The gun-metal grey sky dotted with iridescent stars hover close over the endless deserts, dunes and wild coast of Namibia. Before night falls, the sunsets over a barren and frontier looking land engulf every part of your being.
The wild Skeleton Coast, with its smashing waves and prehistoric coastline will beckon you to its ghost like shores. The endless parched Kalahari shoves it’s eerie presence into your existence. The breathtaking landscape of the Fish River Canyon reminds you that survival is paramount.
The Caprivi Strip offers the best game viewing and prides itself on the Okavango Delta waters running through its arid landscape. The Etosha National Park will leave you startled with its mirage like setting and big cat predators sprinting through the open plains. Damaraland, with its basalt rock like intrusions and unforgiving rocky landscape will leave you clambering for more of Namibia.
The best way to explore Namibia is to try and experience a fraction of each area mentioned above. If you don’t have the time and you’re bound by a ridiculous non-African time schedule, then pick and choose a few destinations from the list below.
Without further ado, here are our top 5 most exquisite lodges in Namibia.
Etosha National Park
Congregations of wildlife flock to the national park, which is a hotspot for big game, cats, plains game and a plethora of birdlife. The vegetation is diverse, providing an array of habitats ideal for a variety of game. There is a huge dried up waterhole in the park, which seems to be a central location point for animals.
Floodlit waterholes are dotted throughout Etosha’s white sandy areas and open plains. Animals covered in fine white sand approaching glimmering waterholes create quite the mirage. Expect to be startled by the sheer drama of this pristine landscape.
We Chose: Mushara Outpost
Mushara Outpost accommodates 16 guests in custom-made tent-like wood and canvas structures which are nestled on the banks of an ancient dry riverbed.
Mushara Outpost is all about old-fashioned hospitality with warm, friendly and personalised service. The lodge’s main house is styled like an old farm house with high walls, corrugated iron roof and a large wrap-around veranda.
The Caprivi Strip is a narrow protrusion of Namibian landscape which appears to jut into Botswana, Angola and Zambia. This narrow strip is prolific with wildlife and offers the best of land and water based game viewing. The Okavango Delta’s panhandle is in the Caprivi strip and the area is surrounded by the Kwando, Chobe, Okavango and Zambezi rivers. It’s an unspoilt paradise offering a complete mix of Kalahari Sands and tropical waterways.
We Chose: Divava Okavango Lodge and Spa
Located on the banks of the Okavango River, the Divava Okavango Lodge and Spa offers guests a five star experience. There are 20 luxurious chalets, each with their own wooden viewing deck set-up to watch the wildlife show on the banks of the river.
Huge bath tubs and indoor/outdoor showers in the bathrooms are designed to take you right back to the wild. The highlight? The most spectacular spa treatment room overlooking the Okavango River. Watch hippos while you enjoy a Swedish massage!
Sossusvlei is a geographical marvel and is home to dramatic red sand dunes and some of the world’s best sunsets. Sossusvlei is actually a salt and clay pan surrounded by rich flora and high dunes. Wildlife in the area includes jackal, reptiles, antelopes and springboks – mainly wildlife that can survive with little water.
Two of the most famous red sand dunes which have become iconic images of Namibia, include Dune 45 and Big Daddy. Dune 45 is 80 metres high and comprises 5-million-year-old sands. At a whopping 325 metres, Big Daddy is the highest dune in Sossusvlei!
We chose: Wolwedans Private Camp
Wolwedans Private Camp is a secluded gem in the middle of the desert. This is the perfect spot for honeymooners or guests seeking absolute solitude. Private Camp offers six beds with three spacious en-suite rooms, study, living room, a dining area and a fully equipped kitchen.
The entire camp is open-plan and offers uninterrupted views of the surrounds. Scenic drives, flights and even hot air balloon rides can be organised for the duration of your stay.
The Skeleton Coast is a ghostly, eerie section of Namibian coast where you’ll spot tumultuous seas and shores with wild seals. The hinterland comprises rolling dunes and creates a fantastic contrast to the heavy surf of the ocean and dense fog. The local San people have often referred to the Skeleton Coast as the region that “God made in anger”. This is a place of haunting beauty where with bleached whalebones and rusted shipwrecks are dotted along the fine beach sand.
We chose: Serra Cafema
Serra Cafema is in a tiny corner in the extreme north-west of Namibia on the banks of the Kunene River. There are 8 chalets comprising wood, thatch and canvas. Each luxury chalet rests on a raised platform, creating a fantastic vantage point of the surrounding wilderness. As you fall asleep at night you’ll hear the unmistakeable rushing of the rapids on the river.
Damaraland is a rugged landscape littered with rocky outcrops, giant boulders, gorges and crevices. Flat-topped granite koppies rest on open savannahs, home to desert lions, rhino and elephant. The landscape is harsh but the scenery of black rock basalts and ancient rivers with sparsely scattered palm trees. This is the Jurassic landscape, well-worth a visit.
We chose: Mowani Mountain Camp
Mowani Mountain Camp is a unique sanctuary hidden between giant boulders in the Onguma Private Reserve. The prehistoric land surrounding this camp is breathtaking. This eco lodge has huts which have been constructed in a way that looks like it’s an extension of the environment. There are 12 guest tents and 2 suites overlooking the valley. There are plenty of activities in this area. Guests are able to enjoy game drives along ancient, dry riverbeds that reveal a world of wildlife wonder.