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Introduction

A popular way to see the area is from the air. This gives a totally different appreciation of the scale of the desert than it is possible to get from the ground, as you see the dunes stretching towards the horizon and the sea.

Sunrise balloon rides are extremely popular, although you should be prepared for the adventure to be cancelled at short notice if the wind or weather conditions are not favourable.   A glass of champagne is waiting for you at the end of the ride to set you up for the rest of the day. Only one balloon operates each day, so booking in advance is essential.

A more reliable, if occasionally more turbulent, option is to take a scenic flight over the dunes. This  provides a fabulous opportunity to see the full extent of the dune sea, from Sossusvlei across the Namib Desert to the coastline where the dunes abruptly end and seemingly disappear into the sea. Most flights take off from Swakopmund, and can be arranged through one of the numerous tour operators in the town.