Namib Desert Lodge stands 60km north of Sesriem, at the foot of red fossilised dunes.
Namib Desert Lodge: Our full report
Namib Desert Lodge is just 60km north of Sesriem on the C19 road, at the foot of a red sandstone cliff, the “fossilised" dunes. It is a large lodge with 68 en-suite rooms set out in rows amongst beautiful gardens; this is one of the less costly options for accommodation in the Sesriem area.
Namib Desert Lodge caters mostly for the big coach tour groups – and visitors should be aware of this before they come here. Despite this, it is fairly relaxed and comfortable, provided that you can ignore the hussle and bussle that comes with a lot of people. It certainly has plenty of lounging areas and lots of helpful staff.
The Desert Lodge has a big reception area that contains a curio shop which sells quite a variety of things, from handmade jewellery to children's books.
Walkways from the reception lead through the gardens to the rooms, which all have private verandas. These rooms are light, quite basic but comfortable and clean – note that all are en-suite and that no smoking is allowed.
Each of the rooms at Namib Lodge has a small, free-standing fan, a wardrobe, a suitcase rack, a writing desk, mosquito nets, wire mesh screens in front of the windows and an en-suite bathroom with shower. There are no electronic safes in the rooms. The rooms at Namib Desert Lodge are next to each other, terraced-house-style in rows, with a walkway running in front of each row. Because of the walkways, the rooms are not particularly quiet or secluded. You'll hear when others walk past your room – we noticed this especially after dinner, when everyone heads for bed.
The Namib Desert Lodge has two swimming pools: a fresh-water pool and a salt-water pool. Around each swimming pool are plenty of loungers and wooden boxes that hold the pool towels.
There's also a big indoor restaurant with a bar, and a separate outside pool bar where the inviting terrace has views of the follilised dunes – which are also enjoyed by some of the rooms, especially ones at the back of the lodge. At night, lights at the bottom of the dunes are switched on which makes it even more impressive!
Probably the lodge's biggest building is the open-plan restaurant and adjacent bar. One wall of this is beautifully hand-painted and, despite the big windows, it still remains fairly dark and cool – a welcome feeling during the heat of the day. Long dining tables cater for the bus groups, whilst smaller tables are usually set up for individual travellers. As you'd expect, a restaurant like this can be quite a busy place when the lodge is full. Towards the back of the restaurant is another, smaller room that is sometimes used as an overflow when the main restaurant is very busy.
We'd usually recommend the Namib Desert Lodge for self-driving visitors who need a reasonably-priced place to stay near Sesriem – and these travellers will usually organise their own trips in the own vehicles.
However, there are quite a few activities on offer here organised by the team at Namib Desert Lodge – including a sunrise drive that will take you to the top of the fossil dunes, which lasts about 1 hour and 45 minutes; a sun-downer drive, which last about 150 minutes and gives an introduction to landscape around the lodge, including the mountains, the dunes and some interesting geology, fauna and flora. Drinks and snacks are included with both drives
There are also two walking trails at the Namib Lodge; one is designed as a guided trail, whilst guests are encouraged to walk around the other by themselves. The latter trail is a short (barely 45 minutes), clearly marked route that will take you from the lodge along the river bed to the foot of the fossil dunes. The trail which is guided (usually referred to as “the guided scenic escarpment trail") takes about 3 hours and heads up the slopes onto the fossil dunes.
Our ViewThe Namib Desert Lodge is a big lodge which is functional rather than full of character. However, it's comfortable, very good value and makes a reasonable base for excursions into Sossusvlei – and with a little more time, the fossil dunes which form its backdrop are well worth exploring.
Ideal length of stay: We often recommend that travellers stay about two nights in this area, because the dunes are worth time to visit them – and it's a long drive between here and either Windhoek or Swakopmund.
Directions: Namib Desert Lodge is 60km north of Sesriem on the C19, about 30 km south of Solitaire. The turn off is well marked and the lodge is a further 5km from the main road.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: Breakfast is normally a buffet served from between 06:30 and 09:00. You can expect a variety of cold meats, cheese, cereals, bread, fruits, juices, tea and coffee.
Light lunches are available throughout the afternoon; you'll find the menu written on a board outside the restaurant.
Tea and coffee is available throughout the day at Namibia Desert Lodge and 'afternoon tea' with cake is offered from 15:00 till 17:00.
Dinner is a three-course set menu and served from between 18:30 till 21:00. Starters and dessert are served on the table but salads and the main course are available on the buffet. On our last visit we had Quiche Florentine with a cheese sauce as a starter. The main course was a choice between kudu steak or meat balls with noodles, sweet potatoes, butter carrots & fried butternut. Dessert was guava biscotti with cream.
The food at Namibia Lodge was generally good and staff were on hand to clear the table, and sometimes they seemed a little over-zealous to us – a little too quick to clear the table whilst we were still there!
Dining style: Group Meals
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: No drinks are included. Soft drinks and water typically cost N$10–N$15, spirits N$14–N$22, beer N$14–N$27 and wines about N$90–N$155 per bottle.
Attitude towards children: Yes children are very welcome at Namib Desert Lodge
Equipment: Highchairs can be provided
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: The lodge has a weak mobile reception and there are no phones in the rooms. There is no internet, email or fax facility for guests.
TV & radio: There is a satellite TV at the pool bar.
Health & safety
Malarial area: No
Medical care: The closest hospital is in Mariental or Rehoboth – several hours' drive away
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: None
Fire safety: There are no fire extinguishers in the rooms, but there are some in and around the main areas.
Disabled access: In Place
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge
Money: Money exchange is not possible.