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Updated: May 28, 2022

Why a Wonder: This white clay pan is surrounded by massive orange sand dunes and contains dozens of photogenic dead trees. Its name means “dead marsh,” and it used to be wet, allowing camel thorn trees to grow. Approximately 600 to 700 years ago, the water dried and the trees died. The dead trees are not petrified, but because of the dry desert air, the wood has not decomposed.

Where: Deadvlei is located in Namib-Naukluft National Park in Namibia.

When: Any time of year is good. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to photograph Deadvlei.

Photography: After doing a steep hike through sand for about 20 minutes, you enter the Deadvlei. Look to pin interesting trees against the tall orange dunes in the background with a telephoto zoom lens. There are also wide-angle opportunities. Early morning or late afternoon light will make the dunes glow with color, making a nice background for the trees, but you can also make great photos during the day.

You'll need a 4x4 vehicle to get to the parking area for Deadvlei, as the last part of the drive is through deep, loose sand. Be aware of the park closure and opening times; Deadvlei is about an hour's drive from the park gate, and overnight stays are illegal. Sossus Dune Lodge has a private entrance to the park road, allowing you more flexibility. Consider hiring a local guide if you don't have a 4x4 or you need help navigating to Deadvlei.

Learn more: This site can give you more information to plan a visit to Deadvlei:

© Ian Plant

This post sponsored by Tamron.

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