Sleep under the starts at Namib Dune Star Camp

Posted by Melanie van Zyl on 29 August 2018 Tags:

After camping, sometimes you need a bit of spoiling. Leave the Namib-Naukluft Park and turn left onto the D854. At the T-junction take another left onto the C14 to Solitaire, an eccentric desert ‘town’. Pop into the bakery for a treat (the apple pie is famous), and then take one more left onto the C19 and drive in the direction of Sesriem. Just 35 kilometres later, you’ll arrive at Namib Desert Lodge.

 

Wheel out your bed and fall asleep under a twinkling sky at Namib Dune Star Camp

 

The lodge’s satellite camp, the Namib Dune Star Camp, is an intimate collection of nine cabins spread over red dunes, with exceptional views across plains and rugged mountains. In the late afternoon, before the sky turns on its spectacular pantomime of stars, a game vehicle transfers guests past petrified sand dunes and loping gemsbok to the camp, perched on a sandy plateau.

Spend the final hours of daylight on an easy stroll with the camp guide to learn about desert critters, such as the waxy toktokkie beetle, a vitamin C-orange lizard and ants that let sand cling to them for camouflage. Sundowners are served on the deck, followed by a three-course dinner (likely to feature oryx steak, which Namibians do best) and delectable desserts. Unless it’s too windy, after dinner you can try scorpion hunting for two different species found in the area that light up under UV light.

 

Image by Melanie van Zyl

 

Although simply decorated, each cabin has a pivotal feature: a sumptuous double bed designed to be wheeled out onto the deck for a night below a ceiling of stars. Despite the breeze, you’ll be pretty cosy under the fluffy duvet and blanket, as you drift off to sleep beneath the Milky Way.

Coffee is brought to your cabin in the morning, but if you’re not one for lounging in bed, set out an hour before sunrise for one last walk to see where golden moles have burrowed and, if you’re lucky, a pale palmato gecko or two before watching the sun rise over rosy dunes. By 7.30am, it’s all over and time to head back to the main lodge for a buffet breakfast.

 

Image by Melanie van Zyl

 

Cost

The best thing about staying here is you get an exclusive experience on a South African-friendly budget, if you have a SADC Gondwana Card (R250; buy it online). With this discount, a stay here costs from R1 068 per person sharing B&B. Dinner is R220 per person.