Guests per Safari Vehicle
Kwessi Dunes is located deep within Namibia's striking NamibRand Nature Reserve, a vast desert wilderness of over 200,000 hectares. With its rolling desert plains and backdrop of craggy mountains and iconic red dunes, this is a place where time seems to stand still and the space is never-ending. Here, it’s not about chasing the big game but rather soaking up the beauty of the colourful landscape, admiring the antelope that scatter the sand, and gazing at the stars that light up the night sky.
At Kwessi Dunes, you’ll find 12 cool and comfortable (and air-conditioned) chalets all with canvas walls and thatched roofs. Each bedroom has a separate ‘star gazer’ room, completely open to the sky, and the perfect spot from which to watch the celestial theatre show above. Views from the rooms, the main area and the swimming pool are of the vast, desert vistas and when you can bear to tear your eyes away, enjoy quad biking, scenic drives and walks, hot air ballooning, helicopter flights, horse riding and day trips to Sossusvlei.
In the bedrooms, you can expect vintage four-poster beds, striped canvas walls and a separate ‘star gazer’ room that’s completely open to the sky for maximum galaxy-gazing as you fall asleep. Each bedroom also has an ensuite bathroom with both indoor and outdoor showers and a shaded, outdoor veranda. High thatched roofs will keep you cool during the hot desert days and nights and you’ll be pleased to hear that the bedrooms are air-conditioned too.
The view from the lodge is spectacular and the glass windows and doors at the main area look out onto the undulating sand that only ends when it meets the mountains, far in the distance. Inside, there’s a well-stocked bar, library area and several seating and dining areas. When the sun rises in the morning, head to the campfire for a morning coffee, whilst in the heat of the day, the swimming pool is the only place to be.
At more than 200,000 hectares in size, the NamibRand Nature Reserve is one of the largest private reserves in southern Africa. It was established in the 1980s when Albi Bruckner integrated several livestock farms into a protected wilderness area and today it’s a model of conservation success. There are strict rules about the number of lodges built in the area and even stricter rules about the number of rooms each one may have, making it a totally private and entirely exclusive adventure.
Photographs may show the craggy, mauve mountains of the NamibRand, the infamous red dunes and the enormous swathes of desert, but nothing prepares for you the moment you see it for yourself. The space is humbling, the sense of peace is spiritual and it’s one of the most striking, stirring places out there. The fairy circles that dot the ground are particularly intriguing. Over the years, the theories behind them have been hotly debated, they are a result of poisonous fungi, termites, or even meteor showers, however, no one really knows for certain why they are here. Just another reason to visit this extraordinary place.
You might not find the Big Five wandering around the harsh desert of the NamibRand, but the dunes are home to a variety of wildlife that has adapted in many fascinating ways in order to survive. Take, for example, the gemsbok with their white bellies that reflect the heat of the sand and their sophisticated vascular system that cools the blood around the brain. Or the bat-eared fox – those giant ears aren’t just for comic value but help to amplify the sound of their predators approaching.
What you’ll undoubtedly see most of are antelope. From gemsbok to springbok, kudu to steenbok, they can be found in most corners of the reserve, silhouetted against the red sand. You may also spot Burchell’s zebra amid the dunes as well as the more unusual black-backed jackals, aardwolves and African wild cats, which can be surprisingly easy to find compared to other reserves on the continent. Leopard and cheetah are rare but there are small numbers of both.
All ages welcome
2 Family Chalets
All ages welcome
6+ welcome on game drives
Kwessi Dunes, NamibRand Nature Reserve, Sesriem, Namibia
All ages welcome