Sossusvlei Lodge: Our full report
Immediately beside the busy entrance gate into the Namib-Naukluft National Park, at Sesriem, the established ...... Sossusvlei Lodge - which underwent extensive remodelling in 2017, is relatively large compared with other lodges in the area.
Guarded by two metal, life-size Bushman sculptures, a towering archway forms the entrance to Sossusvlei Lodge. From here a shaded walkway, lined with plants in large clay pots, leads to a water feature where the Bushman theme continues and figurines mimic a hunt in progress. The lodge itself has been painted in the same rich red tones as the nearby sand dunes, a theme that is evident throughout.
The rich red hues of the main building, which incorporates Sossusvlei Lodge’s restaurant, bar and reception, are broken up by interesting patterns and Bushman art along the walls. At the heart of the building is a large paved patio with views over the desert, and it’s here that breakfast and lunch are usually served. The bar has its own little shaded veranda with a view over a small waterhole that attracts birds, small animals and the occasional oryx – it's a comfortable spot for a sundowner!
Sossusvlei Lodge boasts an inviting large, clear swimming pool, surrounded by paved terracing and well-kept green lawns – though note that the water can be very cold, even on hot days. Large patio umbrellas shade comfortable pool loungers from where you can enjoy an uninterrupted view of the desert. The nearby water tower supports a viewing deck which is reached be a winding staircase. From this height the view of the desert is even more spectacular and the towering dunes can be seen in the distance.
With 51 rooms, including three family units, Sossusvlei Lodge is sizeable by Namibian standards – and is thus popular with tour groups. The main bedroom of each room is a large, walk-in Meru-style tent, whilst the en-suite bathroom is a more solid brick-and-concrete structure. At the front is a private shaded veranda where you can enjoy the views from canvas director's chairs.
A wooden door from the veranda opens into a simple but tastefully decorated room, whose canvas windows can be rolled up to allow a flow of air, while a sewn-in mesh panel keeps out insects. A large print of Bushman art hangs above twin beds with wrought-iron headboards, each made up with white linen and covered with African patterns in the red, orange and brown shades of the surrounding desert. In one corner of the room is a small writing table with two wrought-iron chairs; in the other is a vanity table with a mirror and a stool. Each room also has a luggage rack and a built-in wardrobe with a small safe for any valuables, while the en-suite bathroom has a walk-in shower, a large mirror above the washbasin and a flushing toilet, with basic toiletries provided.
Sossusvlei Lodge has its own adventure centre where you can make bookings for activities. Ideally this should be when you first arrive – especially as many of them require a minimum of four passengers. Options, all at additional cost, include sundowner drives on the surrounding reserve, nature drives, excursions to Sesriem Canyon and Elim Dune or into Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei, quadbiking and scenic flights.
Even though our last visit to Sossusvlei Lodge was short, we found the staff to be friendly and welcoming. We’d expect the lodge to be quite busy during Namibia's peak season (July to October), when many large tour groups will be passing through. However, for more independent travellers who want to remain anonymous, and be left to their own devices, Sossusvlei Lodge's proximity to the gate at Sesriem makes it worthy of our recommendation.
- Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia
- Ideal length of stay
- 2-3 nights
- Sossusvlei Lodge is barely 200m from the Sesriem Gate into the Namib-Naulkluft National Park. This is normally about five hours' drive from Windhoek.
- Accessible by
- Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Half Board
- Food quality
- Although we didn't have time to try the meals at Sossusvlei Lodge during our last visit, in June 2016, we have on previous occasions been impressed by the breakfast spread. An extensive buffet offers a delicious selection from a choice of yoghurts to various cereals, dried or fresh fruit to pancakes and cold meats to numerous cheeses. Added to this is the option of a hot breakfast including bacon, sausages and eggs. It was one of the largest breakfast layouts that we'd come across in Namibia.
Lunch and dinner are also served as buffets with a large selection of salads and breads complementing the main meals. In the evening a braii is often set up in the main courtyard formin and integral part of dinner. To round off the meal there is always a great selection of cakes and fruits.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Limited, on request.
- Drinks included
- No drinks are included.
We are told that the tap water is safe to drink.
- Family holidays
- Sossusvlei Lodge is conveniently located for access to the iconic dunes at Sossusvlei and Deadvlei. The lodge has a family friendly atmosphere and dedicated activity centre to keep children of all ages occupied on a safari in Namibia.
- See ideas for Family holidays
- Photography holidays
- The desert and dunes surrounding Sossusvlei Lodge are superb landscapes for photography in Namibia. For guests at the lodge it is relatively easy to make two trips into the dunes on one day: one for the early-morning light, and another to catch the late-afternoon sun.
- See ideas for Photography holidays
- Attitude towards children
- Sossusvlei Lodge is a child-friendly lodge.
- Property’s age restrictions
- No age restrictions
- Special activities & services
- Cots and high chairs can be provided.
- Generally recommended for children
- Yes, but see ‘Notes’ below.
- Like many desert locations, the swimming pool here can be exceptionally cold even on days when the air temperature is warm. Parents should always closely supervise their children when using this pool – and never allow any diving into it. The high water tower here is often used for views; for safety reasons we recommend against children going up there at all.
- Power supply notes
- There is a back-up generator in case of a mains failure.
- There is a central phone and cellphone reception. WiFi is available in the main area.
- TV & radio
- There is one large satellite TV in the main guest area.
- Water supply
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- A first-aid kit is on hand, and some staff have been trained to administer first aid. For serious medical emergencies, guests would be air-lifted to Windhoek.
Quadbike warning: quad-biking is sometimes available as an activity from Sossusvlei Lodge. 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
- Staff are on duty 24 hours both in reception and patrolling the property.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers in each tent, which are regularly serviced.
Hot air ballooning
- Disabled access
- In Place
- Laundry facilities
- There is a full laundry service here, which is available to guests at an extra charge.
- The lodge has money-exchange facilities for foreign currencies.
Each of the rooms has a safe.
The main area has a cash machine.
- Accepted payment on location
- Most main international forms of currency and cards are accepted, excluding Diners and AmEx.
Other lodges in Namib-Naukluft National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Kulala Desert Lodge
The comfortable Kulala Desert Lodge offers fantastic views of the Namib and a private gate to the Namib-Naukluft Park - a bonus on guided excursions.
BullsPort Lodge & Farm
A traditional Namibian farm, BullsPort offers warm hospitality and a genuine rural experience, with excellent hiking and horseriding.
Hoodia Desert Lodge
The owner-run Hoodia Desert Lodge offers a high standard of accommodation, delicious food and excellent service in a stunning, peaceful setting just 22km from Sesriem.
Sossus Dune Lodge
One of only two properties inside the Namib Naukluft Park, Sossus Dune Lodge has a superb location, for visiting the dunes.
With great-value accommodation in a lovely setting, Desert Homestead is a great base for exploring Sossusvlei.
Zebra River Lodge
Zebra River Lodge offers a range of hikes around the Tsaris Mountains from a comfortable and homely base.
A high-end lodge with spectacular views, Little Kulala, makes a great base for visits to Sossusvlei or a balloon ride over the Desert.
The igloo-style chalets at Rostock Ritz offer exceptional desert views and make a convenient stopover between Swakopmund & Sossusvlei.
Barkhan Dune Retreat
Barkhan Dune Retreat is a welcoming lodge close to the impressive Spreetshoogte Pass, majors on hiking and relaxation.
About 30km from the gate to Sossusveli, Namib Outpost is a great base for exploring the dunes and surrounding attractions.
Desert Camp is an economical option for independent travellers who want to self-cater, and is well situated for access to Sossusvlei.
Dead Valley Lodge
Dead Valley Lodge is inside the Namib-Naukluft National Park, affording guests almost unprecedented access to the dunes.
Desert Quiver Camp
Desert Quiver Camp is an economical option self-catering, well located for access to Sossusvlei.
Corona Guest Farm
In central Namibia, north-east of the Namib-Naukluft, Corona Guest Farm offers a traditional farm stay and rugged hiking.
Elegant Desert Lodge
Elegant Desert Lodge can be used as a base to visit Sossusvlei. It offers comfortable accommodation and facilities in the desert.
Namib Naukluft Lodge
Namib Naukluft Lodge offers clean, comfortable rooms with pretty views, although it's 60km from the Sesriem Gate into the Namib-Naukluft Park.
Le Mirage Lodge
Le Mirage Resort and Spa offers accommodation and a range of massage and beauty treatments in a Moroccan-style building in the desert.
Namib Desert Lodge
Namib Desert Lodge is a good budget option in the Namib-Naukluft although, it is further from Sossusvlei than we'd typically suggest.
Solitaire Country Lodge
Solitaire Country Lodge is a good stop-off on the way to Sossusvlei and can be used as a base to explore the Naukluft Mountains.
Desert Hills Camp
Conveniently located for the renowned dunes of Sossusvlei Desert Hills Glamping Camp offers a simple but comfortable tents in picturesque surroundings.
Away from the hustle and bustle of the area immediately surrounding Sossussvlei, Sonop offers a luxurious stay in a remote part of the Namib Desert.
A stylish offering giving access to the famous dunes in the Namib-Naukluft National Park as well as to activities on a private nature reserve.
Camp Sossus is a offers top notch guiding in a remote wilderness area of the Naukluft Mountains with easy access to the famous dunes of Sossusvlei.
Designed to emulate the appearance of a sociable weaver nest the opulent Nest at Sossus is arguably the most exclusive private property in the Sossuvlei area.