Five luxury lodges in Namibia that are worth every penny

Posted by Colleen Blaine on 28 January 2015

For most of us, travelling to Namibia is a combination of hot days on dusty roads with glorious landscapes and a tent. Shared ablutions, ice cold Tafel Lagers around the fire and a piece of gemsbok steak on the braai are every night activities. For some however, travelling to Namibia involves a dust-free collection of luxury lodges, award winning menus and 600 thread-count linen on king size beds.

I was lucky enough to travel to 26 of some of Namibia’s finest luxury lodges on commission and while on the surface things are always very impressive, I decided to look at them a little more critically. All I did, really, was ask myself, “If I was paying R2 500 per person per night for this lodge, how would I feel about this undersized bath towel?” You get the picture.

While all of the lodges were really very impressive, there were a few that stood out. If you ever decided to splash out on that one amazing luxury holiday (start saving now) these are, in my humble opinion, five luxury lodges in Namibia that are worth every penny.

Five of the best luxury lodges in Namibia


$$  – R 1 000 – R 2 000 per person per night sharing
$$$ – R 2 000 – R 5 000 per person per night sharing
$$$$ – more than R 5 000 per person per night sharing


1. The Fort, Onguma

Onguma - The Fort

The Fort, Onguma. Photo by Colleen Blaine.

Sharing the eastern border with Etosha National Park, The Fort is Onguma Game Reserve’s flagship lodge. Moroccan style architecture is enveloped with natural Namibian textures and accented with bright colours and fabrics. You truly get the feeling that you are at the edge of civilisation as you sip your sundowner overlooking the expanse of Fischer’s Pan in the distance. If you are lucky, a lion is drinking from the waterhole just beyond the main lodge. The 13 suites, luxuriously and uniquely appointed, all face out towards the Etosha landscape and are completely private, with large decks and outdoor showers so it’s only the (poor) grazing antelope who might see you in your birthday suit. The staff here are wonderful and dinner out on the main deck, under the stars, is the stuff of luxury travel magazines. $$$
See more of The Fort.
Book now


2. Wolwedans

Wolwedans - Dune Camp

Wolwedans Dune Camp. Photo by Colleen Blaine.

Wolwedans consists of four camps spread out amongst the striking dunes of the NamibRand Nature Reserve. Dune camp, perched along the ridge of a 250 metre high dune, has lavish tents with wide decks and luxurious interiors facing the desert landscape and mountains. This lodge has been held in high regard for its eco-tourist approach and the ethos with which the camps operate. What I loved the most about this lodge, apart from the obvious luxury and eight-hour breathtaking desert game drive, was the fresh organic greens from the surprising vegetable gardens that graced their five star menu. If you go there, try and get to Boulder’s Camp – it’s the newest in their portfolio. $$$
See more of Wolwedans Camps.


3. &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge

&Beyond Sossuvlei Desert Lodge

&Beyond Sossuvlei Desert Lodge. Photo by Colleen Blaine.

This is the kind of lodge you get the opportunity to visit maybe once in a lifetime. To say the view was magnificent and the lodge luxurious is an understatement. With close attention to detail and the right amount of opulence, Sossuvlei Desert Lodge balances absolute luxury and minimal impact with supreme style. The almost over-sized suites will make you feel like the president of a country and the outdoor showers with uninterrupted desert views will have you thinking you’re alone in the world. The lodge is in the northern section of the NamibRand Nature Reserve which is the first Dark Sky Reserve in Southern Africa, and the resident astronomer will take you on a tour of Saturn’s rings and the surface of the moon in the lodge’s very own observatory. $$$$
See more of &Beyond Sossuvlei Desert Lodge.


4. Mushara Outpost

Mushara Outpost

Mushara Oupost, Main Lodge. Photo by Colleen Blaine.

Mushara was one of my absolute favourite lodges due to its understated elegance and soft interior furnishings. Like something out of Livingstone’s times, the Mushara Outpost is complete with flowing linen curtains, characteristic paraffin lanterns and canvas tented rooms. The staff greet you with easy smiles and warm laughter, and the food is perfectly suited to a glowing dinner in the bush with real silverware and grazing antelope. The rooms have all the luxuries and the main lodge area makes you want to relax all day long, sipping gin and tonics. $$$
See more of Mushara Outpost.


5. Doro !Nawas

Doro !Nawas

Doro !Nawas Suite. Photo by Colleen Blaine.

One of the nicest lodges in the fabulous Wilderness Safaris portfolio, Doro !Nawas epitomises what Damaraland is about. Raw authentic Namibia, set in one of its harshest landscapes. The lodge blends effortlessly into the landscape and the large suites have huge king size beds that you can roll over the cool screed floor and sleep out under the stars. Aside from the first class dinner out in the desert, the staff and their investment into the community are what make this lodge unique and warm. They sing when you leave and make you feel like part of the family, a real sense of ownership which makes service levels soar. $$$

See more of Doro !Nawas.
Book now

Luxury lodges are definitely a dime a dozen, and in today’s tourism environment it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd. While almost every one of the 26 lodges I visited deserve a mention on this list, I feel that these five luxury lodges certainly do stand out from the crowd. In the meantime, I’ll also happily take that offer of a tent and a fire.

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