NamibiaThe Skyscraping Dunes of Namibia
Measured by sheer sandy drama, the Namib is the monarch of earthly deserts. Its stupendous dunes-rising from the desert like tsunamis poised to break- are the highest on earth; they could look the Empire State Building straight in the eye. This short, exhilarating Namibian jaunt is easily arranged as an extension for any of our Southern African safaris, or, for that matter, any of our African journeys.
DAY 1 Arrive Windhoek
We’ll be met at Hosea International Airport and taken on a tour of surprisingly charming, mile-high Windhoek, and after lunch in the city we’ll head over to the Olive Exclusive, a delightful boutique hotel that pays homage to Namibia’s regions in each of its uniquely designed suites.
DAY 2 & 3 Sossusvlei
A short, scenically splendid flight delivers us to the Namib’s epitome: the salt pans and sand mountains of Sossusvlei and our elegant stone-and-glass villas at the Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (amongst much luxurious else, the lodge has its own high-powered telescope, and its resident astronomer will help us roam the cosmos that shines down on Africa’s only International Dark Sky Reserve). Or you may choose to base yourself at comfortably chic Kwessi Dunes—whose cathedral-height thatched roofs and fine cuisine provide both deep relaxation and an enviable air of cool.
We’ll spend the next couple of days exploring Sossusvlei’s dunes and visiting the waterholes that support its desert-adapted animals – regal oryx, springboks, ostriches, foxes and leopards are just a few of them- marvelling at the deep gorge of Sesriem Canyon, perhaps taking an optional hot-air balloon ride or a guided desert walk. Sossusvlei is often described as a photographer’s heaven, which it wonderfully is, but it’s also stunningly elemental, vastly tranquil, and a joyful place to experience a gorgeous slice of eternity.
After a dawn breakfast, we’ll take our last nature drive (“The early morning hour was always wonderful,” wrote Henno Martin in The Sheltering Desert, with the rising sun “throwing long blue shadows over the desert like windslab over snow.”). Then we’ll wing back to Windhoek and flights homeward.