Review: The Sossus Dune Lodge, Sossusvlei, Sesriem, Namibia


We had a really special stay at the Sossus Dune Lodge in Sossusvlei, Sesriem Nambia at an eco-lodge located in the middle of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The Lodge offered private and comfortable accommodations with world class views, making this lodge highly recommended on travels to Sossusvlei, Namibia.

This post is one chapter on our trip to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mauritius and the United Arab Emirates. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines AAdvantage & Alaska Mileage Plan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: The Sossus Dune Lodge, Sossusvlei, Sesriem, Namibia

“The Sossus Dune Lodge provided excellent eco lodge accommodations with world class views, and an unbeatable location inside the Namib-Naukluft National Park; affording earlier access to the Sossusvlei Sand Dunes”

About the Sossus Dune Lodge:

The primary advantage to the Sossus Dune Lodge is that it is located within the Namib Naukluft National Park. This allows travellers a head start on sunrise activities in the park, since they can start travelling within the park before the park gates officially open to other visitors outside of the gates. It also allows travellers to return after sunset, and avoid being “locked in” the park.

And now for the story on how we ended up here. . . One of my high school graduating class acquaintances moved on from Vancouver, Canada to London in the United Kingdom and is now a writer / editor for Lonely Planet. He had recently edited the Lonely Planet contributions to Namibia so I of course turned to him for recommendations on what to do in Namibia on a 5 day stay. His first recommendation was to stay at the Sossus Dune Lodge. Having used Lonely Planet guides for the better part of twenty years of travel, I took this as sound advice. It turned out he wasn’t wrong and I’d highly recommend this place and location for your stay in Sossusvlei.

How we Booked:

When it came time to booking the Sossus Dune Lodge, I found that it was quite heavily booked on weekends up to 3 months in advance. We had to adjust our dates to stay on a Thursday and Friday night, leaving Cape Town earlier than we would have liked, in order to get it in.

At the time of this trip, booking accommodation in Namibia was horribly out in pace with the rest of the world. I had an easier time booking accommodations in Myanmar in 2010 when it was a closed society under worldwide sanctions. Most of the booking in Namibia is off line, meaning that properties have websites, with dumb portals that don’t offer any real time information. You have to email the property, work out availability and a rate, then email payment or a wire transfer which is usually run by a third party web pirate. Most of the typical online e-commerce portals that exist with every other hotel chain or travel booking website don’t seem to exist yet in Namibia.

In this case, we emailed the property and obtained availability and a rate (not posted online) through their travel agency. The experience was time consuming. It started with the emailed presentation of an invoice (which happened to be at the wrong rate). I was then directed to an independent online payment web transfer site. I initiated the payment, which was promptly declined by my credit card bank. After 3 attempts, and 3 calls to my Mastercard credit card issuer, whom insisted to me that these were “high risk” websites, I proceeded through several interrogations by the credit card company: “Sir, may I ask if you are gambling online? May I ask have you been solicited for funds by a party that you don’t know? Did you seek out the website or did they seek you out?” Of course, the receiving travel agency rejected the final payment of the invoice, misplacing the invoice believing it was a the wrong rate since they hadn’t kept their records in order previously presenting the incorrect rate for the invoice. After about 8 back and forth emails, 90 minutes of credit card hold and bank interrogation time, we appeared to have been booked. Did I mention that these purchases also get charged as a “cash advance” in this manner ? It takes a bit of effort to stay on top of all of it. I printed off all receipts in advance to bring along with us to be safe.

We travelled overland from Windhoek to Sesriem by rental bakkie / truck, arriving to the Sossus Dune Lodge.

Arriving to the Sossus Dune Lodge:

Getting back to the trip, there was no one there to meet us at all from the parking lot so we parked out car and headed up the trail towards the main building. It was a pretty neat and cool first impression with individual huts set into the bank of a slope.

Arriving to the Sossus Dune Lodge
Approaching the Sossus Dune Lodge

All the rooms at the Sossus Dune Lodge are private stand alone villas, with thatched roof buildings. They each have their own private bedroom, sunrise or sunset facing deck, integrated bathroom with flowing water and a dressing area and closet area.

The villas, or units (villas may be a bit of a stretch) are all attached to the mail building by using elevated walkways. We checked in (I had to print a printed voucher from the travel agency in a very old school manner) and we had our bags helped down by a man who had loaded them up from our truck in the parking lot.

Walkways to Individual Chalets
Sunrise Villas
The Chalets at Sossus Dune Lodge
Cool Elevated Walkways

The Room: A Spacious Chalet

The rooms were fairly nicely appointed, a solid 3.5 star stretching onto a 4 star territory. There were a few torn sheets and a few missing amenities (no drinking cups in the bathroom here). Surprisingly, for a hotel in the middle of the desert and likely short on water, the in room showers were among the best that we’d had on this entire trip.

Our Villa
Sleeping Arrangements: Two Singles Pushed Together
A Large Room with Seating Areas
A Double Vanity Sink
A Water Closet and Stand Up Shower
The Interior Bathroom

Around the Property:

An Outdoor Pool

Around the property, there was also a small swimming pool and sun bathing area for when the sand dunes got to be too much. While the pool was small, recognizing that we were in the desert in an eco lodge, I wasn’t expecting grand infinity pools.

Heading Out to Explore
An African Swimming Pool
Outdoor Dining Space

African Sunsets at the Sossus Dune Lodge:

We settled in after our arrival and set up the room. Each room has a small outdoor deck that faces the tundra. We opted for another African Sunset and split a bottle of Protea Rose from Cape Town that MrsWT73 had arranged to bring with us on the attached out door deck over looking some terrific desert tundra sunset views. An African Sunset is one of live’s most special experiences and something that you don’t get the opportunity to experience every day.

The Sun Retreating on a Beautiful Day
Our Outdoor Deck Space
A Fair Amount of Privacy Between Chalets
Views from the African Tundra
Peaceful Sunsets
A Sparse Space
Tranquil Evening Light
Appreciating the Views
Unreal Light

The Food:

Our booking arrangement at the Sossus Dune Lodge was on a half board basis. We had dinner up at the main dinner hall, which was situated outside on the deck this fine evening. The dinner hours on our visit were 6-8 PM. There was only the choice of pork loin or beef steak with German themed homemade spatezel, blanched broccoli and boiled potatoes. The steaks were a little tough but, hey, we were miles from anywhere. I didn’t have any complaints with the food, although it was more on the camping side than on the fine dining side.

We arrived back to our room to find it wonderfully turned down and inviting for the evening.

Turn Down Service.

We had a very restful nights sleep here thanks to no television, no wi-fi and no entertainment other than a bar and lounge that wasn’t all to busy at night. It got light at about 6 AM on our visit with light streaming into the hut thanks to the high windows and light curtains. It was a peaceful wake up that occurred naturally in complete silence.

The Bottom Line on the Sossus Dune Lodge :

The place was similar in solitude to some other desolate places that I have stayed at. The Park Hyatt Maldives comes to mind thanks to how remote the Sossus Dune Lodge was. It is nowhere near as elegant or as luxurious; you won’t be having fine food or Reidel wine glass stemware here, but the premise of isolation, tranquility and beauty in an area of beauty comes to easily mind.

If you’ve stayed in Sesriem, Namibia; was the Sossus Dune Lodge your first choice?

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