Characterised by the immense canyon that runs through it, Sesriem is one of the most fascinating area in all of Namibia. Ancient rock formations show the history of the area, which has been shaped and carved over the years by the Tsauchab River. Its name comes from early transporters who passed through the area with horses or oxen. The animals would stop here to drink but could not access the water down in the canyon. As a result, the traveller would have to bring the water up for the animals in buckets. The canyon was so deep it took six (ses) leather strips (riem) to reach all the way down to the bottom, thus the canyon was dubbed Sesriem.Read More
The canyon is easy to access and has a parking lot where visitors can leave their vehicles and explore the area by foot. At some points the canyon gets as narrow as 3 metres, while other parts stretch out dozens of metres. In terms of depth, the dramatic canyon plunges down as far as 30m in some places. At certain points throughout the year, the water that flows through the ravines of the canyon are perfect for swimming in as the water is reasonably deep and perfectly cool. At other times it is a bit too muddy and best avoided.
In close proximity to the Sesriem Canyon are the Sossusvlei Dunes. The bright orange dunes rise up to awe-inspiring heights and are the largest of their kind in the world, and probably the oldest too. Climbing the dunes is a challenge but certainly not impossible and easiest to do barefoot. Just 1km from this area is the Dead Vlei, a dried up salt lake filled with dozens of dead camelthorn trees. Eerily captivating, it is a sight unlike any other and well worth the visit. In the sesriem area there are several different campsites for those wishing to stay in the area over night.
Here are some popular itineraries that include a visit to Sesriem
If you are planning a Sesriem holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
Hammerstein Lodge and Camp Sesriem
Home to a number of domesticated wild cats, the Hammerstein Lodge is an accommodation with a difference. Guests can choose from self-catering bungalows and camping or bed and breakfast accommodation. The Lodge specialises in wild cat walks and tours as well as nature drives. The lodge has domesticated wild cats, including cheetahs, cervals and a leopard as well as a friendly local Springbok called Lisa. You'll get to see some of Namibia's best wildlife up close and personal. This accommodation is nestled between the Nibib and Tsaris mountains in southern Namibia.
Sossus Dune Lodge Sesriem
Built from wood, canvas and thatch in a rustic African village-style layout to blend with its environment, the Sossus Dune Lodge creates an evocative experience. Its location within the Namib-Naukluft National Park allows guests to reach the dunes before sunrise and again in the evening once the crowds have left. Each of the 25 chalets provides views either of the dunes or the surrounding mountains. Wooden walkways link each chalet with the main lodge. It's particularly pretty at night when illuminated with electric lights and lanterns. The lodge features an outdoor swimming pool with loungers and a large, light and airy restaurant and separate lounge and bar area.
Sesriem Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Sesriem.