Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is owned and run by &Beyond, a company that operates a range of luxurious properties across Safari Africa, among other destinations. In Namibia alone, the &Beyond portfolio encompasses not only Sossusvlei but also the Skeleton Coast, Damaraland, and Etosha National Park. Accommodation at Desert Lodge is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, a selection of activities (please enquire for up-to-date information), transfers between the lodge and the nearest airstrip, Wi-Fi, a laundry service, and use of a pair of Swarovski binoculars during your stay. The lodge is open throughout the year.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The lodge is accessed via road transfer from its own airstrip. Alternatively, guests can drive down from Sesriem, which takes about half an hour. The property is situated in the shadow of a mountain and overlooks the fringe of the Namib Sand Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT SOSSUSVLEI DESERT LODGE:
Guest accommodation consists of 11 suites, including the two-bedroom Star Dune Suite. Made out of locally sourced stone and glass, and featuring corroded ironwork, the suites blend effortlessly with the stark beauty of the surrounding area. They’re positioned along the mountain escarpment, with sturdy stone walls between them to ensure ample privacy. Entering a one-bedroom suite from the back of the building, you’ll find a very generously proportioned sleeping space, containing a double bed beneath a star-view window, bedside lighting, a writing desk cum dressing table and chair, a separate seating area with fireplace, and a large storage unit. The local geography finds expression here too, particularly in the shapes of the furnishings – for example, a slightly slanted bench and an irregular hexagonal mirror. In the en-suite washroom, there’s a flush toilet, twin washbasins, and a glass-encased rain shower boasting 180-degrees desert views! The living area flows out onto a private veranda, complete with plunge pool and breathtaking vistas over the NamibRand Nature Reserve. The Star Dune Suite benefits from all these features, in addition to an extra bedroom. It’s an excellent option for a family or a small group of friends.
The communal facilities at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge occupy an impressive split-level structure that’s accessed from the suites via well-marked pathways. This too is a stone-and-glass build, with accents of ironwork. At night, it’s lit with red filtered light to ensure guests’ views aren’t compromised by light pollution. The interiors include a stylish lounge, with comfortable seating, occasional tables, and various artefacts adorning walls and shelves. There’s also a very chic dining area, featuring a long table and wood-and-wicker chairs – everyone tucks into delicious food and drink together here, while marvelling at the views. Private dining is also available, either in the form of room service or in Desert Lodge’s walk-in vintage wine cellar. If you wish, you can get involved with meal prep in the interactive kitchen, with the lodge’s friendly kitchen staff. The wellness centre features a sunrise-view gym, a sunset-view treatment room with private spa-bath, and a separate wet-room spa. Anyone in need of a little retail therapy can pop to the Signature Shop to browse a fine selection of craft items. There’s a modern observatory for keen astronomers, a neat little rim-flow pool, and finally a circular swimming pool, below the lodge and approached down a flight of steps with a stair-rail. Flanked by tables-and-chairs, the pool is another pleasant location for relaxing and dining, while taking in the views.
ACTIVITIES AT SOSSUSVLEI DESERT LODGE:
Excursions to Sossusvlei- Half a day is allocated to exploring this spectacular part of Namibia. In the company of a knowledgeable guide, guests take a look at the world-renowned dunes, including the famous 325-metres-tall ‘Big Daddy’, and find out all about the history of the area. You can also visit Deadvlei, the white clay pan containing 70 dead camelthorn trees.
Desert drives- This activity is also accompanied by an expert guide. The reserve in which Desert Lodge is located comprises a number of diverse habitats and microhabitats, all with a backdrop of sprawling plains. Among the mammal species you might encounter here are leopard, cheetah, spotted and brown hyenas, black-backed jackal, Cape and bat-eared foxes, giraffe, Hartmann’s and Burchell’s zebras, kudu, gemsbok, springbok, klipspringer, steenbok, and red hartebeest. The cheetah have been introduced through a conservation programme.
Walking safaris- Again, a guide is on hand as you take to the reserve on foot. Walks present opportunities to scrutinise the smaller lives here, for example the plants, insects, and bird species. At last count, over 150 types of feathery friend were recorded, not least lappet-faced vulture, Ludwig’s bustard, and dune lark.
Hiking- This is a popular destination for keen hikers, as the geography of the place makes for challenging climbs as well as gentler strolls at the foot of the mountains. In close proximity to the lodge, there are two hiking trails, which can be combined with e-biking for a ‘bike-and-hike’ adventure.
E-biking- Fitted with a battery-powered ‘assist’, the lodge’s e-bikes are perfect for exploring vast swathes of the reserve with little effort. The cycle path, in the figure of an 8, offers two routes – 19 kilometres or 11 kilometres – and you’ll head out with water, snacks, and a radio.
Quad biking- The classic biking experience, these excursions are enjoyed in the company of a guide – and you can even head out at night to catch a glimpse of the reserve’s nocturnal creatures. Look out for Peringuey’s adder, web-footed gecko, and hairy-footed gerbil!
Hot air balloon flights- This activity comes at an additional cost, but we think the expense is well worth it. Boarding a balloon shortly before dawn, you’ll take to the skies just as the sun starts its ascent, irradiating the dunes of Sossusvlei. The views are truly magical. After a couple of hours in the air, you’ll descend to a champagne breakfast – a fitting finale to a very memorable experience.
Helicopter flights- These flights are pretty special too. Also incurring extra cost, the activity offers sweeping views over sand dunes, rock formations, and mountains. If you’re a particularly keen photographer, you can ask for the helicopter doors to be removed, ensuring uninterrupted shots of the thrilling landscape.
Stargazing- There’s a sharp focus on astronomy at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge. As an International Dark Sky Reserve, the NamibRand Nature Reserve is one of the darkest places in the world and ideal for observing the night skies. The lodge employs a resident astronomer who is happy to help you get to know the Milky Way, planets, and constellations, with the assistance of a Meade LX200R 12-inch telescope. And of course you’ll end every day here drifting off under the stars, beneath your very own star-view window.
*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert when walking around the camp and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.