Dead Vlei is a magic place near the famous salt pan of Sossusvlei in the Namib-Naukluft Park of Namibia. The name Dead Vlei means “dead marsh” (Vlei meaning marsh in Afrikaans). Dead Vlei is surrounded by some of the tallest dunes in the world, reaching up to 400m in elevation. These dunes have nicknames like “Big Daddy”. Dead Vlei is a clay pan just like Sossusvlei. The clay pan was formed due to flooding by the Tsauchab river after heavy rainfalls. When the climate changed 900 years ago, these rainfalls stopped and the area dried up, Sand dunes encroached on the pan, which blocked the river entirely from entering the area. The microclimate became so dry that the dying trees could not decompose. They turned black from the scorching sun over a period of 1000 years.