Sossus Dune Lodge

Sossus Dune Lodge: Our full report

Rooms
25 chalets
Traveller's rating
Good (89%) From 112 reviews
Children
Best for 8+
Open
All year

Sossus Dune Lodge was the first upmarket lodge to be owned and built by the Namibian government's parastatal company Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR). Opened in 2007, amidst many questions about the propriety of building within the national park, it was the first, and remains the only lodge inside the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Unlike other visitors to the park, guests at Sossus Dune Lodge may access the dunes at Sossusvlei before the park gates open in the morning, and after they have closed in the evening.

Sossus Dune Lodge stands at the base of a mountain, just 4km from the Sesriem gate into the national park. Of its 25 chalets, built in two wings, 13 have views of the dunes, and 12 look towards mountains and canyons. While this isn’t a wildlife destination, there is a waterhole in front of the dune-facing chalets where springbok gather, and sometimes jackals will be drawn to the lodge by the smell of dinner cooking.

Each chalet has orange/yellow canvas walls around a wooden frame, topped by a thatched roof. These are very loosely modelled on the style of traditional Ovambo homes, as found in the northern parts of Namibia. A large veranda comes with two chairs and a table – although it's often too hot to sit outside! Making up for it with wonderful views of the surrounding desert is floor-to-ceiling glass, supported by wooden frames, at the front of each chalet.

Inside leather and dark wood furniture dominate, with a sofa and some artistically designed suede loungers that can be taken outside. It's all quite fun and modern, with plenty of space. There is a minibar with complimentary water and a tea/coffee station. The big en-suite bathrooms have open showers, separate toilets, beautiful twin basins, nice big towels, dressing gowns and great views.

The chalets are cooled in summer by free-standing fans, aided by upper windows that open from the bottom outwards, but on our last visit in May 2016 we were told that air conditioning is planned for the future.

The chalets on the end of each wing are designated as honeymoon suites. These are very similar to the normal chalets, but each also boasts a 'sala' – a small open-air lounge with a swinging bed, and a couch instead of chairs. A small bottle of champagne, a snack platter, and a fruit basket will be waiting for you, and a stocked minibar is included.

All the chalets are linked to the hub of of the lodge by raised wooden walkways, which are lit at night by electric lights. The open-plan main area, however, is illuminated by lanterns. Raised on wooden decking, this incorporates a big, restaurant and a separate lounge and bar – all with large sliding doors letting in plenty of light. Outside is a swimming pool with a few loungers under a shady canopy.

In contrast with the natural silence of the desert, the main area can be quite noisy as Sossus Dune Lodge is located just off the road, within earshot of passing cars. That said, guests' cars are parked in a shaded parking area and guests are transferred to and from the lodge in electric golf carts.

Activities at Sossus Dune Lodge focus on trips to Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon. Alternatively, guests may drive themselves to Sossusvlei as long as they return within one hour after sunset, and it is also possible to walk to Sesriem Canyon from the lodge.

Our view

As the only lodge inside the Namib-Naukluft Park, Sossus Dune Lodge has a superb location. This makes it ideal for those who want to beat the crowds to Sossusvlei, or stay late to photograph the sunset. As a result, it is very popular, so be sure to plan you trip well in advance if you want to stay here.

Geographics

Location: Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia

Ideal length of stay: 2–3 nights

Directions: Sossus Dune Lodge is about five hours' drive from Windhoek. To reach it, pass through the Sesriem Gate into the Namib-Naukluft National Park and turn left, towards Sesriem Canyon. Sossus Dune Lodge is about 4km from the gate, inside the park.

Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Namibia Wildlife Resorts

Staff: Manager - Loide Mukwiilongo (May 2016)

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: Breakfast is a fairly simple buffet, with cereal, yoghurt, fruit, bread, muffins and cold meats, jam and cheese. A hot option is available.

Dinner is a set three-course menu with two choices of main course. While we didn’t stay overnight on our last visit, on a previous occasion we were served tomato soup, chicken with couscous, and a lemon cheesecake. The food was good.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £15-20

Drinks included: No drinks are included. Wine costs about N$40 (£2) a glass, or and N$145 (£7.50) per bottle.

Further dining info: None

Special interests

Photography holidays: The dunes at Sossusvlei are perhaps Namibia’s most iconic and most photographed attraction. Sossus Dune Lodge is the only lodge within the Namib-Naukluft National Park and the only one whose guests are allowed access outside the usual opening times, making it an ideal stop for keen photographers in Namibia.

See more ideas for Photography holidays in Namibia

Children

Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are welcome.

Property’s age restrictions: None

Special activities & services: None

Equipment: The sofas in the chalets convert to small single beds for younger children, and an additional single bed can be added for a family of four. For even younger children, cots are available on request.

Notes: The pool is unfenced and unguarded and the walkways are raised, so children should be supervised at all times.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Generator

Communications: There are no phones in the chalets. There is cellphone reception at the lodge but it varies; in the dune-side chalets the signal is much weaker than in the chalets facing the canyon.

TV & radio: There is a TV in the lodge bar.

Water supply: Borehole

Water supply notes: All the bathrooms have flushing toilets and plumbed-in showers.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: No

Medical care: The closest doctor or hospital is in Mariental but there is an airstrip at the lodge for evacuation to Windhoek in case of emergency. The lodge has a good first-aid kit.

Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk

Security measures: 24-hour security

Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in all the chalets and main areas.

Extras

Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: A laundry service is available at an extra charge.

Money: Currency exchange is not possible.

Accepted payment on location: Cash in Namibian dollars and South African rand are accepted along with Visa and MasterCard at no additional charge. Travellers' cheques are not accepted.