The Barchan Dune Retreat is situated…
Barchan Dune Retreat: Our full report
Set in probably one of Namibia's most scenic areas, Barchan Dune Retreat is just 20km away from the impressive Spreetshoogte Pass and about 10km from Solitaire. It makes for a convenient stopover between Swakopmund and Windhoek, en route to Sesriem/Sossusvlei.
Barchan Dune lodge is small with only six rooms, which helps to guarantee personal attention. On our last visit, in April 2010, we've received a warm welcome and were made feel at home instantly. The owners, Hannetjie and Willem are lovely people and will go out of their way to make you feel comfortable.
Even though we might have occasional qualms about items of Barchan Dune's décor, like the zebra-skin rugs on the floors, the en-suite rooms are and relatively sparsely decorated, but lovely, light and spacious. Big windows allow a lot of light and the views from the bedrooms are just stunning. Each room has a double bed, an extra sleeper couch, a mosquito net, a writing desk and a flask with cold water. There are no tea/coffee facilities in the rooms.
Each room at Barchan Dune Retreat has a large en-suite bathroom with a shower (no baths!), and once again there are great views from the bathroom window. Nice big towels, shampoo and shower gel are provided.
Outside each room at the Dune Retreat is a shaded sitting area where a cool box with cold drinks is placed for your enjoyment. Afternoon tea/coffee and cake is served in the main area at 15:00. However, if you don't feel like walking to the main area, then you can have it served on your terrace.
For those looking for something a little more private, Barchan Dune offers a two-person cabin just a short drive from the main building. This cabin, known as KuanguKuangu, is a peaceful getaway and quite isolated - a great spot to escape and unwind.
The lounge/dining room at Barchan Retreat is small but cosy, with big windows that let in lots of sunshine. Furnished with a big dinner table, two loose leather chairs and two bigger sofas, plus a fireplace and 'library', it's a great place to just sit and read or admire the view. A very nice feature of the lounge is a small courtyard garden, which is partially shaded and so has a pleasantly cool feel even when it's hot elsewhere. Solar-power panels have now been installed, and Jan has plans to expand the area in the future.
Outside the main building, which is also Hannetjie and Jan's private house, are one or two wooden statues and a couple of tables and chairs. It's a great spot to admire the amazing scenery from.
Walkways lead to the rooms, and there is a small plunge-pool in the rocks (big enough to sit in, if not to plunge into!) which is only filled during the summer months.
Around Barchan Dune Retreat are one or two hiking trails, designed to help guests to explore this stunning area. Although formal activities aren't normally included here, there is an excellent 'sundowner' farm drive included in the rate.
Trips to the impressive Spreetshoogte Pass, run by the team from Barchan Dune Retreat, can usually also be organised at an extra cost.
We really enjoyed our stay here!
Ideal length of stay: One or two nights
Directions: Situated on the D1275 road, an easy drive along the C14 en-route to Swakopmund / Walvisbay.
Staff: Camp/Lodge Manager: Hannetjie & Willem Van Rooyen
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: Hannetjie's cooking is very good and meals times are fairly flexible.
On our last visit, we had arrived early and were offered a light lunch at 13:00 of quiche and salad and iced tea.
Dinner is served around 19:00 and usually in the great company of Hannetjie and Willem. We had fish soup as a starter followed by kudu steak with fried onions & potatoes. For dessert we had baked cheese cake which was absolutely delicious!
Breakfast consisted of freshly squeezed juice, fresh baked bread, a small choice of cereals and a cooked breakfast (bacon, choice of eggs and freshly-baked bread).
Dining style: Group Meals
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: Yes
Photographic: The stunning landscapes of the Namib-Naukluft, a combination of mountainous terrain, sandy dunes and flat plains give excellent photo opportunities. The views from the bedrooms at Barchan Dune Retreat, or from the mountains surrounding the Retreat, are some of the best in this part of the country.See more ideas for Photographic in Namibia
Walking: Many of the Namib-Naukluft's walking trails are within a fairly short drive of Barchan Dune Retreat. Alternatively, the Retreat is surrounded by the Rantberge Mountains, where there are a few excellent self-guided trails.See more ideas for Walking in Namibia
Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are welcome
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: Obviously children should always be closely supervised by adults.
Power supply: Solar Power
Communications: There is no mobile reception or phones in the rooms at Barchan Dune Retreat. Internet and email available at reception, but really for in emergencies only; that said, Hannetjie is very welcoming and will help wherever she can.
TV & radio: None
Health & safety
Malarial area: No
Medical care: The closest doctor is in Rehoboth, about 200km away.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: None
Fire safety: There are no fire extinguishers in the rooms, but one can be found in the main building.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Available at N$40 per 8kg. Hand in before breakfast for same day return.
Money: Currency exchange not possible and travellers cheques not accepted. There are no safes in the rooms.