Sossusvlei Desert Lodge: Our full report
The luxury Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (formerly known as Sossusvlei Mountain Lodge) is located in the NamibRand ...... Nature Reserve, about half-an-hour's drive from Sesriem. Guests benefit from unspoilt views across the desert from large modern suites, and can participate in a range of activities.
On our visits to Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, most recently in June and October 2016, we have been greeted on arrival by cheery and welcoming staff with cold towels and a refreshing glass of homemade lemonade. Just what we needed after a hot and dusty journey. We have found the service here to be excellent, with friendly staff who seem always willing to help.
Sossusvlei Desert Lodge has ten spacious chalets, each constructed from stone and glass, and decorated in a modern style with soft neutral tones. Each room can be either twin or double, and one can be converted into a triple room. Above each bed is a skylight, which makes the rooms feel light and bright during the day, and at night allows you to stargaze in comfort.
Inside, the split-level rooms have many comforts, including a glass-panelled bathroom, indoor and outdoor showers, air conditioning and well-stocked minibars. Complimentary dried apricots and mixed nuts are also on offer, as is fresh lemon to add to your drinks.
Large photos of the local area adorn the walls, lamps made of driftwood and shells sit on the tables, and ornaments comprising bones, quartz and stylishly shaped wood blend the rugged outdoor landscape with the supreme comfort of the suite.
All the rooms have their own comfortable lounge areas, complete with a central fireplace and sliding glass doors that open on to a couple of terraces, and thence to the desert. One of the terraces is set with sun loungers, the other with a table and chairs – a good spot to peruse your personalised welcome pack or to enjoy the complimentary bottle of sparkling wine that is presented on arrival.
Paints, charcoal sticks, coloured pastels, paper and various paint brushes allow you to transform the surrounding vistas into a personal piece of art.
Sossusvlei Desert Lodge's main area incorporates a bar and lounge with impressive views over the desert. Meals are served in the adjacent dining area, while the air-conditioned wine cellar doubles as a location for private dinners, perfect for anniversaries or honeymooners.
Up a short flight of stairs from the bar and restaurant is a second spacious lounge whose terrace, being higher up, affords more distant views than from downstairs. There's also satellite TV up here, as well as a small selection of books.
In front of the dining area, and slightly lower than the rest of the camp is a circular swimming pool, fed by water from a spring. The pool has fabulous views of the plains and distant mountains, as well as a waterhole where, on our last visit, in October 2016, we spotted oryx, zebra and springbok.
There's a real interest in astronomy at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, which has its own observatory, with a computer-controlled telescope that guests may use. There is even a resident astronomer who can explain the constellations and talk to you about the night sky. The NamibRand is designated as an international dark sky reserve, meaning that there is little or no light pollution and the stars can be seen clearly. To comply with the rules of the reserve, pathways are lit at night with red light (although guests are also given torches).
Activities at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge include excursions to Sossusvlei, guided nature walks, scenic nature drives, an exhilarating quadbiking trip around some local dunes (over 16s only), and a very rewarding if slightly tiring walk to a Bushman cave with rock paintings. (NB: It's essential that you read the Quadbike warning in the 'Health & Safety' section below for our comments on insurance issues regarding this activity.)
On our most recent visit, we thoroughly enjoyed the Sossusvlei excursion, though as the drive to the iconic dunes takes around 1½–2 hours, it involves quite a long time in the vehicle. After an informative trip around Deadvlei and Sossusvlei we settled under the shade of an acacia tree, in the parking area, and our guide prepared a cooked breakfast accompanied by tea, coffee, cereal, yoghurt and muffins.
It is also possible to hike up some of the nearby mountains with a ranger, while guests who would like to go for unguided walks on their own are given a radio. For those looking for something less energetic, the lodge can book massages for you in your own chalet, although these are at extra cost.
Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is a well-designed lodge offering perhaps the ultimate in desert luxury. Along with a lovely setting, beautiful views and a range of activities, it maintains high levels of service and comfort, and is well worth a stay if your budget can stretch to it.
- NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia
- Ideal length of stay
- 2–3 nights
- Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is located on the NamibRand Nature Reserve, and can be accessed along the C27, approx 30 minutes south of Sesriem. Please note that the road surface here can be quite poor, although on our last visit in October 2016 it was fine. Sossusvlei Desert Lodge has its own airstrip and can also be reached by flying in to the nearby Geluk airstrip.
- Accessible by
- Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board & Activities
- Food quality
- On our last stay in October 2016, the food quality and variety was excellent. There is a vegetarian option at all meals.
Breakfast and lunch are served from an à la carte menu at 6.30 –9.30am and 12.30–2.00pm respectively. We had our breakfast cooked at the dunes on our most recent stay, so we did not sample breakfast at the lodge, but for lunch there was a choice of beef kebab, venison steaks, pork schnitzel, stir-fry chicken or falafel with various dips, followed by ice cream or sorbet.
The food provided during our sundowner was also excellent and worth comment where after our quadbiking trip, we were served eland kebabs cooked freshly in front of us, home-made chips and vegetable samosas.
Dinner, served between 6.30pm and 9.30pm,,is a set menu with a choice of two main courses, generally one meat and one fish/vegetarian. Our menu was read to us by the chef and consisted of curried butternut squash soup to start. For main there was a choice of beef with red-wine sauce or kingklip fish with a lemon sauce, both with polenta and mixed vegetables. The meal was beautifully rounded off with a sticky toffee pudding and home-made ice cream.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Room service can be provided on request. Private dinners in the wine cellar can be arranged, perfect for celebrating a special occasion.
- Drinks included
- Included except champagne and premium-brand spirits.
- The red dunes of the NamibRand and Sossusvlei are very romantic. For a memorable honeymoon to Namibia, Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is a perfect choice; enjoy a romantic sleep out under the stars or massages your room for an extra treat.
- See ideas for Honeymoons
- Nestled in the stunning surroundings of the NamibRand Reserve, the opulent Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is the perfect place to spoil yourself. A gym, pool and treatment room make this one of Namibia’s ultimate desert retreats.
- See ideas for Wellbeing
- A personalised welcome pack and a complementary bottle of sparkling wine await you on arrival at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge – a perfect introduction to a luxury safari holiday. Small things such as a painting kit in your room show the lodge’s remarkable attention to detail.
- See ideas for Luxury
- Attitude towards children
- Children are welcome at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge.
- Property’s age restrictions
- There is no age restriction but children under 6 may not participate in all activities.
- Special activities & services
- There is a painting set in each chalet that children can use.
- Generally recommended for children
- Sossusvlei Desert Lodge has a luxurious and adult feel, and we believe that young children would feel out of place here. This, coupled with a lack of entertainment for children, means that we suggest that it would only be suitable for children aged 14+.
- The pool is unfenced, there are some steep stone steps and some large drops around the lodge, so children should be supervised at all times.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- Power supply notes
- There are power sockets in all chalets, but you will need to bring your own adaptor.
- There is no cellphone coverage here but there is WiFi in the main areas. In an emergency there are lodge phones that guests can use.
- TV & radio
- The lodge has a satellite TV in the upstairs lounge.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- The showers are plumbed, the toilets are flush and there is plenty of hot water.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The closest doctor is in Mariental, but in an emergency, patients would be flown to Windhoek.
Quadbike warning: quad-biking is sometimes available as an activity from Sossusvlei Desert 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
- The lodge is in a very remote location, and each chalet is lockable.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers in each room, as well as smoke detectors.
Guided walking safari
Hot air ballooning
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry is included.
- There is a small electronic safe in every chalet for valuables. No currency exchange is available.
- Accepted payment on location
- Card payment may be made via Visa and Mastercard. Alternatively, cash is accepted in Namibian dollars, South African rand, US dollars and euros.
Other lodges in NamibRand Nature Reserve
Alternative places to stay in this same area.