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When do the NP gates open? (Sossusvlei)

Finland
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When do the NP gates open? (Sossusvlei)

I'm a bit confused about the gates opening hours at Sesriem. If we stay in Sesriem, when can we get inside the park? Some information says, that those who stay in Sesriem, are allowed to go inside the park one hour before sunrise and must leave one hour after sunset. Other information says, that only by staying in Sossus Dune Lodge is it possible to get inside the park earlier. If we'd stay in Sossus Dune Lodge, could we really get to the dunes much earlier than people staying somewhere else?

Is the last 5 km to Sossusvlei easily drivable with 4x4 even without any prior experience in driving on sand?

Cary, North Carolina
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1. Re: When do the NP gates open? (Sossusvlei)

The last few km is soft sand. Usually a 4x4 should be fine but even 4x4 can sometimes get stuck if the driver does not know how to drive. It always helps to let some air out of the tyres to widen the contact area which makes driving in sand easier.

Werner

Eko Tracks

Stanley, Falkland...
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2. Re: When do the NP gates open? (Sossusvlei)

I think you can only get in early and stay late if you stay at Sossus Dune Lodge. That's its selling point - getting in before the rest.

I can't find the times for the park openingat the NWR site - where did you see them? I thought they were round about 7am - 7pm, or dawn to dusk.

Pretoria, South...
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3. Re: When do the NP gates open? (Sossusvlei)

Hi Raapa,

In summer (Sept to Mar), the main gates open at 6.00a.m. In winter (April to August), the main gates open at 6.45a.m. (if I remember correctly). However, from 1st Sunday in April to 1st Sunday to September (winter), Daylight saving applies.

I f you stay at the NWR camp site at Sesriem, you stay inside the main gate, and I believe you can enter the secondary gate one hour before the main gate opens, and depart one hour after it shuts! But you need to confirm this. The same applies to Sossus Dune Lodge.

I found that the main gate actually opens quite a bit after sunrise in mid-summer, so you miss out on the very early morning experience at Sossusvlei itself!

I think the best time of the year for Sossus is from May to September, when you can get access almost in darkness, and get to the vlei while the sun is still low! And it stays lower during the day than in summer! The temperature is also more bearable in winter (count on being off the dunes by about 10.30 a.m. in summer).

It's a 60km-odd drive from the access gate to the 2WD parking area (allow 60 mins if you stick to the speed limit). The last 5km is daunting even with 4X4, but managable! But allow another 10-15 mins for that section!

Hope this helps (and hopefully someone can confirm my gate times - it's been about a year since I was there!)

Enjoy!

Finland
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4. Re: When do the NP gates open? (Sossusvlei)

Thank you! I must say, that I'm more confused now. I already wrote to NWR asking if they could change our Sesriem booking for Sossus Dune Lodge. I suppose I have to try and ask them about it. Perhaps I will get an answer after asking ten times :)

Pretoria, South...
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5. Re: When do the NP gates open? (Sossusvlei)

Hi Raapa,

I'm sorry. I was also a bit confused there, and I'm sure that the folk at NWR may be as well, so just to clarify ...

"Staying in/at Sesriem" usually means staying at the NWR campsite with 25-odd campsites at your disposal.

Sossus Dune Lodge is a luxury lodge, with 25-odd luxury rooms at your disposal, at prices about 20-fold more expensive!

There's a bit of a difference, but the big similarity is that guests of both of them can get into Sossusvlei early!

Hope that clears up the confusion!

Finland
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6. Re: When do the NP gates open? (Sossusvlei)

Thank you! NWR hasn't answered yet and somehow I think they never will... Perhaps it's a good thing as there shouldn't be any reason to change the booking for Sossus Dune Lodge after all. We wouldn't pay that much extra just for luxury, but for better photographs we might ;)

Still, I wonder how come the information about Sesriem gate is so mixed. I suppose it couldn't be possible, that the policy has changed since the Sossus Dune Lodge was opened? I order to get people pay more for their stay, I mean.

Pretoria, South...
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7. Re: When do the NP gates open? (Sossusvlei)

I agree that I'd pay extra for the photo opportunity but not the bed LOl! I'm quite happy to sleep on the ground, and the Sesriem campsite is very special.

You're going to love the place!

I don't think the policy has changed. It actually looks as if there is no "policy". I've just spoken to some guides who've been there recently and it appears that the secondary gate (inside one) opens at daybreak, whereas the main gate opens a bit later. It seems a little "unofficial" and may change on a day to day basis, but it looks like you may score about 30 mins or so on the folk outside the gates.

Seems a bit like luck of the draw, but you might have a good draw!

Good luck (and give my love to Sossus!)

Finland
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8. Re: When do the NP gates open? (Sossusvlei)

OK, we'll just have to hope for the best. I'm sure the journey will be wonderful!

Norfolk
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9. Re: When do the NP gates open? (Sossusvlei)

Just noted your query - we have just finished planning our trip to Namibia for October this year. Cardboard Box Travel is an excellent website giving all sorts of info. I too had queries about which lodgings would allow you access to the park and pasted below is the reply I got from Cardboard Box Travel

As to the lodges with their own access to the Park - Sossusveli Mountain Lodge, the Kulalas and Sossusvlei Wilderness Camp all have them but this is only if you go on a guided activity offered by the lodge. You will not be able to drive through these entrances in your own vehicle. Sossusvlei Lodge does not have access.

Sossus Dune Lodge is the only lodge which lies inside the Park itself and you will be able to drive into the dunes in your own vehicle before sunrise. namibian.org/travel/…sossus-dune-lodge.html

All other lodges are not allowed access until the gates open.

Hope this helps. Cardboard Box very good at replying to any query you have re your trip to Namibia and will do all accommodation bookings for you.

Finland
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10. Re: When do the NP gates open? (Sossusvlei)

Thank you! I'll contact the Cardboard Box about this. Still, Bushkid0 has different experiences. We have budget accommodation in most other places, so perhaps we could spend some extra here, just to be sure...or quite sure.

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