Namibia: Rain Traps Visitors at Sossusvlei

Namibia Sossusvlei

Nico Smit; February 2011:

Heavy rains in southern Namibia have flooded roads, preventing residents and tourists from reaching Sossusvlei.

Consistent rain over the weekend resulted in the Tsauchab River breaking its banks, causing road wash-aways.

The Namibian spoke with a number of guesthouses and tour operators in the area, and all have confirmed the heavy rains as well as the flooding of roads.

Reports earlier this week indicated that one could go as far as the 2×4 parking area, but a rise in the level of the Tsauchab River has meant that many tourists with smaller vehicles cannot leave the area.

Christel du Toit of the Sossusvlei Lodge said in many instances they have had to tow 2×4 and 4×4 vehicles through the river in both directions.

When asked how the flooding and restricted access would affect guesthouses in the area, Du Toit said it differed from one guesthouse to another.

“We go out and look for our guests in the evening and help them to cross the river. As a result we have not missed a single booking,” she said.

Du Toit added that there are some guesthouses which have only smaller vehicles available and therefore have not been able to pick up guests or make contact with them.

“The level of the Tsauchab River is hard to judge, in the mornings it is quite low, at knee level, but then it picks up during the day until the river is in flood again,” Du Toit said.

Earlier this week, flood damage forced the closure of the C14 road from Solitaire to Walvis Bay, but Du Toit confirmed that the road has been reopened.


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