A soulful escape is precisely what everyone needs at the end of a busy year, and I found just that at the newly opened And Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge. For those of you who don’t follow along on Instagram, I’ve just moved to South Africa and have jumped straight into adventures on the African continent. My trip to Sossusvlei was the final destination for me this year and easily one of the most special adventures. Here’s what to expect of a stay at the lodge.
And Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
Of all the places you can stay in Sossusvlei, And Beyond is the most luxurious. While there are some great views on offer from camp sites throughout Namibia, sometimes you just feel like a little luxury and Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is as fancy as it gets.
The lodge is surrounded by distant dunes, desert landscapes and mountains that hide the sun as it sets beyond the horizon. But the remote location has not made it impossible for an oasis to be built in the desert. Each of the 12 rooms are complete with private pools that capitalise on the views and are extremely welcomed in the desert heat!
Sossusvlei is the world’s oldest desert at an estimated 55 million years old. It is also on of the driest deserts in the world, so be sure to come prepared with plenty of lip balm, moisturisers and rehydration! While you are staying at the lodge you can make the most of your days exploring the desert by climbing the dunes, enjoying epic sunsets and learning more about the way of life in the desert.
One of my favourite highlights of the lodge is the purposely built observatory for star-gazing. This is one of the darkest places to see the stars, so be sure to make the most of your opportunity to learn more with the in-house astronomer.
The lodge is situated a short drive from the entrance to Sossusvlei National Park and an even shorter distance from the red dunes. Nearby you can book a hot air balloon to see the dunes from above, or there is even a resident helicopter on site if your budget allows. The lodge also provides enough of a view, with the fitness centre and spa located on the first floor and accompanied by a huge deck to take in the sunset at the lodge.
The Rooms at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
&Beyond lodges are often built in remote locations, however much of the properties are located in game viewing reserves throughout Africa. Although wildlife is not a heavy feature of Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (comparatively to the likes of the Masai Mara), all day you can see oryx and zebra drinking from the watering hole in front of the lodge. From each room you have a really good viewing point and each room is equipped with binoculars to get a better view. One day we even saw ostrich and a few jackles were also making their way around the lodge.
Because wildlife is not the sole focus of this lodge, it is clear more of an emphasis was made on bringing the experience to life through the accommodation offering. We spent much of our time at the lodge enjoying the room – dipping in the icy cold pool in front of our room while we watched the desert wildlife pass by, enjoying the mini-bar and at night star gazing from our bed (yup, there’s a ceiling window to watch the stars!)
Each of the oversized rooms are luxuriously appointed with everything you need and many things you don’t (but are glad to see anyway!) The mini bars in each room are stocked with a variety of gins, tequila, cocktail making tools and fresh lemons for your afternoon G&T’s. There is a butler’s window where you will receive coffees on the mornings you decide to venture out or watch the sunrise, before making your way up to the lodge for a croissant and coffee breakfast on activity days or a fully cooked breakfast on slow mornings.
The rooms at &Beyond Sossusvlei are so enjoyable that we sometimes had to convince ourselves to leave them and join the activities! There are more than enough books to perch yourself and read a book, enjoy taking in the sweeping desert views or even order room service for a meal or two.
Guided Activities in Sossusvlei
One of the benefits to paying extra for the &Beyond experience is the all inclusive nature of these lodges. Rates include full-board (breakfast, lunch, dinner) as well as all your laundry and daily activities. On the first morning we set off for a half day tour to Sossusvlei, featuring climbing Big Daddy (the biggest dune), seeing Deadvlei and a ranger cooked breakfast before heading back to the lodge.
Other activities include sundowner missions, quad biking, e-bikes and guided walks around the area. Activities at an additional price are hot air ballooning and helicopter rides should you wish to see the desert from above.
Book your Stay
You can book your stay with &Beyond direct or request this stay through your travel agent. Room rates start at $1270 USD per room, per night (for two people). This includes accommodation, meals, wine and spirits, and activities.
To get to &Beyond Sossusvlei you can opt to self drive or hop on a small chartered flight. Flying will be a lot quicker, however the 6 hour drive will save you a lot of money and also allow you to see the countryside of Namibia en route. We opted to drive and spent a night either side of our stay at nearby camps so we could get a feel for other locations in the desert.
Which room to book
When booking your stay, there are 12 rooms to choose from that each have their own appeal. We stayed in room 5, which is closest to the main lodge. We liked being close to the lodge and only having a short walk from our room to the main area, however if you prefer your solitude be sure to request room 1. All rooms have a very similar view and are identical from one to the next.
You will need at least two nights to make the most of this lodge, especially if you are joining the daily activities. Three nights would be ideal as it would allow you to make use of all the activities on offer. Four nights would give you the benefit of enjoying the lodge in full, with an extra night and day to relax and make the most of the idyllic location.
A very warm thank you to AndBeyond for welcoming me to stay at the lodge post-lodge renovation and share my stay with my audience. All opinions and photos are my own!