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The classic desert scenery around Sossusvlei is the stuff that postcards are made of – enormous apricot dunes with gracefully curving ridges, invariably pictured in the sharp light of dawn with a photogenic gemsbok or feathery acacia adjacent. Sossusvlei lies on the Tsauchab River, which flows westward into the great dune-field of the central Namib, but never reaches the ocean. It ends by forming flat white pans dotted with green trees, surrounded by spectacular dunes – islands of life within a sea of sand

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