The name ‘Sesriem’ refers to the six straps which early settlers tied together to reach the perennial water at the bottom of the canyon.
A Brief History of Sesriem Canyon
Sesriem is more a deep cleft in the earth than a canyon in the sense of the Fish River Canyon.
It was carved out of sedimentary rock by the Tsachaub River in a process that started over 2 million years ago. The pools at the bottom of this trench are replenished by the rains and still hold water almost year-round today.
During the dying years of the 19th century, the Sesriem Canyon was discovered by Namibia’s Dorsland Trekkers and served as a watering hole for the ox wagons passing by this way until their roving ways came to an end in the 1920s.
Today it serves as a starting point for those wanting to embark on further exploration into the Namib Naukluft National Park.
There is a campsite nearby as well as several luxury lodges in the area. The tiny nearby town of Sesriem offers little in the way of supplies and you would be well advised to stock up on camping necessities in Windhoek.
Guided tours are an interesting way to see all the most interesting rock formations of Sesriem and to learn more about its fascinating history. These are offered at the Canyon as well as from the nearby lodges.
Hot air balloon trips over the Namib Naukluft National Park are offered from the Sesriem Entry Gate. The operators offer a pick-up service from selected lodges in the area.
After your explorations, you can enjoy a meal at one of the nearby lodges or drop in to the Sossusvlei Oasis for a quick meal.
Fauna and Flora
While clambering among the rocks and pathways of Sesriem Canyon you may be lucky enough to spot some of the local desert-adapted denizens. These include toktokkie beetles, pied crows, lanner falcons, lizards, spotted eagle owls and black-backed jackals.
Drinking water, good walking shoes, sun protection, binoculars and a camera should be part of your travel bags when you visit this area. A laptop, chargers and external storage will come in handy to keep all your photographic memories safe.
Driving – Sesriem Canyon is easy to get to from Swakopmund via the C14 and from Windhoek along the B1 and D854. The road is accessible to sedan cars but a 4×4 vehicle opens new avenues of exploration in the area.
By Air – Charter flights are available from Eros Airport in Namibia to one of the surrounding airstrips at Sossusvlei Lodge, Sesriem, Geluk Kuala Lodge or Sossusvlei Moun Airport.
Transfers – Transfers can be arranged through private operators in Windhoek or the above airstrips to your accommodation in Sossusvlei.
If you’re planning to visit the Sossusvlei, a trip to Sesriem Canyon is an important part of the journey. Take a look at some of the accommodation options in the surrounding area here.
For more information or to book your trip to the Sossusvlei area in Namibia, pop African Travel Guide a message via our contact us page, and we will gladly assist you.
Please Note: The details shared herein were correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.