Sunrise at Dune 45: Photo Essay

Sunrise at Dune 45: Photo Essay

Bright and early one morning in Namibia, after a rough night’s sleep in the freezing cold Namib Desert, we arrived to climb Dune 45 for sunrise. Initially, this was one activity I couldn’t wait for, but I was tired and with several layers of clothes on, I have to admit that the excitement had waned.

We arrived already frozen, and I looked at the dune with impending apprehension. We had already climbed a dune the day before, in order to sand board down the side, and while it was an amazing experience, climbing uphill on sand wasn’t something that could be done with ease, and it wasn’t something I was ready for again.

I will, however, admit that as exhausting as it was, and as cold as I felt, I have never in my life been in a more beautiful spot for sunrise. The dunes made the earth appear unworldly, and it felt more like we were on Mars than any other place. As with most things in life, the end result was worth the energy put in beforehand.

It’s hard to put the experience into words, so instead, I’ll allow you to live through it as I did, through my photos.

Sunrise at Dune 45

Sunrise at Dune 45

Sunrise at Dune 45

Sunrise at Dune 45

Sunrise at Dune 45

Sunrise at Dune 45

Sunrise at Dune 45

Sunrise at Dune 45

Sunrise at Dune 45

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Comments (23)

  1. Eileen

    Unreal. Surreal.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thank you! Such a beautiful place!

  2. Kieu

    Incredible.. I know what you mean about the lack of sleep and cold affecting the experience. We were just in Bolivia and I was freezing my butt off at the Salt Flats, so I wasn’t feeling it at first but once there, it was pretty amazing. I’d love to catch sunrise here, looks stunning.

    1. The World Wanderer

      I guess some of the world’s most beautiful things have to been seen through some pretty crummy conditions! 🙂 I am dying to see those salt flats! Your pictures were wonderful.

  3. @mrsoaroundworld

    Stunning pictures, Erin. Beautiful!

  4. Leah Travels

    Stunning! The earth looks like it’s on fire. I’m sure it was even more beautiful in person. WOW!

    1. The World Wanderer

      It really was a sight to be seen! Thanks!

  5. Raul (@ilivetotravel)

    Wow, Erin, this is out of this world! I have always hoped to see the sand dunes but now it goes beyond hoping!! Phenomenal photos!!

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Raul! They were pretty darn spectacular!

  6. Francesca

    What an experience, Erin. I agree: climbing sand dunes is not something I particularly enjoy but this was an opportunity you couldn’t pass up. Your photos are stunning.

    1. The World Wanderer

      Thanks, Francesca! Yes, not fun, but definitely worth it!

  7. D.J. - The World of Deej

    Incredible…the glow of the sand is amazing

  8. John

    Amazing shots. Sunrises are underrated. Looks like it was worth all the effort afterall.

    1. The World Wanderer

      So underrated and totally worth the extra effort!

  9. lola

    wow! i really hope i get experience this someday soon! gorgeous photos!!

  10. Pola (@jettingaround)

    Breathtaking views! Sorry to hear getting there was not too comfortable, but I guess worth it in retrospect! 🙂

  11. @TravelEater

    Beautiful!
    You are wearing a lot more clothing than when I did it last year … I was there in early August, so pretty much the height of winter. Was there a cold snap?
    I walked up in bare feet (but did need to bury them in the sand every once in a while to warm them up again!)
    Namibia is an amazing place – I loved it.
    Thanks for sharing your photos!

  12. Dune 45, Sossusvlei : sunrise amongst the highest sand dunes in the world | ZigZag On Earth

    […] My photos below are from the bottom of Dune 45. To see photos from the top and decide if you want to climb, check out the Dune 45 photo essay from the World Wanderer […]

  13. Gemma

    Wow, this looks amazing, thanks for sharing.
    I’m in South Africa right now and I’m so keen to see some more of tis amazing continent. Namibia is so close I think it should be my next destination.
    Thanks for this amazing travel inspiration!

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