Hidden In Plain Sight – Namibia
Few people can name anywhere they might want to holiday in Namibia, except perhaps the dunes at Sossusvlei and Etosha’s mighty salt pan. Maybe then the remainder of this huge country is a secret, and to a degree that’s true. Namibia still gets far fewer visitors than its neighbours, South Africa and Botswana. Distances are long in Namibia, but it is possible to explore by vehicle as the roads, even those made from graded gravel, are well maintained throughout the country. Some more remote areas are better suited to access using a light aircraft, but whichever way you go you’ll be rewarded with incredible landscapes and unique experiences. Read on to discover a selection of our hidden Namibian favourites.
Not far south of the Sossusvlei Valley, lined by the famous orange dunes, is the Namib-Naukluft National Park with its pastel colours and space as far as the eye can see. Hidden deep within this vast expanse of the Namib Desert is the Soussusvlei Desert Lodge. This architecturally stunning lodge is positioned amongst vast dunes, gravel plains and rocky outcrops, the compelling landscape exudes tranquillity. The clarity of light here offers visitors a nightly stargazing extravaganza. The lodge borders an International Dark Sky Reserve, so you are assured of phenomenal stargazing. The heavenly night skies can be further enhanced by the use of a sophisticated on-site observatory, state-of-the-art computerised telescope and a large stargazing skylight above your bed.
Inspired by the wild and solitary landscape, Shipwreck Lodge and its rooms are cleverly designed to resemble the shipwrecks and whale bones that spread out along the sand dunes of the infamous Skeleton Coast. The lodge is inside the Skeleton Coast National Park and located between the Hoarusib and Hoanib rivers, roughly 70km from Mowe Bay. If you can bear to tear yourself away from the comfort of your quirky cabin and beguiling Atlantic Ocean view, there are numerous activities on offer to further explore this extraordinary area. Explore the Hoarusib River visiting the striking geological formation known as the Clay Castles, looking out for desert-adapted elephant, lion and brown hyena en route. Experience the ‘roaring dunes’ on a guided quad bike drive. Or wander the solitary shore line, a landscape filled with geological history and learn about the fauna and flora adapted to survive in these harsh conditions.
Serra Cafema is set under verdant trees on the banks of the Kunene River looking across to Angola, and is one of the most remote camps in Southern Africa. It’s a great base for exploring one of the planet’s driest deserts. Take a Landrover or quad bike trip in to the sand dunes to experience the breath-taking landscape. Boating on the Kunene River offers the opportunity to venture through the lush waterways, the crocodiles and water birds seem out of place in this surreal, lunar-like landscape. In this isolated area, the Himba people continue their traditional semi-nomadic way of life and, when they are in the area, guests have an opportunity to learn about their lifestyle and customs.
The area may be well known but Camp Sossus is located in the private Namib Tsaris Conservancy between Namibia’s Nubib and Zaris mountains, and is cleverly set in a natural amphitheatre to become almost invisible. Namib Tsaris has gravel plains, mountainous areas, dry river valleys and a large plateau which towers above the desert below. Explore the area on nature walks and wildlife drives or guided mountain biking on the reserve. Star gazing, sleeping out under the stars tucked up in a feather bed on the deck above your room is an experience not to missed here. A photographer’s paradise, the region offers fantastic landscapes and night time photography. Camp Sossus is located just a short drive from the entrance to the Great Namib Sand Sea and magnificent dunes, which has World Heritage Site status.
If this article has inspired you to find our more, we would be delighted to help plan your perfect trip to Namibia.
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