As we enter the summer period in the Western Hemisphere, Namibia is doing the opposite, because June in Safari Africa means the start of winter. This marks the perfect time to visit the desert, as visitors can avoid the scorching heat often experienced at the height of the summer months. Namibia is in its dry season, and the country’s limited water sources make for excellent game viewing as the wildlife huddles around scarce available water sources. Below, we have handpicked our top 5 remote and luxurious camps and lodges in Namibia that offer ideal winter desert conditions – staying in any of these properties is an experience like no other!
&Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
To say that this contemporary lodge boasts a high level of extravagance, is most definitely an understatement. No detail has been left unfinished – each of the ten stone-and-glass en-suite rooms fully complements the dramatic desert setting. The Sossusvlei scenery is very peaceful, inviting guests to unwind and reconnect with nature. However, the lodge also offers the incredible experience of hot air ballooning over Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon. And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could consider climbing ‘Big Daddy’, the mammoth red dune offering epic views of Deadvlei clay pan from its top.
Wolwedans Dune Lodge
This property lies within the private NamibRand Nature Reserve, which is made up of red dunes, gravel plains, and granite mountains. At Wolwedans, you can enjoy total privacy in your en-suite wooden chalet. Featuring a stunning bedroom with 360 degree views of the desert, each chalet also has canvas blinds to add to the sense of seclusion, while a private veranda connects you with stretches of unspoilt nature. In the evenings, guests can immerse themselves in the night sky simply by raising the canvas walls and gazing out at the spectacular lightshow. Both game drives in open vehicles and walking safaris are available, so guests can focus on exploring the private reserve and Namibia’s flora and fauna. Other activities include hot air ballooning over the magnificent desert.
Desert Rhino Camp
This remote camp sits amongst the rolling rocky hills of the private Palmwag Concession in Damaraland. Desert Rhino’s guest accommodation consists of eight Meru-style canvas tents, each with a private wooden veranda exhibiting the beautiful views of the Etendeka Mountains. In the concession, guests can participate in one of the finest viewings of black desert rhino, with the option of tracking this rare and endangered species either on foot or within an open vehicle.
Kulala Desert Lodge
This lodge is positioned in a fabulous location, overlooking the dramatic dunes of Sossusvlei. The dunes are one of Namibia’s most visited sites, upholding the title as the world’s tallest sand dunes. In addition to exploring the dunes, guests can go on game drives and walking safaris, both offering opportunities to encounter the country’s elusive desert-adapted wildlife. Set within its own concession with private entry into Sossusvlei, the property has 23 lavish and spacious cabins, known as ‘kulalas’. Each comes equipped with an en-suite bathroom, private veranda, and flat deck on the rooftop for sleep-outs under the night sky.
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
Straddling the northern area of the private Palmwag Concession, this property rests on a broad valley where two streams of the dry Hoanib River meet. The camp fulfils any expectations of remoteness, as the only way of gaining access is by a light aircraft, affording you glorious views right from the beginning of your safari. There are seven large tents and a family unit, each designed to reflect the natural surroundings and benefiting from well-appointed en-suite facilities. Activities here include full-day game drives and nature walks, with the chance of spotting a number of different wildlife species. If you head up as far as the coast, you could enjoy sightings of seals.
Julian Carter-Manning is a Co-founder and MD at Yellow Zebra Safaris. Yellow Zebra Safaris is an award-winning luxury and adventure travel company specialising in ‘Safari Africa’.