Reviews of Sossus Dune Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Sossus Dune Lodge review
Being unable to have 2 nights at Kulala Desert Lodge, we moved 10kilometres to Sossus Dune Lodge which was a good experience and the rooms were fantastic - the bungalows were very large and very comfortable. However we found the atmosphere quite lacking and very down beat - the food was good but the service was very stiff.
The dining room was spacious with great views but again very formal - it was memorable for the luxurious living but not for the atmosphere.
Sossus Dune Lodge review
The rooms here are fantastic, although if you are in the end ones as we were it can be a bit of a walk.
Not all the rooms can see the waterhole, although there was not a lack of views.
The views of the sky were amazing - (I know this out of anyones control but WOW).
Service here was hit and miss, it was as if some of the staff did not really know what they were doing (a common problem in goverment run/NWR accommodation) eg we booked an early morning drive to Dead Flei leaving at 5.30 and were told to be prompt. We arrived at 5.20 only to be told it had already left. I went back to the room to get my car keys and by the time I returned the driver was there. However we then waited until 6.00 before leaving as another couple was supposed to join us.
The early morning Dead Flei views are an absolute must!
Check out was slow - especially if trying to pay with a credit card.
Not worth the money
This was probably the worst experience we had in Namibia. This was the third property we stayed run by NWR. As usual they have the best locations to build their lodges, charge a heft price but without the service.
The lodge reception and accommodations were on top of a little hill, guests have to park their vehicles at car park at the bottom of the hill and transport by lodge's golf cart to the reception. When we arrived, no one was at car park to direct us or transport us to the lodge reception. We waited for 10 minutes and decided to walk up to the reception ourselves. Half way up the hill, a golf cart turned up and the driver apologised for not meeting us on our arrival citing the excuse of shift change.
We were met by the duty manager, Louis Armstrong Jnr who gave us information of the lodge and the activities they offered. We wanted to do the balloning trip on morning and he offered to book for us. The booking was later confirmed and time and venue were given.
Magical Desert Stat at Sossus Dune Lodge
Liked the position of the Lodge in the Park and raised walkways and the rondavels on stilts. Lovely pool.
Particularly liked our Herero gude who was very knowledgeable. Got us to a dune overlooking Dead Vlei for sunrise. Good breakfast set out for us beside Sossus Vlei.
Sossus Dune Lodge review
A great place to stay inside the park so you are able to enjoy sunrise and sunset without having to dash to or from the gate at opening and closing times.
Only thing that lets it down are the dining arrangements. The kitchen is so far removed from the dining area food arrives cold which is a pity because the food itself is good.
Sossus Dune Lodge - first posh grass roof
Recommended to us - we had our own grass roof and timber chalet with luxurious bedding.
Accomodation could not be faulted. Run by the park extremely well. Very handy for early morning trip to dunes.
Wish we had stayed here a day longer - bad judgement on our part. I have no complaints about the food served in the restaraunt... but everything else was so amazing....
Sossus Dune Lodge Review
Everyone wanting to visit Sossus Vlei should stay here! We were really impressed with the location and the quality of our room. The big advantage is being able to have an extra hour inside the park gates, morning and evening. The room was really spacious, with a great balcony, comfortable sun-loungers, bath robes, filter coffee & biscuits.
Our evening meal was also excellent, particularly the oryx.
We were a little disappointed with the lack of information available to us when we arrived. For example, it would have been useful to know
(i) that the lodge has its own road into the park and you don't have to waste 15 minutes driving back to the main gate like we did
(ii) that you don't need a permit if you're staying at the lodge
(iii) that lunch is included, even if the booking states you're on a dinner, bed & breakfast plan
(iv) what time you are expected back at the lodge after sunset
(v) that you apparently need to make a reservation for breakfast (our ballooning trip was cancelled so, having been told breakfast was from 6am, we turned up at 6.10 to find that 'the chef is still waking up'! They eventually started serving at 7am when other guests arrived but they didn't set a table for us or take a hot food order as we shouldn't have been there. We ended up setting our own table and skipping hot food as we'd already wasted an hour of daylight.)
A few minor improvements would make this place fantastic. We'd definitely stay here again.
Great location for Sossusvlei
We stayed at Sossus Dune because it is the only lodge inside the gate and being keen photographers we wanted to be at Sossusvlei for sunrise. As far as the location goes you can't beat it.
The lodge itself is lovely - it has been very sympathetically designed to blend into the landscape and the rooms are beautiful. After saying that there is a lack of atmosphere at Sossus Dune. The staff were all very helpful and eager to please but didn't have the passion which staff at other lodges had. There didn't seem to be anyone in charge when we were there - maybe this is because it is state owned - and i think this showed.
But it was definitely the best place for us to stay. We met so many frustrated photographers at Sossusvlei who hadn't managed to get through the gate until sunrise and then had to drive a further 60 km to get to Sossusvlei. Some of the lodges do have their own private gates but I understand you can't take your own vehicle through them - you have to go on an organised trip.
Beware at Sossusvlei there isn't much sign posting. We arrived before anyone else and had no idea how to get to Deadvlei. In the end we had to wait for another car to turn up to show us where to go. The sign had in fact fallen down but there weren't many markings.
We also went ballooning while at Sesriem which was wonderful. Expensive but well worth it. An experience we'll never forget.
One tip we would give - if you can afford it and you are used to driving a 4X4 we would definitely recommend hiring one. Most of the roads we drove on were gravel roads and we were very pleased we had a 4X4.
Sossus Dune Lodge review
Overall this stay was a little disappointing. Whilst the location is very beautiful and being inside the park gate is a plus we felt that the accommodation was almost over-the-top luxurious (does a bathroom really need matching his and hers washbasins?). Also, we felt that the staff were also almost trying trying too hard (in a rather formulaic way rather than naturally wanting to please) to be a sophisticated, up-market lodge and somehow it didn't quite work.
On arrival we were greeted not once, but three times! First by someone with a posh tray with two damp face-cloths, rapidly followed by someone-else with two small soft drinks followed by a third person with a tray with two glasses of sherry which hardly seemed appropriate after a 4/5 hour drive from our last stop.
We were then 'checked-in' by Engelbert (one of the managers) who wasted no time in trying to sell us their N$500 sunrise trip to the Sossusvlei dunes which we always intended to do under our own steam. We did do the sunrise ballooning trip on our final morning which was a marvellous experience although it didn't quite have the 'wow factor' that I 'd anticipated. The breakfast on landing was a super experience being in such beautiful and remote surroundings (although the 'champagne' was, in fact, sparkling wine) which, with the trip costing about £300 person seemed a tad naughty.
Dramatic desert plain scenery
Memorable location and good early morning trip right into the largest sandunes area (discussions with other tourists later revealed that, being in minibuses etc. as opposed to our 4-wd, they had only travelled half way in, stopping at a 'model' large dune).
Rustic accommodation and amenities excellent and characterful. Fantastic view across a 15km desert plain to the distant dunes. Plenty of springbok all around but not much else. Not to be missed but two nights enough as activity opportunities very limited in number.
Staff polite but not very knowledgeable.