19 February 2013

{Namib Desert Lodge}: Fossilized Dunes + A Sunset Drive

As most of you know, 
Jurg and I toured through Namibia for a month during this past December and January.
If you're new around these parts, you can catch up here.

Sunset in the desert near Sossusvlei, Namibia

After navigating through Spreetshoogte Pass and Solitaire, we headed for the small desert settlement of Sesriem where we checked-in at Namib Desert Lodge (which forms part of the Gondwana Collection).  We were pleasantly surprised from the moment we stepped foot in the reception and literally did a happy dance once we discovered the air con in our room (which is not as common as one might expect) and the two large pools located on the property.  After having driven through smoldering heat that day, it probably took all of about 15 seconds for us to decide that we would be spending the rest of the afternoon in the water.  

It was glorious.  

That evening we took a lovely walk along the fossilised dunes and then enjoyed what was probably the most idyllic dinner of our entire trip.  Aside from the fact that the meal itself was delicious {a tomato soup starter, gemsbok fillet main, and pudding dessert}, the location and the ambiance of the dining area made the experience absolutely magical.  Having just started our month-long trip, I sat in disbelief as we watched a group of gemsbok {a type of antelope} drinking from a waterhole just feet away from our table - all of this against the backdrop of ancient fossilised dunes illuminated by spotlights.  Add a good bottle of wine and the most excellent company to the picture and you have yourself a once in a lifetime experience.  It was an evening that we will never forget.  I took several 'mental' snapshots throughout our meal.

Over dinner, Jurg and I decided that we would spend the following two days enjoying the lodge and the immediate area surrounding it.  We would be heading on to Sossusvlei in a few days time, so there was no reason to spend our time travelling south when there was so much to enjoy in Sesriem itself.  We immediately signed up for a sunset drive for the following evening and spent the following morning and afternoon sipping cocktails by the pool.

When we arrived at reception for our sunset drive that afternoon, we were surprised to find out that we would be going on a personal tour with a vehicle and guide of our own {score!}.  Our guide was nice enough to snap a few photos of us before we left and then she said she would be taking us on a different route from the others and hinted that she knew of a perfect place for sun downers right on top of the dunes.  

As we drove away from the lodge, we saw lots of herds of gemsbok on the move and we even spotted a few desert geckos camouflaged against the sand.  Once on top of the dunes, it was amazing to admire a bird's eye view of the lodge - a green oasis in the middle of an otherwise barren and brown landscape.  As the sun slowly dipped out of sight, we sipped on gin and tonics and tried to take it all in.  I probably took about 200 photos - it was very difficult to narrow them down to the few that are in this post.  Like our first dinner at the lodge, the sunset drive remained as yet another highlight of our entire trip.

 If you happen to find yourself in Namibia, I cannot recommend Namib Desert Lodge enough.  The lodge in and of itself is an experience and there are so many day-trip options available if you have the time and budget.  We'll most definitely be returning on our next trip to Namibia.  Our entire stay was unique to anything else I've ever experienced.

By the numbers:

Rates: R650 - R860 ($74 - $98) per person per night
Breakfast: Included in above rates
Dinner: R220 ($25) per person per night
Sunset Drive: R330 ($38) per person

To book a stay at Namib Desert Lodge, see here.
To research other accommodation in the area, see here.

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  1. This brings back so many great memories! My husband and I spent 4 months in Namibia before we were engaged . . . and it will forever be one of the most transforming times in our life! This post makes me desperate to go back!
    Fabulous pictures!

  2. Wow Jenna - those sunset photos are stunning!

  3. Score for the private vehicle and ranger!!
    Stunning pics. what an amazing landscape. And you guys look so chilled!

  4. That pool is ridiculously pretty. And I MUST see landscapes like those in person someday :)

  5. OMG I ver you has a wonderful experience in Namibia, the dessert looks absolutely amazing, and the pictures are amazing Jenna, glad to heard you had a great trip.

  6. OMG these photos are BEYOND amazing!!!!! Did you get a new camera by chance? WOW! Take me there now please!

  7. gorgeous.

    I can't even think of anything else to say - I'm still stuck on the views in these pictures!

  8. So incredible... I am always amazed by your adventures. I love the pops of color, and that hotel pool looks divine ;)

  9. Stunning! Thanks for the rates- it's nice to see the prices for future journeys!

  10. Wow, beautiful photos! I would love to visit Namibia one day! :) Thanks for sharing.

    Bisous from Paris

  11. Your photos are always so gorgeous Jenna! Every single post makes me want to visit Africa more and more. I'm so jealous that you live in such a beautiful place, and that you have the chance to travel so often! Not that I expected anything less from you ;) xoxo

  12. Wow, the scenery is amazing!

  13. Really stunning photgraphs, that bright blue sky against the earth is beautiful. Looks like a wonderful trip.

  14. Hello! I recently just started a youtube Korean food channel, EasyKoreanFood, where you can learn how to make fast and easy Korean food! It would mean the world to me if you took the time to check it out because I'm just starting out! Thanks!

  15. Your pictures are absolutely breathtaking! I can only imagine how magnificent it would be to experience all of this with your own eyes!
    The dinner sounds great, you must have had such a wonderful time.

    Melanie Fontaine

  16. STUNNING!!!! The sky is magical.

  17. Oh so jealous!! My boyfriend is headed to Namibia in three weeks before meeting up with me in SA and now I wish I was joining him! Have certainly added this to the "must see" list Jenna. Gorgeous photos.

  18. Gosh...so gorgeous! And it sounds like so much fun!! Man, I need to get myself to Africa!

  19. We would like to take this opportunity to say many thanks once more for visiting our property. We had a great time with you as well and we hope to welcome you back again soon. We are wishing you exciting adventures ahead! Best regards from the Gondwana team!

    1. Thanks so much! It's so good to hear from you again. We still often talk about our time at Gondwana and hope to return again soon :)


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