The Namib, a sea of red sand along the Atlantic coastline, and the oldest desert on the planet, lends its name to Namibia. A country of astonishing contrasts, Namibia is celebrated for its vast open landscapes, infinite blue skies and starry nights. Over the years, a number of cultural influences have contributed to the unique atmosphere of Namibia.
At various times Germany, Great Britain and South Africa governed the territory, but it was with the eventual independence of Namibia in 1990 that the country was able to develop its multicultural character and reinvent itself. There is a distinctive Namibian character that freely blends African styles with European influences on architecture, food, customs and art.
Built in an environmentally sensitive manner, primarily from wood, canvas and thatch, in an attractive ‘afro-village’ style, Sossus Dune Lodge will offer guests an evocative and life changing experience.
Situated within the park, guests benefit from being able to reach Sossusvlei before sunrise, and to stay until after sunset, and on their return after an exhilarating day, to relax in the tranquillity and splendour of the Namib Desert, under the spectacular African sky.
Situated on the 210km2 private Kulala Wilderness Reserve south of Sesriem, Kulala Desert Lodge offers a close and spectacular view over the Namib Sand Sea to the west, and the Namib-Naukluft Mountains to the east. Originally opened in 1996, the lodge was built to make the most of the vista. In addition to the dunes on its doorstep, however, its defining attraction remains a private entrance from the reserve into the Namib-Naukluft National Park.
Uniquely designed around the enigmatic shipwrecks that line Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, there’s nowhere on the continent quite like Shipwreck Lodge. In fact, there’s nowhere on the continent quite like the Skeleton Coast. It’s a raw, rugged and impossibly remote slice of African wilderness, where towering dunes and wind-swept plains roll as far as the eye can see, buffeted by the icy Atlantic seas.
But there’s much more to the area than simple isolation. Stay at Shipwreck Lodge and game drive in search of desert-dwelling fauna; discover the enchanting desert flora (succulents and lichens); sit atop the dunes as the sun sinks below the horizon; spend the day beach-combing for whale bones and debris from centuries of shipwrecks; and marvel at the geologically-remarkable Clay Castles. Really, there’s nowhere like it on earth.
Where the elephant roam
In a country jam-packed with vast, spectacularly beautiful landscapes, Kaokoland may just be the most incredible of them all. Deep in north-western Namibia, the area is a melee of towering mountains, sand dunes, and huge expanses of desert, scattered with unique wildlife and nomadic Himba settlements. It’s also one of Namibia’s most remote and wild environments, and one that not many will get the chance to discover in a lifetime.
And that’s exactly why we’ve decided to build Hoanib Valley Camp. A joint venture between the local communities and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, the world’s only Africa-wide giraffe conservation organisation, the camp is an elegant, intimate affair that immerses you into the wilds of the desert. The six rooms blend seamlessly with the environment, offering a simple aesthetic that matches the rugged landscape down to a tee. Days are spent tracking endangered rhino, desert-adapted elephant, and of course desert-adapted giraffe, before retiring to your private veranda to marvel at the magnitude of your surroundings (G&T in hand).
Set under verdant trees on the banks of the Kunene River, Serra Cafema is one of the most remote camps in southern Africa. Guests can truly disconnect, unwind and relax to the sound of rushing water, and explore one of the driest deserts in the world. Respectful interaction with the semi-nomadic Himba community, fascinating nature walks, boating (water levels permitting), and low-impact guided quad-bike excursions complete the experience.
In the middle of northern Namibia’s arid, captivating savannah, bordering the world-famous Etosha National Park, is Safarihoek Lodge. Perched on top of a hill, overlooking the plains below, Safarihoek is a stylish sort of place, and you’ll find cool, thatched chalets all with private decks, a double-storey photography hide, and a swimming pool with 180-degree vistas of the brilliant savannah.
But if there’s one thing about Safarihoek, it’s the location. Everywhere you turn, the rugged Namibian savannah stretches into the distance, with only a spangly tree here, and a spiky bush there. The wildlife roams freely across the never-ending space, unhindered and unobstructed. This is a place of silence and solitude, and a rare opportunity to be at one with nature and the animals that thrive here.
Onguma Tree Top Camp is a place to savour, small bits at a time. Designed for those travellers who would like to truly experience the bush in all its raw splendour. A place where giraffe, zebra, lion, and many other species of antelope come to quench their thirst.
Onguma Tree Top Camp is a place where birds and animals become your daily companion. Onguma – a place you will not want to forget.
The Dune Camp provides a more down-to-earth, yet stylish, experience. It has an unparalleled natural charm, which courts the young and more adventurous traveler.
Positioned on the edge of a 250-metre high dune, the Dune Camp sleeps a maximum of 16 guests in a totally pristine setting. The tents are pitched on wooden platforms and are comfortable and spacious including a private bathroom. A generous deck allows for safe sleep-outs under the stars, imparting a rather civilized camping experience.
Opening in March 2020, Kwessi Dune Lodge is located deep in Namibia’s striking NamibRand Nature Reserve, a vast desert wilderness of over 200,000 hectares. With its rolling desert plains and backdrop of craggy mountains and iconic red dunes, this is a place where time seems to stand still and the space is never-ending. Here, it’s not about chasing big game but rather soaking up the beauty of the colourful landscape, admiring the antelope that scatter the sand, and gazing at the stars the light up the night sky.
At Kwessi Dune lodge, you’ll find 10 cool and comfortable (and air-conditioned) chalets all with canvas walls and thatched roofs. Each bedroom has a separate ‘star gazer’ room, completely open to the sky, and the perfect spot from which to watch the celestial theatre show above. Views from the rooms, the main area and the swimming pool are of the vast, desert vistas and when you can bear to tear your eyes away, enjoy quad biking, scenic drives and walks, hot air ballooning, helicopter flights, horse riding and day trips to Sossusvlei.
The family-run Okonjima Lodge rests at the foot of the sandstone Omboroko Mountains amidst Acacia thornveld in a Malaria-free area. It is halfway between Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek, and the Etosha National Park – only a two-and-a-half-hour drive or a brief flight into the reserve’s private airstrip.
Okonjima Nature Reserve is equally famed for frequent cheetah and leopard sightings on its safaris, as well as The AfriCat Foundation. Since being founded in 1991, AfriCat’s mission has been to make significant contributions to conservation, while trying to ensure the survival of Namibia’s predators in their natural habitat. It undertakes research, community support and environmental education projects, as well as conservation work to rehabilitate carnivores such as cheetah and hyaena.
Pathways wind through the lodge to reveal our 51 luxurious suites tucked between indigenous trees and soft green lawns. These spacious suites exude the classic safari aesthetic you’d expect from a five-star resort. The colonial style restaurant and viewing deck boast magnificent views across a busy waterhole.