Barkhan Dune Retreat: Our full report
Set in probably one of Namibia's most scenic areas, Barkhan Dune Retreat is just 20km away from the impressive ...... Spreetshoogte Pass and about 27km from Solitaire. It makes for a convenient stopover between Swakopmund and Windhoek, en route to Sesriem/Sossusvlei.
Barkhan Dune lodge is small with only ten rooms Commbined with the fact that the new owners Alma and Barney are always around, preparing your meals and often joining you in the lounge for a drink, this makes it a very homely feeling property.
Even though we might have occasional qualms about items of Barkhan Dune's décor, like the zebra-skin rugs on the floors, the en-suite rooms are 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 Barkhan Dune has a large en-suite bathroom with a shower, and rather oddly a desk by the sink area. On our last visit we found the placement of the mirror a few metres from the sink a frustration when shaving, although we appreciated that 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, and from August to January you can often spot oryx from here.
For those looking for something a little more private, Barkhan 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 (read more at the very bottom of this page).
They also have a self-catering house (Okanti) which can sleep up to five travellers, ideal for a family or friends traveling together.
The lounge/dining room at Barkhan 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.
Outside the main building, which is also the owner'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.
However we are told that the new owners are going to be renovating the main area and also building a swimming pool in December.
Around Barkhan 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 Barkhan Dune Retreat, can usually also be organised at an extra cost.
Barkhan Dune is an unusual but characterful property with a stunning location in the foothills of the Naukluft Mountains. It works well as a memorable and quirky stopover between Windhoek and Sossusvlei, although those looking for a more traditional style guesthouse or hotel may want to pass it by.
- Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia
- Ideal length of stay
- One or two nights
- Situated on the D1275 road, an easy drive along the C14 en-route to Swakopmund / Walvisbay.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board
- Food quality
- When we last visited the cooking was very good and meals times are fairly flexible.
On our last visit in May 2018, 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 your hosts. 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).
- Attitude towards children
- Children from 10 years of age and above.
- Property’s age restrictions
- no children under the age of 10 years
- Special activities & services
- Generally recommended for children
- Obviously children should always be closely supervised by adults.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Barkhan Dune Retreat
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Barkhan Dune Retreat have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- There is no mobile reception or phones in the rooms at Barkhan Dune Retreat. Internet and email available at reception, but really for in emergencies only; that said, the new owners Alma and Barney are very welcoming and will help wherever they can.
- TV & radio
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- The water from the borehole is filtered and suitable for drinking, but bottled water is also available.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The closest doctor is in Rehoboth, about 200km away.
- Dangerous animals
- Low Risk
- Security measures
- 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$150 per 6kg. Hand in before breakfast for same day return.
- Currency exchange not possible and travellers cheques not accepted. There are no safes in the rooms.
- Accepted payment on location
- Cash only is accepted.
Room types at Barkhan Dune Retreat
KuanguKuangu Luxury Cabin is a private cabin on the same property as Barchan Dune, and continues the same style.
With just one bedroom sleeping two in a comfy double bed, KuanguKuangu will appeal to honeymooners and those wishing to get away from it all. The bed looks out over the beautiful orange hues of the Namib-Nauklift National Park. There's electricity, hot water and mobile phone coverage here.
Behind the bedroom is the bathroom and a small kitchen, built around the rock. The kitchen allows for self catering, and there's also a braai area outside. For those wishing to feel a little less isolated, or who do not wish to cook, dinner can be eaten at Barchan Dune Retreat.
KuanguKuangu Luxury Cabin is built from natural materials and uses a white and orange colour scheme, in keeping with the colours of the desert. The room is very comfortable with plenty of space, and being away from the rest of the lodge there's a wonderful peace and quiet here. Sitting out, watching the sunset with a glass of wine and appreciating the silence is all part of the experience here.
Other lodges in Namib-Naukluft National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.