Its secret: you can get into Sossusvlei an hour earlier than anyone else, even those people in the fancy lodges paying ten times as much as you.
And what's so big about that?
First comes the light. Sossusvlei presents the photographer with some spectacular opportunities, especially at first light, and as the sun rises. With the onset of day the light dissipates into a hazy white and the colours flatten out with a dull grey tinge.
And then there are the crowds. The mystery of the world's tallest dunes and the fascinating pans between them is no longer a secret. By mid-morning Dead Vlei, the largest pan, has so many huddles of anoraks it looks like the forecourt at the Louvre. Staying at Sesriem gives you an hour's lead and you have the place to yourself.
Two reasons to choose this basic, no-frills campsite and if you need more it's the closest one to Sossusvlei, the sites are shady and there is a small pool and a bar. You can also walk about 2km to the lesser known Sesriem Canyon and take a dip in one of the many pools there.
Early access to Sossusvlei; hike to Sesriem Canyon; ballooning and fixed-wing flights over the dunes