Reviews of Sossus Dune Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
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
Wonderful stay at Sossus Dune Lodge
Our stay at Sossus Dune Lodge was very memorable. The staff in the lodge were very polite and friendly. The guest facilities were very well laid out with stunning views over the surrounding desert and dunes. The cottages were very cosy inside.
The nearby Sesriem Canyon located just 15 min. walk from the lodge is a great place for a relaxing stroll. The lodge is a great staging place for visiting the Sossusvlei. The meals were very tasty, although the portions could be slightly bigger.
We did not take part in the activities offered by the lodge, therefore we cannot comment on this aspect of the accommodation.
Sossus Dune Lodge good for photographers
As photographers, wanting the early morning and late afternoon light, this was the place to stay as they offer longer hours in the park, though I must wonder if the Kulala Lodges with their private gate, and location much closer to the dunes, might also be able to provide this service? There were many cars out very early and very late (way more than from Sossus Dune Lodge), possibly from the campground, but the dust cloud rising from the camping area, makes it not very appealing.
Our request for a distant room was not heeded, but given the amount of exercise we had climbing dunes this was maybe a blessing, though the noise from the bar and the clomp-clomping of people on the boardwalk and especially of running children, made only the wee hours of the morning peaceful. Our room did overlook a small lighted waterhole allowing us to watch a few animals stop by to drink.
We found the shuttle service to the parking area to be very good, walking only once when they had a large group arriving. Probably because we planned to tip at the end of our stay--so weren't tipping with every drink and dinner--our dinner service worsened with every night. The food itself was edible, but lacked flavor and texture, making me believe it was all prepackaged or canned. In future, I will try to learn how each camp/lodge operates on arrival, so we can tip accordingly.
When requested the night before, large packed breakfasts are placed on a table available for very early departures.
Whilst at Sossus Dune Lodge these travellers took a scenic helicopter flight over the dunes. Here's what they said about it:
Wow! Standing next to or on the dunes, gives you a feel for their size, but from the air you see just how large the expanse is, and the magnificence of the ever-changing shapes and patterns!
Our pilot was a bit of a hotshot, maybe fun for some the thrill of racing low over the dunes and causing the oryx to run, but not what we desired as photographers or with respect for the thin gemsbok, already stressed with low food and water. So I have really mixed feelings--the aerial perspective is fantastic, but I also feel flights should be banned if they are disrupting the wildlife, especially if it's intentional.
We felt it was not very professional when the pilot showed up for the flight with his booking girl, supposedly for weight and balance. My husband and I mentioned sitting on the same side, hoping the pilot could accommodate us with favorable light, and no mention was made during our preflight meeting that this would be a problem. As it was, he and the girl got the favorable light, and it was difficult to get his attention as he spent his time talking primarily with her.
Fantastic desert location in the park
The lodge was very nice. We have seen some comments about the distance of some rooms from reception. We were in the penultimate lodge, and it really is not an issue (unless you are infirm or very lazy).
It was very windy when we were there, and one minor grumble was that the restaurant door was constantly being opened for staff to bring and clear food, resulting in cold draughts and quite a cold room - it was June and temperatures outside were low single figures in the evenings.
That was the only grumble we had over the two nights we were there.
Being in the park was a great advantage, as we could be at Sossusvlei at sunrise, and also be out at the dunes at sunset - not possible if you stay outside the park.
We did the sunrise trip to Sossusvlei, which was brilliant - the strong winds and blowing sand added positively to the experience! Paulus, our guide, was very knowledgeable, and had a great sense of humour.
Sesreim Canyon was well worth an hour or two.
Finally, being out at the dunes at sunset was delightful.
Sossus dune lodge
Although expensive this is the place to stay if you want to get to sand dunes for early morning photographs as inside the park. Fantastic setting with wonderful views.
Very luxurious accommodation in separate cabins with restaurant int he middle. As other reviewers have mentioned it is a long walk from end to end - nearly a KM on wooden walkway, but could be an issue if you have mobility issues. No real communal area, but you could sit on restaurant terrace, but we found rooms very comfortable to relax in for a few hours in the middle of the day, with nice terrace. Shower is fantastic and very spacious.
Food is good, but heavy on the sauces. Second night we asked for no gravy and that worked well. Service adequate. We drove ourself to dunes, but our friends did morning trip with lodge which they thought was very good. A lot of driving as still 60km to main dune area, although corridor in is also fantastic. We did this twice a day - early morning and mid afternoon. Very comfortable beds and large shower.