Travellers setting out to discover the mesmerizing dunes of Namibia's Sossusvlei often stay in the small settlement of Sesriem, located just outside the gate to the Namib-Naukluft Park leading to Sossusvlei — 60 kilometres away.
Several lodging options are available at Sesriem. Because the only two accommodation establishments which are located inside the Namib-Naukluft Park, the Sesriem Camp and Sossus Dune Lodge, are often booked long in advance and are typically more expensive, lodging options close to the Sesriem Gate are the next best choice.
The reason the two establishments located inside the park gate are so desirable is that the main Sesriem Gate, giving access to the Namib-Naukluft Park, only opens at sunrise and closes at sunset.
So, it's not possible to see the sunrise or sunset on the famous Dune 45 unless you are already lodging within the park's main gate. Guests of the Sesriem Camp and Sossus Dune Lodge have direct access to the secondary gate — giving them a one-hour head start to catch the sun rising or setting across Sossusvlei's iconic dunes.
Although Amaria and I were initially disappointed that the two inner-gate establishments were already fully booked when we started planning our trip, we were more than satisfied with our two bookings at the Sossusvlei Lodge, located just 500 metres from the Sesriem Gate, and the Desert Quiver Camp.
After spending a night at the Sossusvlei Lodge, I wanted to experience a more self-catering experience at their nearby sister property, the Desert Quiver Camp — located a quick 4 kilometres away. Both properties are part of the Taleni Africa Group which owns a range of establishments in Namibia.
I loved the architectural design of Desert Quiver Camp's 24 chalets. They really do live up to the pictures online, and more. We were treated to the stunning panoramic views of the nearby Elim Dune, scenic rock formations, and phenomenal ochre desert vistas where roaming wildlife could be seen at a distance.
Each air-conditioned unit has a kitchenette within a private terrace, an en-suite bathroom with a modern shower worthy of any hotel room, a vanity space, plenty of shelving space, as well as a barbecue facility.
Devoid of televisions, an internet connection and telephones, those uniquely styled desert chalets are an ideal option to disconnect and become one with the surrounding nature.
Desert night skies are breathtaking. I highly recommend spending some quiet time on the terrace at night — taking in the views of the celestial space before spending a quiet night on the comfortable adjoined twin beds. Extra sleeping space is available on the fold-out sleeper couch.
Plenty of international plug sockets are available to make sure mobile phones and DSRL camera batteries are fully-stocked for the next day's adventures in Sossusvlei's famous Dune 45, Big Daddy Dune and Deadvlei. The camp is a mere 5-kilometre drive from the entrance gate to Sossusvlei.
The camp has a small fully-stocked bar with a big screen television and a wi-fi connection for those, like me, who have trouble staying disconnected. A very nice swimming pool is also located next to the bar to unwind in the very dry climate.