Reviews of Sossus Dune Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Great location and lodge
Being within the national park makes this a place you have to stay simply because it allows you to watch the sunrise and the sunset without having to rush off before the sun actually sets and rises. The lodges are clean and creatively laid out, with a large bedroom, bathroom and loungers that look out on to the national park that you can take out on to the deck for star gazing (i have never seen so many stars, the night sky is incredible here).
A couple of gripes, our lodge was right at the end of the walkway, which made it a good 5 minute walk from the breakfast room and our safe was broken so we had to lug our valuables around everywhere. There was also a mix up with our evening meal where Expert Africa had written down that we had paid for DBB but Sossus Dune Lodge only had us down for breakfast so it was an unexpected expense.
The pool was lovely and looked idyllic but again a bit too cold for us!
Sossus Dune Lodge review
In terms of pure character and beauty, this lodge can't be beat. The combination of rustic hut construction, and modern furniture and amenities is unexpected and breathtaking. Just to step out on the deck of a chalet at night and look up at the most dazzling night sky you've seen in your life is in itself a worthwhile experience. There are water holes just feet from the chalet, and wildlife is constantly hanging out around them. It's a 10 minute walk to Sesriem canyon, where you can take a guided walk, or hike independently. The lodge also offers sunrise tours to Soussusvlei, which are an absolute must, and were a definite highlight of the trip for us. Dinner options are limited, but what they do serve is very good, and advance requests are accommodated. This is the perfect place to stay in the Namib-Naukluft park to take advantage of all of its offerings.
There are a few caveats that come with staying here though. Perhaps because it's an ecolodge and doesn't have the best utilities infrastructure, but we did have a few issues. For one, our toilet didn't work. We did have maintenance come out to fix it soon after our arrival, but after one flush it broke again. So for two days we had to use the pool area toilets (which were a hike from our chalet). On the day we took the sunrise tour, when we got our wake-up knock at 4 30 am, we realized we didn't have power in the chalet. So we had to get ready in the dark. And when I say dark, I mean DARK, like zero lumens, stick a fork in your eye, pitch black dark. Just to grope around to find our phones for some light took 5 minutes. At first we thought it was a power outage at the lodge, but once we stepped outside, we saw it was just our chalet that didn't have power (lucky number 15). There is no heat or AC option either (aside from a fan), so whatever temp it is outside, is what you get inside.
Frankly we took these things in stride, because, although annoying, they weren't enough to dampen our experience, which was otherwise fantastic. What was more off-putting, was their tour manager. When you arrive, you get a welcome briefing by one of their tour managers, and the one we got was unpleasant. Yes, we managed to find the one unpleasant Namibian in the entire country, and she works at Soussus Dune lodge. She seemed genuinely uninterested in helping us or answering questions, mumbled quietly in half-sentences and avoided eye contact the whole time we talked to her. We didn't book anything with her. And she really was the only one with that attitude among all the other wonderful staff, so I'm not lowering my service rating because of one bad apple. Later we heard another tour manager giving a welcome spiel to a group of new arrivals, and he was so thorough, informative and approachable that we asked to book the sunrise tour with him. The tour itself was fantastic. The two guides we had were so obviously passionate about the place, took time to answer questions, engaged the group by asking questions of their own, and served an amazing picnic breakfast at the end. Watching the sun rise over those dunes while standing on top of one was a really poignant moment.
Overall, despite those few negative moments, it was still a really incredible place to spend a couple of days. Very different, exotic, beautiful, and peaceful. I just hope that the management not get complacent by counting on the lodge's attributes to do all the work, and focus on working out the kinks.
Mixed feelings about Sossus Dune Lodge
There is no doubt there is a great advantage being in the Park and the site is well located. The accommodation is well designed and equipped. However two minor problems with the room did not receive sufficient attention. Staff and attitude in the restaurant were below what we have come to expect in Namibia. We had the feeling management were unconcerned.
Two members of staff stood out way above the trend-our guide "Semi" who was brilliant and full of infectious enthusiasm and the porter who was exceptionally alert and attentive.
Breathtaking views and ideal for dunes
Wonderful. Breath taking views and great location for the dunes. Early morning trip took us to the dunes way ahead of the crowds.
Lovely setting for dinner and good food, including best eland steak in Namibia! (A few more vegetables might have been nice, we were not quite adapted to the high meat Namibian diet!)
Magical experience at Sossus Dune Lodge
The location inside the Namib-Naukluluft is wonderful. The chalets are well-appointed and comfortable and have a lovely view over the desert. One of the chalets of our party had no hot water on the second day but the other two chalets had no problems at all.
We ate on the terrace of the dining area under the stars.
On the first evening we drove ourselves to Dune 45 to watch the sun setting. We were the only 4 people there. It was a beautiful sight in the silent desert. The next morning we joined a drive to Sossusvlei to watch the sun rise over the dunes, a magical experience. It was rounded off by breakfast under a tree. The guide, Stephen, had laid it out most beautifully, even including a tablecloth.
Our only criticism was the odd requirement to pay for each days' expenses at the end of that day, rather than at the stay as happened everywhere else. This was a nuisance especially since dinner was not included.
Don't stay anywhere else
If you are visiting the NP to view sunrise from the top of a big sand dune, don't stay anywhere else. Being the only lodge in the park, you start the 45 minute drive to Sossusvlei well before anybody else - and can enjoy the silence and beauty without the masses.
After some deliberation we decided to take the lodge-provided guided sunrise tour, and not our own 4X4, and this turned out to be the only right choice. You will struggle in the dark of the night to navigate the mull sand and if you are lucky tot to get stuck, find the right dune to climb on your own - as you will be the first. The lodge is government run (NWR) so don't expect 5 star luxury, but indulge in the trillion starred night.
The location is beautiful, and huts spacious and private, and the food was, surprisingly, better than in some supposedly more upmarket, privately owned lodges.
Sossus Dune Lodge review
A beautifully designed lodge with large individual chalets.
The manager and staff were very friendly and helpful. Where they fell down, was on delivering evening meals to the table whilst they were still hot. Clearly, a big timing problem between the kitchen and the serving staff, as both nights we were there, all four of our party had luke warm food. Although at breakfast, (maybe not so much pressure on the staff) they managed to serve the food hot.
All NWR resorts now give you a notice on arrival that any card transaction have to be done by yourself and you are not to give your card to any member of staff or let it out of your sight. They are making an effort to stop card skimmimg.
Sunrise in the dunes - unforgettable!
Our first experience of Namibia and one we will never forget. Sossus Dune Lodge is in a great location and the quirky huts were fun to stay in. Meals fairly basic to be honest and not much choice, but we were there primarily for the scenery.
Enjoyed an excellent walk to nearby Sesriem Canyon in the evening sunshine. Learned about the local wildlife from the large animals and the consistency of their dung, right down to a small beetle that protects itself by withdrawing into it's shell and 'playing dead'. Owls and vultures swooped overhead and butterflies fluttered around the bushes. It felt like a film set!
A 5am start on one morning enabled us to be the first to drive into the dunes. Our footprints were the first to be made that morning as we climbed 'Big Daddy' dune and watched the sun rise - an amazing experience. Like a Martian landscape with the breeze lifting the bright orange sand into the air around us. Ran down the dunes to 'Deadvlei' - yes the place all the tourists visit and photograph, but a truely striking and atmospheric place.
Our guide Samuel (Sami), looked after us brilliantly throughout our stay and on all the activities - he was polite, charming & knowledable, helping us to get the most out of each experience. Thank you!
Whilst at Sossus Dune Lodge these travellers undertook a dawn balloon flight. Here's what they said about it:
Slightly apprehensive before this trip as not brilliant with heights, but so glad we did it and would urge anyone to do the same - there is no better location in the world!
The gas burners fire for a few seconds to give sufficient lift then off slowly into the dawn sky. Eerily quiet as we peered down onto the dunes below for a flight lasting about an hour. Other balloons depart at a similar time so there are some fantastic photo opportunities for colourfull baloons sweeping across the orange dunes.
We'd been briefed on the positions to adopt for a bumpy landing, but in the end it was incredibly smooth. Our pilot Marnie was obviously very experienced, and we skimmed the sand for a few seconds before coming to a halt.
Then it was a quick jeep ride to the foot of a dune where an enourmous breakfast was laid out on trestle tables. Coffee, champagene, fruit and even tried zebra meat!
Sossus Dune Lodge review
The only place to stay if you want to catch the sunrise at the dunes early and take photos of Dead Vlei without the crowds. We did the sunrise tour with Sharpaka, a very helpful, knowledgeable guide. It had been very windy overnight and remained so which meant we came back for breakfast rather than having it on the dunes.
Trips to Elim dune, Sesriem Gorge and Dune 40 and 45 at sunset were easy to do on our own.
We parked in the 2wd car park and never had a problem with being taken in their vehicle to or from the car park.
Have rated food as average in comparison to other places we stayed, oryx steak excellent though.
There is no internet access here but there is an internet cafe at Oasis Garage outside the park.
Sossus Dune Lodge review
The Sossus Dune Lodge is just beautiful with each cabin having incredible views. The staff were very helpful.Read more about the whole safari