Desert Camp: Our full report
Desert Camp is an economical self-catering option situated about 5km from the Sesriem entrance gate to Sossusvlei.With spacious en-suite chalets, it's ideal for independent travellers and makes a good base from which to explore the Namib Desert, one of Namibia's major attractions.
Desert Camp's main area is a cluster of tented buildings set around a manicured lawn and pool. Close to reception is a partly open bar with a large-screen TV, where you may be able to watch major sports events. The bar is open 2.00–10.00pm daily, but we are told that guests can get drinks from the staff at anytime.
The adjacent swimming pool, complete with ornamental fountain, is surrounded by paving and overlooks the desert landscape and a small waterhole, which is often visited by oryx. To one side, two communal 'bomas' –traditional southern African firepits – form a focal point for groups travelling together to enjoy a meal. Each boma also has facilities for meal preparation and washing up.
Desert Camp has 28 self-catering chalets, all built from stone and canvas. Although simple, the chalets are spacious and appear comfortably furnished, with a well thought-out room layout. Each can sleep a family of four, with twin beds and a double sleeper couch suitable for smaller children; there's also hanging space, an en-suite bathroom and separate toilet. Two of the rooms are wheelchair accessible with ramps and adapted bathrooms. These bathrooms are of a wet room style with the toilet and shower rooms knocked together giving more space, they also include handles.
Flanking the room is a small shaded veranda with kitchenette and wooden picnic table. This has a washing-up area, two-plate hob and under-counter fridge. Utensils, cutlery, firewood, firelighters and ice are available, at an extra cost, at Desert Camp's reception for travellers who'd like to cook for themselves. Desert Camp can also provide food stuffs from meats (for the BBQ), salads, bread, breakfast products and tea and coffee sachets, at an extra cost, for those who haven't made it to a supermarket. Each chalet also has a barbecue and its own parking area. Visitors not wishing to self-cater can reserve dinner at the nearby Sossusvlei Lodge, next to the Sesriem gate and about 5km from Desert Camp.
It is also possible for guests at Desert Camp to book many of the activities available from Sossusvlei Lodge, including excursions into the dunes, quadbiking, scenic flights and more. You will need to make your own way to the lodge, as their vehicles will not come to Desert Camp to pick you up. From the camp there is a short walk that takes you up a nearby kopje: a perfect spot to watch the sun set, though you need to make sure you are back in camp before it gets dark.
Desert Camp is a comfortable, affordable option within easy reach of Sesriem and the dunes at Sossusvlei. A self-catering option, it works well for families and groups of travelers who enjoy their independence, although staying here does require more forward planning than staying at the catered properties in the area.
- Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia
- Ideal length of stay
- Stay at least two nights with time to comfortably visit the sand dunes at Sossusvlei and nearby Sesriem Canyon.
- Desert Camp is situated 5km from Sossusvlei Lodge and the Sesriem gate, on the left hand side of the D826.
- Accessible by
- Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Room Only
- Attitude towards children
- Desert Camp welcomes families.
- Property’s age restrictions
- There are no age restrictions.
- Special activities & services
- The sofa in each chalet converts into a double bed suitable for smaller children.
- Generally recommended for children
- Yes, but see ‘notes’ below.
- The pool is unfenced and unguarded so we recommend that children are supervised at all times.
- Power supply notes
- There is a back-up generator in case of power failure.
- Free WiFi is available in the main areas of camp.
- TV & radio
- The bar has a TV with satellite channels.
- Water supply
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- There is a clinic in Sesriem, and those in need of urgent medical care would be airlifted back to Windhoek.
Quadbike warning: quad-biking is sometimes available as an activity from Desert Camp. As with any potentially dangerous activity, it’s vital that you take responsibility for ensuring that you have adequate travel insurance prior to getting involved. Be aware that some insurances cover quad-bike activities only for bikes with lower engine ratings: check such clauses particularly carefully before you get on a bike.
- Dangerous animals
- Moderate Risk
- Security measures
- The chalets are lockable.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers outside in the kitchenette area outside each chalet.
Hot air ballooning
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Not included.
- Each chalet has a small safe for valuables. Sossusvlei Lodge has money-exchange facilities for foreign currencies and a cash machine.
- Accepted payment on location
- Desert Camp accepts cash payments in Namibian dollars and South African rand, and both Visa and MasterCard.
Other lodges in Namib-Naukluft National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.