such as Deadvlei and other high dunes), which is one of the major visitor attractions of Namibia.
The name “Sossusvlei” is of mixed origin and roughly means “dead-end marsh”. Vlei is the Afrikaans word for “marsh”, while “sossus” is Nama for “no return” or “dead end”. Sossusvlei owes this name to the fact that it is an endorheic drainage basin (i.e., a drainage basin without outflows) for the ephemeral Tsauchab River. Wikipedia