The sunrise bathes the famous Sossusvlei dune landscape in a sea of red. Having breakfast at the world’s highest dunes is part of the Porsche Adventure Experience Namibia. However, there is far more for desert adventurers to discover amid the sands here
The desert calls. The desert is alive Sand as far as the eye can see. The tallest sand dunes in the world, glowing red in the early-morning light. At first glance it looks like a mirage on the salt-clay plain enclosed by sand dunes. But on closer inspection it’s a series of lavishly-laid tables, nestling in the shade under a tree in the middle of the desert. Apron-wearing waiters have already set up the buffet and are serving a hearty African-style breakfast. But, above all, it’s the incredible scenery that’s being devoured. The delicious and inviting breakfast of pancakes and jam is ignored for the moment as our guests take in the wonderful vista. As breakfast spots go, this is one to remember for a lifetime.
From our breakfast table we are treated to a magical visual display. With the sun still low this early in the morning, the shadows are putting on a stunning contrast show on the moving dunes in front of us. At the edge of the Sossusvlei dunes, just 50km from the Atlantic Ocean, we are in the Namib Naukluft Park. At the heart of the 81,000km² Namib Desert, here the wind carves perfectly-curved dunes up to 300m in height. They are the highest dunes found anywhere on Earth. The most impressive even have their own names, like Big Daddy and Dune 45. Made of millions of fine red grains of sand, they sear themselves onto our memory.
From the top of the dunes, hot air balloons float majestically at eye level on the horizon, as silhouettes march up the dunes and slowly come to a halt. How quickly an hour can pass in silence and stillness. After closely observing the beautifully shimmering dunes and taking a final sip of coffee, another stage through the sand awaits the participants.
An incomparable feeling of freedom Out here, sometimes the dunes sing to you. Quite literally. When a shifting avalanche of sand grains tumble down the dunes, they create countless collisions – millions of little shocks that join together to serenade you. But sand isn’t always so pleasurable.
When driving in loose, deep sand, you have to keep moving. Fail to do so and the only option is to get out and push. The demanding route from Sossusvlei, via Solitaire, to Walvis Bay is our road of dreams for the next few hours. You will barely encounter another vehicle on these dusty gravel roads. However, when you do you can see them from some distance away due to the clouds of dust they stir up. Even in our own convoy we often remain up to a kilometre apart from each other simply to avoid being enveloped in dust. It’s an approach that Porsche enthusiasts will continue to employ over the coming days.
Searching for the great discovery At 1.5 billion years old, the Skeleton Coast in western Namibia is one of the oldest rock formations on the planet. It’s also the largest graveyard for ships in the world. Over the centuries, hundreds of boats have run aground in front of the sand dunes that line the 500km-long coastline, their captains surprised by sudden fog, stormy winds and unpredictable currents. For the ships and their crew, the odds of survival are stacked against you in this place of extremes, where dangerous surf meets endless desert. It’s this unpredictability and these unique, haunting views that continue to attract today’s adventurers.
Namibia really is a dream destination. A bucket list trip that’s a riot for the senses, fully worthy of its place on the Porsche Adventure Experience.
This story is part of the 25 Years of Porsche Travel Experience anniversary series. We take you on a virtual world tour around the globe – with a new, fascinating episode each week. Click hereto read all stories.