The Namibian Desert is fascinating, as is this new modern lodge
It’s a surprising juxtaposition. Outdoors, in the NamibRand Nature Reserve in the southwestern part of the Namib Desert, lie gravel plains fringed by ancient granite mountains and burnt orange sand dunes formed by shifting winds over hills. million years old, one of Africa’s most unique and haunting landscapes. But inside the recently reopened, completely redesigned and beyond the Soussevi Desert Lodge, the decor is so up-to-the-minute it feels like you’ve stepped into a downtown New York fashionista’s loft. York.
The lodge, completely rebuilt over a ten-month period, seems to emerge from the desert floor, a geometric bar of sand, glass and steel color, preceded by floor-to-ceiling windows that not only allow you to see the landscape, they encourage relaxation. prodigious Namibian sunshine to power the electricity (and air conditioning.) Sofas are sleek and neutral, crumpled silver balls hang above the bar, woven baskets accessorize the shelves, and large stone urns serve as room dividers. room.
In the ten curved 1,400-square-foot suites, contemporary beige and gray decor continues with a few accessories – ceramics, local wood headboards and platforms, brush artwork – to remind guests that they are in Africa. There are little touches: ice cream in the minibar freezer, artist’s supplies in case the landscape inspires you to draw or paint. Each suite has its own swimming pool with surprisingly cold water, kept at a low temperature to prevent the water from evaporating in the heat.
Design aside, the focus here is on creative ways to get guests to explore the dunes, as organized by Vernon Swanepoel, lead guide and responsible for the experience. Early morning hot air balloon rides and helicopters are always an option; other guests ride quad bikes and e-bikes or hike the sand. Tours with San Bushmen can be arranged to see and understand ancient rock art and the stories it tells about the people and history of the area.
At night after dinner, including the weekly braai, a mix of various meats and vegetables on the grill, further exploration takes place in the sky. Located in an official Dark Sky Preserve, one of only 13 in the world with minimal light pollution, the lodge offers remarkable stargazing, aided by Swanepoel’s High Intensity Telescope and his vast knowledge. He seemed to apologize the night I was there that because of the clouds, we only saw Jupiter fleetingly then Saturn with its rings and the moon’s deep craters. We, on the other hand, a host of guests screaming “wow! As everyone took turns at the telescope – thought it was absolutely electrifying – another thrilling aspect of a place in another world.