We drove through the barren Namibian desert roads and endless horizons, following the directions provided by Google Maps. Other vehicles were few and far between, and there was not a soul in sight. The voice on the app indicated that we would be approaching Elegant Desert Lodge soon. We were sceptical. One would not expect to see a lodge in this vast open space. Fortunately, it was correct, and the thatched entrance of the Elegant Desert Lodge appeared like a mirage at the predicted time. It was to be our home for the following two nights. A staff member came out to welcome us and we were given refreshing drinks to cool down.
The stone and thatch lodge is situated on farmland surrounded by gravel plains and the Tsaris Mountains in the distance. It is just 38 km from the Sesriem Gate of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, where you will find the world-renowned salt and clay plans and towering red dunes of Sossusvlei. We took a drive there the following day and discovered what made them one of Namibia’s main attractions.
The well-tended lodge gardens are a welcome splash of green amid the desert sands. Burnt out car wrecks, some holding fresh plants, adorn the grounds in keeping with the desert environment.
Swing beds suspended from the trees and wooden benches provide relaxation areas in the main garden. It was a great place for the children to play too. The swimming pool and sun loungers behind the lodge were very popular in the sweltering heat, with kids and adults alike. They provided a great view of the Namib plains. Resident wildlife, like springboks and oryx can be frequently seen there.
There are twenty-five twin/double rooms and four family rooms at the lodge. We stayed in two adjacent twin rooms as the family rooms were already booked out. The spacious en-suite rooms featured stone floors with white wooden furniture and colourful accessories. The beds were surrounded by mosquito netting. Coffee and tea were provided. Small verandas overlooked the garden or the desert.
Apart from our rooms, our favourite place to relax was the airy open-plan lounge and dining area, where complimentary wi-fi, hot beverages and leisure magazines were available all day. Cake was usually served in the afternoons. Breakfast and three course-dinners were served in the dining area or al fresco, in the abundant outdoor seating, where hearty fires provided warmth on cold nights.
Activities provided by the lodge include guided Sossusvlei excursions, scenic drives, hiking and quad-biking. The lodge has an eco camp seven kilometres away, where guests can sleep in spacious canvas tents surrounded by the beautiful desert scenery. There are sister lodges in Windhoek and Okahandja too.
Elegant Desert Lodge provides a convenient base for exploring Sossusvlei. The surroundings were spectacular, the accommodation comfortable and the staff were attentive. Sheer silence and tranquillity, a relaxed atmosphere and untouched landscapes make this lodge especially unique.
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