Sossusvlei in the southern Namib Desert is known for its massive sand dunes. One of the most photographed of these dunes is Dune 45. Its curvy silhouette makes for some spectacular views which have drawn travelers from all over the world. The name of this incredible sand dune in Namibia comes from its proximity to the Sesriem Gate of Sossusvlei. This gate is located about 45 kilometers from the dune giving it the name Dune 45. Being 85 meters high Dune 45 is perfect to climb for some amazing views overlooking the valley.
Everything you need to know for climbing Dune 45
Before you visit this huge dune in Sossusvlei there are a few things that are useful to know. Therefore, we have gathered everything you need to know for climbing Dune 45 in Sossusvlei.
Getting to Dune 45
As mentioned, Dune 45 is located 45 kilometers from the entrance gate to Sossusvlei. From the gate, you must follow the signs towards Sossusvlei. During your drive on the paved road, Dune 45 is the second sand dune you will pass. But do not worry – there is a sign that clearly indicates when you are arriving at Dune 45. You will not miss it!
For you to climb Dune 45 you must enter Namib-Naukluft National Park, often referred to as Sossusvlei. The gates to the park are open every day of the week from sunrise to sunset. The specific times change every week but can be found at the gate when arriving.
The entrance fee for the national park is 150 NAD for a foreigner as well as 50 NAD for a car permit. As two foreign visitors, we paid a total of 350 NAD for entering the park for 1 day.
Time spent climbing Dune 45
Climbing the incredible Dune 45 in Sossusvlei should take you about 30 minutes – depending on your tempo of course. We would recommend you set aside 45 minutes to an hour for a visit to Dune 45. That way you are able to take it slow and enjoy some of the stunning views that you will be rewarded with during the climb.
Is it difficult to climb Dune 45 in Sossusvlei?
Climbing Dune 45 in Sossusvlei is a bit more difficult than Dune 7 in Walvis Bay. However, it is definitely not as challenging as Big Daddy. Dune 45 is therefore a good alternative if you aren’t comfortable with climbing the massive Big Daddy.
When climbing Dune 45 it is all about getting to the ridge of the sand dune as fast as possible. We would recommend you start climbing in the front of Dune 45 – the part that faces the parking area. This is where the dune is lowest and you will get to the ridge faster, rather than trying where it is most steep. When you get to the ridge the rest of the walk straightforwardly toward the highest point is easier.
We also found it very useful to step into other people’s footprints during our climbs of the Namibian sand dunes. That way the sand won’t be covering your feet with every step you take, which makes it much easier to walk. And lastly, you should pace yourself and take all the breaks you need during your climb. It will all be worth it when you get to the top of the dune.
Best time to climb Dune 45
The best time to climb Dune 45 is at sunrise. By doing so you are able to admire the spectacular colors of the sunrise and how these paint the dunes within the national park. However, climbing at sunrise often means that the crowds are big. Climbing Dune 45 is possible all day. As the climb isn’t as challenging as Big Daddy it will not be a problem for you to climb during the day. And you will probably be able to skip the crowds – at least we did so during our climb.