Sesriem Canyon, Sossusvlei: A Hidden Gem of Namibia!

Visit Sesriem During Your Namib Desert Safari

Imagine a place where time stands still, where the forces of nature have carved a masterpiece over millions of years. Welcome to Sesriem Canyon, a natural wonder nestled in the heart of Namibia’s Namib-Naukluft National Park. This natural canyon carved deep into the earth, is a testament to the power of water and time.

The name Sesriem has a story of its own. It means “six belts” in Afrikaans, a nod to the early settlers who used six leather belts to draw water from the bottom of the canyon.

Today, you can walk through this canyon, marvel at the layers of rock, and feel the coolness of the shadows, a welcome respite from the desert heat.

The Story of the Canyon and the Tsauchab river

The Sesriem Canyon is a storyteller. Each layer of rock is a page in a book, a snapshot of a time long past. Over 15 million years, the Tsauchab River has been the sculptor, carving and shaping the gorge into what we see today.

As the sun rises and sets, the gorge transforms. The sunlight paints the rocks in shades of gold, casting long shadows that dance on the canyon walls. It’s a sight that leaves visitors spellbound, a moment where nature’s beauty is on full display.

The Canyon’s Features & Reasons To Visit

The Sesriem Canyon is a marvel to behold. It stretches for about 3 kilometers and reaches depths of up to 30 meters. The canyon walls are a tapestry of sedimentary rock layers, each telling a tale of the desert’s past.

Occasionally you’ll come across a small pool offering life support to its own mini ecosystem – a mini oasis.

Life in the Canyon

Despite the harsh desert conditions, life thrives here. The canyon is home to a variety of plants and many animals, each adapted to survive in this unique environment.

You’ll find plants like the camel thorn and the shepherd’s tree, which have developed special ways to store water. Animals, too, have made the canyon their home.

These include; many varieties of lizard and toktokkie, the Namaqua rock mouse, the very cute ground squirrel and the black-backed jackal, their existence a testament to nature’s resilience. If you’re lucky you may even spot a bat-eared fox or a spotted eagle.

Nearby Attractions for a Keen Traveler to The Namib Naukluft Park

While the Sesriem Canyon is a marvel in itself, there’s more to explore in the surrounding area. The nearby Sossusvlei is a popular attraction, known for its towering sand dunes and stark desert landscape.

If you’re looking for a place to stay, then Agama lodge offers a variety of accommodation, currently in either standard or luxury deluxe rooms and from 2024 the re-vamped camp site will be up and running.

The magnificent pool area also offers a recommendable place to swim and relax surrounded by the beauty of the Namib Naukluft National Park.

An Excursion to the Canyon and Best Time to Visit Sesriem Canyon

Getting to Sesriem Canyon is easy. It’s just a short drive from the entrance gate of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. There’s plenty of parking near the canyon, and you can visit any time of the day.

Before you start exploring, you’ll need to pay a small entrance fee. This fee helps maintain and preserve the canyon for future generations. You can pay with cash or card, so you can get started on your adventure without any hassle.

As a trip to the canyon is most often combined with at least one trip to the Sossusvlei dunes then the mid-afternoon is the ideal time to visit the canyon. At that time the cool shade is a welcome respite from the heat of the day and fits perfectly between a sunrise nature drive nature drive and a sunset trip to the dunes.

Sesriem Canyon is located in close proximity to the park entrance, the NWR campsite, other campsites and various other accommodation establishments. meaning that a visit here is a convenient box for a traveler to tick and is easily negotiated without a guide.

Services for Visitors and accommodation in Sossusvlei

You’ll find ample parking near the entrance gate, public telephones, and restrooms. If you’re looking for a place to stay, the nearby Agama Lodge and Sesriem Camp offer comfortable accommodations.

So come and explore Sesriem Canyon. Walk through the shadows of this ancient chasm, marvel at the layers of rock, and witness the resilience of life in the desert. It’s an experience you won’t forget.