Renting your own 4x4 and self-driving through Namibia is the best way to experience the country. Namibia has surprisingly good infrastructure given the roads are unpaved. Locals and fellow travelers are generally extremely helpful if you to run into car problems. Also, by driving yourself, you can adjust to your nugget's pace for safaris, naps and frequent stops.
Both excursions are best during sunrise or sunset, for optimal photo opportunities and avoiding the heat.
Recommended time of the year
The best time to travel to Namibia is March–October. The cool air offers clearer skies and ideal photography conditions, and temperatures are milder both day and night. June–August is Namibia's winter and temperatures drop to freezing at night, so plan accordingly.
About This Day
Play in the largest sandbox in the world, watch wildlife and camp out under the stars in the Sossusvlei region. Experience Namibia with kids at the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the largest conservation area in Africa. The dunes here are the tallest on the planet, in places rising more than 300 meters (almost 1000 feet) above the desert floor. Catch the sunset on top ofDune 45 and then bundle up for a night of camping atSesriem Camp. Return the following morning for a sunrise hike to the surreal claypan and dead trees ofDeadvlei. This experience is perfect for nuggets of any age because the dunes are safe climbs, with options to stay at the bottom and play in the sand. The Sossusvlei dunes and Deadvlei are spectacular any way you experience them.
Namibia is home to the world's tallest sand dunes and Dune 45, in the Sossusvlei area, is no exception. At 170 meters (557 feet), it is a fantastic climb and has spectacular views from the top. Whether or not your child is old enough to climb or stay at the base and play in the sand, it is one of the highlights of Namibia with kids.
DIRECTIONS From the Sesriem Campsite, drive into the park via the entrance and follow the road east for about 30 minutes. The dune will be on your left-hand side. There is a parking area by the road and to the base of the dune is a 10-minute walk.
TIP The dune is bigger than it looks and will take a good 45 minutes to get to the top. While not officially "stroller friendly," it is possible to wheel a stroller from the parking area to the base of the dune, in the case of naptime or shade.
Deadvlei is a surreal white claypan in the middle of the Namib desert, flanked by dead trees. Think Salvador Dali meets Africa. Deadvlei is a great site to visit in Namibia with kids. Your child will love running (or crawling) around in the open pan, sitting on tree stumps and sliding down the sand dunes as the sun comes up.
DIRECTIONS Deadvlei is roughly 30 minutes past Dune 45. From the Sesriem park entrance, drive east into the Namib-Naukluft Park past Dune 45 and follow the road till you reach the parking area. There can be some deep sand to drive through so be prepared for a bit of off-roading.
TIP Wake up well over an hour before sunrise to be prepared to drive into the park as soon as it opens. It takes almost an hour to drive out to the site and then another 40 minutes or so into the pan. You can hike up the adjacent dune to get a better perspective and photos or right into the pan. If traveling in winter, temperatures are at zero celsius before the sun comes up so dress warmly.