07 March 2013

{Sossusvlei}: Sossus Dune Lodge + Sunrise on the Dunes

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.

Exploring the dunes of Sossusvlei, Namibia

From Sesriem {and after our incredible stay at Namib Desert Lodge}, Jurg and I headed the relatively short distance to Sossusvlei and checked-in at NWR's Sossus Dune Lodge.  Leading up to our trip, this had been one of the bookings that I was most excited about for two reasons:

Firstly, I was completely enamoured by the small and intimate arrangement of the lodge.  Nestled right at the foothills of a mountain, the entire lodge consists of only twenty-three thatched bungalows and from your window you have unobstructed views of the Namib Desert in all directions.  

Secondly, Sossus Dune Lodge is currently the only accommodation located inside the Namib-Naukluft National Park gates.  With park gates opening and closing at sunrise and sunset, this essentially means that Sossus Dune Lodge residents are the only visitors able to enjoy sunrise or sunset from the top of Sossusvlei's renowned red sand dunes.  This fact in-and-of itself had Jurg and I sold.

Once we arrived at the lodge we immediately put our names on the list for a sunrise tour of the dunes the following morning.  The rest of the day was spent lounging around the pool {starting to see a trend emerging here...} and then we enjoyed a delicious meal on the main deck overlooking a waterhole frequented by the occasional antelope or warthog.  The following evening was especially memorable, as it happened to be New Year's Eve, and the lodge treated us to a spectacular buffet and bottle of wine on the house.  Although our New Year's was rather mellow, I don't think we could have asked for a more special or unique setting.  Sipping bubbly underneath the clear Namibian stars was something that Jurg and I will not soon forget.  It was the perfect way to ring in 2013.

On the second morning of our stay we were up before the sun {much to Jurgen's dismay} for our sunrise tour of the dunes.  This was something I had been looking forward to for months and the whole experience more than exceeded my expectations.  Afterwards we both agreed that our trip wouldn't have been complete without it.  Walking up the dunes in the cool, early hours of the morning and then sitting in complete and utter stillness as the sun began to peek over the red sand was a once in a lifetime experience.  With the park gates still closed, it felt like we were the only people in the world there to witness the desert's unimaginable beauty.  I think I took about one million photos in the span of thirty minutes.  It was just phenomenal.  


As you can probably guess, Jurg and I would recommend Sossus Dune Lodge one thousand times over.  In my opinion, there's no better way to see Sossusvlei, especially considering the lodge's superb location inside the park gates.  Combine this with excellent quality and a very talented chef and you have yourself a real oasis in the desert.  This lodge was a bit of a splurge for us in terms of the price, but it turned out to be more than worth it.

One word of caution though.  Jurg and I happened to visit Sossusvlei in January, which falls within the peak of Namibia's very hot and dry summer.  To give you an idea, daily temperatures ranged between about 45 and 49 degrees while we were there {about 113 - 120 degrees Fahrenheit}.  It was scorching.  Because Sossus Dune Lodge {and many of the other lodges in the area} are environmentally friendly, the rooms are not equipped with air conditioners.  This basically meant that our bungalow was a hot box during the day and remained fairly warm throughout the night.  Although we were able to counter this by spending our afternoons by the pool, our experience would have undoubtedly have been even better had we visited during a cooler time of year.  Just something to keep in mind

Aside from the whole hot box thing though, Sossus Dune Lodge gets a huge two thumbs up.

By the numbers:

Rates: R1,180 - R2,300 {$130 - $250} per person per night
Breakfast: Included in the above rates
Dinner: Included in the above rates
Sunrise Excursion to Sossusvlei: R500 {$55} per person

For more information see their website here.

23 comments:

  1. Oh wow Jenna! The lodge looks amazing and so romantic!

    These posts have me dying to head back and explore more of Africa!

    ReplyDelete
  2. holy crap that lodge looks INSANE. the views!!! so cool!! and by cool i dont mean temp wise..holy hell that is hot.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This place looks amazing! What a perfect way to begin 2013!

    xx
    Melanie

    ReplyDelete
  4. oh wow, the pictures of the dunes are just taking my breath away - I can't imagine what it must be like to see them in person!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Gorgeous photos!! Your room looks fantastic and the dune sunrise...I can only imagine what it was like in real life!

    We had a similar heat problem on our honeymoon in the Caribbean...no air conditioning and super hot summer days! Still an amazing trip but, man was it hot.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Jenna, did you seriously take all those photos??? They are absolutely STUNNING! Next time you guys go back there, let me know - we'll fly over in a heart beat!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Namibia looks so beautiful! I stayed at a similar place when I went to Kenya a few years ago and have been yearning to go back ever since, such a special experience. So glad you two had a wonderful time! This post has been bookmarked obviously :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm in such awe. These photos are magical and what an amazing experience to stay in one of these lovely places.

    ReplyDelete
  9. i now want a pet ostrich...thanks jenna!

    you go to some of the best places....but you should listen to the inside of my head when i read your posts and try to pronounce these places.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow Jen, what stunning pictures! We can't wait to visit Namibia one day too!

    As for no aircon - I wouldn't last one hour, never mind days...
    x

    ReplyDelete
  11. What amazing views (again, do I say this for every Namibia post?)
    I love the photo of the two of you.
    And sounds like a great way to celebrate New Years!

    ReplyDelete
  12. What amazing views (again, do I say this for every Namibia post?)
    I love the photo of the two of you.
    And sounds like a great way to celebrate New Years!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow, so incredibly gorgeous. That sunset pic looking out from the lodge is just unbelievable. So glad I discovered your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  14. those dunes are breathtaking - what an amazing land. you know I'm saving all this for when Jon and I get to come, right?

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow! How absolutely incredible! I would LOVE to stay in one of these huts! You seriously have the coolest life!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. oh my god those photos are incredible. i would die to go somewhere like that

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow the orange dunes are unreal and the lodging looks like such a special place! What a trip!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow...this just looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  19. ommmgggg.... that is straight out of a dream magazine!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm new to your blog. Love it! Just an FYI--California is the Golden State, not the Sunshine State. That's Florida. :-/

    ReplyDelete
  21. Ok - this is totally random but I just saw your post on ACTP, and I just noticed (or maybe I'm wrong) am I seeing little baby ostriches in that picture too??? Too freaking cute. That's all. Blog again soon pretty please - you are missed :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting! I love reading each and every one of them :)