I’ve been smitten with Namibia ever since our visit last August. I’ve been so tempted to write about the boutique sustainable lodge we used in the Namib desert. But I’ve been resisting the urge to write about Sossus Dune eco-lodge. After all, who writes about a hotel! More so, who writes about a government-owned and run lodge! But this one is special. It’s a destination and an experience in its own right. So, here it is for you to decide if it’s worthy of a blog post.
Sossus Dune Eco Lodge in Namibia is a fine example of sustainable tourism in gorgeous Sossusvlei. The architecture of Sossus Dune Lodge is inspired by an African village setting and is built with local materials like wood, thatch, canvas, and stones. Although Sossus Dune Lodge looks like an Afro-village from the outside and it fits naturally in the Namib-Naukluft National Park, it has all modern amenities for a traveler to experience the wonders of Namibia in leasurely comfort.
We stayed in Sossus Dune Lodge as part of our 5-day trip to Namibia which was part of our 14-day trip through Southern Africa. The drive from Windhoek to Namib-Naukluft National Park was long and rough, but the friendly staff at the entrance made us smile. We couldn’t wait to go further into the national park.
Sossus Dune Lodge has 25 units, 13 on one side and 12 on the other side with a common area in the middle. The 25 units fill up months in advance, even in the off-season.
We stayed in one of the units on the far left. In the cold winter nights, it may have been more convenient to be closer to the restaurant. The units farthest from the center are the honeymoon suites with a few special arrangements.
The car parking is a bit far from the lodge. In the picture above, there is a small red hill on the extreme right. The car parking is to the right of that hill, while the lodge is to the left. The National Park staff is always at hand to give a ride (and carry luggage) between the lodge and the parking area. The drive is a good opportunity to chat with the locals.
The reception desk can answer questions, give directions and arrange for guided private tours in the national park. However, the staff lives outside the national park because there is no housing in the park. I loved the collection of books about Namibia in the little library. I wish I had more time to read them all.
Home in the Namib Desert
The Sossus dune lodge is built with utmost care and respect for nature. As you’ve noticed by now, the entire lodge is built on raised wooden platforms to allow for stones, water, animals and plants life to move and grow freely.
I watched the desert for hours as the light and colors changed with the sun.
The patio in every unit is perfect for soaking the winter sunshine, watching the desert sunset, or stargazing the desert sky. I had read that many monkeys visit the patio and can be a nuisance. We only say a wild dog at a distance and no wildlife came close to the rooms during our stay.
Enjoys this short video tour of the Sossue Dune Lodge –
Vegetarian Food in the Desert
Namib-Naukluft National Park as a whole has extremely few dining options, so we planned ahead and carried food from home that supplemented with fresh produce and bread from Windhoek.
At Sesriem entrance of the national park, we checked the few eating places for vegetarian options, but I didn’t see any half decent choices.
Sousse Dune Lodge offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the restaurant. The lodge kitchen prepares fresh meals in the structure behind the restaurant on the hill. The kitchen was able to customize our meals to a great extent.
Each morning, the kitchen prepares a full continental breakfast with traditional African additions. The buffet doesn’t have many vegan options but the chef created some hot dishes for me. The kitchen can also pack breakfast-to-go if you’re going for a sunrise hike. Breakfast was included but the other meals were not.
We had lunches on our own from the ingredients we carried from home and from Windhoek so we didn’t really check the lunch options.
For dinner, the restaurant served a set-meal with multiple courses for about $35. They do a very good job with the food and the excellent service. They made a delicious vegetarian meal but didn’t have a vegan option for the main course.
Sunset in Sossus Dune Lodge
Here is a short video we took from the deck of our room. The hyperlapse of 1.5min represents the sunset that lasted over 30min.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions we had or wish we knew to ask. I’m sure you’ll find them useful.
We visited Namibia during their winter, in early August. It was cold at night but the sunny days were very pleasant. We stayed out in the desert all day and it was wonderful weather. The staff at the lodge said that most of the year is very hot in Namib. They said that visitors generally step out for sunrise and sunset but stay in the lodge between 10 am and 5 pm under the ceiling fans.
There are many beautiful lodges and campsites in Sossusvlei. However, if want to be on the dunes to see the sun rising or late enough to see the sunset, you need to stay inside the Namib-Naukuluft National Park. The only accommodations inside the national park are Sossus Dune lodge and Sesriem campsite at the park entrance.
Sossus Dune Lodge is significantly more expensive than other accommodations near Sossusvlei area. But, if you want to get to the dunes to see the sun rising or stay until after the sun sets, it is only possible if you’re staying in Sossus Dune Lodge or in the Sesriem campsite within the Namib-Naukluft National Park. If you’re in Sossusvlei for the dunes and photography, then its totally worth it.
With the sparse population and few sources of light pollution, Namibia is one the best places on the plant for stargazing. Stargazing is particularly amazing in Sossusvlei because the desert is completely empty. The best place to stargaze are from the comfort of the Sossus Dune Lodge sitting area or in the desert or in Deadvlei.
Sossus dune lodge did not have heaters as of August 2019. It was cold during our stay so the staff provided extra blankets and hot packs to warm the bed. The staff said that it was very rare to have such cold weather so they love it when it gets cold.
The rooms in Sossus Dune eco-lodge have ceiling fans and the ceiling is designed to despite the heat at the top.
There are limited food options within the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The Sesrium entrance has a few choices and the restaurant in Sossus Dune lodge is nice, but they have few vegan choices. Read above for more details.Resorts outside the national park may have additional options.
The lodge contact can be found on the Namibian Wildlife Resorts website.
As of 2019, the phone numbers are +264 63 693 258 and +264 63 693 257
- Our photo gallery from Namibia
- 5 days in Namibia’s Namib-Naukluft National Park
- 14-day itinerary of Southern Africa
- Expert Africa review
- Namibian Wildlife Resorts
- Villages in the Thar Desert
- Dunes of Rajasthan
Its a Wrap
Have you visited Namibia? What was your experience?
Would you visit Sossus Dune Lodge? Is it worth it for you?