When you turn off the dusty gravel road into Farm Dieprivier that houses the Namib Desert Collection, you are sure to sigh a breath of relief. Driving through the Namib Desert, you need all your wits and concentration to negotiate the road that winds its way through the oldest desert in the world.
It is no wonder that the Namib name originates from the Khoekhoegowab who called it a “vast place”, as it stretches over a whopping 2000 kilometers from South Africa all the way across our Atlantic Ocean coast into Angola. It formed the basis of our country's name with independence in 1990, chosen by beloved late professor Mburumba Kerina and it is currently the largest conservation area in Africa.
Namib Desert Lodge was opened in 2006 and forms the home base of our collection of Lodges. Set at the foot of the fossilized dunes aged 20 million years and along the borders of the ephemeral Diep river, it is testimony to a wetter climate that solidified the sand into dark red stone. The Lodge welcomes you with open arms with its endemic shady trees and its 2 sparkling swimming pools. All your muscles instantly start to relax as your body breathes in the clean, but warm desert air and you cannot help but to keep gazing to that one protruded rock that gently towers over the area, called The Nose. The gentle balance between the buildings nestled within the flora and the surrounding mountains, automatically makes you wind down and ready to absorb what the area has to offer.
Start your morning by walking through our small Zen garden or go on a brisk walk towards the petrified dunes. Contemplate how tiny humankind really is in relation to geological history and the sheer vastness of nature. Spot an oryx grazing in the riverbed and marvel at its abilities to survive in the desert. Enjoy a hearty breakfast on the sprawling terrace from a well-stocked continental buffet and stroll into our curio shop that embodies all of the aforementioned experiences through a palette of green and yellow interior and mindful selection of memories to take home.
Our logo for Namib Desert Lodge is an eye, as embroidered on all the uniforms of our caring staff. This symbol was chosen to embody your connection to the land and the feeling of timelessness. Should your focus be on selfcare, our shop proudly stocks “Desert Secrets “ body products which you find as the amenities range in our rooms. Based on Namibian oils such as myrrh and marula, it offers you an intense olfactory experience as you can literally smell the desert.
Our range of books covering geological, historical and modern writings will entice you to explore the Namib Naukluft National Park in the know. The shop offers a variety of cotton clothing, canvas headwear and genuine leather bags with which you can tackle Sesriem canyon, the mighty high Sossusvlei dunes and marvel at the 900 year old trees in Dead Vlei.
Returning back to base with these incredible experiences etched on your retina, you will understand our choice of decorative homeware. Beautifully wooden giraffes and painted or handcrafted monkey ball tealights will add value to your contemporary living area, whilst a Namibian license plate is the coolest gift to any modern soul. Shop the range HERE.
Besides Namib Desert Lodge, our beautiful area furthermore houses Dune Star Camp which was added in 2014. This small camp offers you the ultimate experience of sleeping comfortably under the spectacle of our night sky whilst being usurped by the sounds of the desert.
The Desert Grace was conceptualized around the diamond, a true jewel from the desert. Opening its doors in 2018, the flowing beauty of the fluid sea of sand with its various shades from pink to red inspired its stylish interior. Known for its use of ecofriendly building methods with sandbags and recycled glass in our pathways, the bent wooden building structures follow the rhythm of the desert effortlessly.
We glide on this wavelength into our curio boutique where you are welcomed by the smooth tones of light grey, the raw beauty of rose quartz, ultimately balanced by the caress of pink ostrich feathers. Antique drawers displaying various designs of specially curated jewelry by Tameka Design alternate very fine tourmaline necklaces crafted by Maja Von Reeken. A mini scratch patch allows your inner creative child to make your own necklace which match our selection of easy to pack filigree gem trees. My favorite item in this shop must be the Himalaya salt lamp with its many holistic properties. By the atmosphere it creates in a space, the raw beauty of Megan Dreyer’s photography of the Topnaar desert community truly comes to life. Be it with the versatile cotton kikoy, to be used as a wrap around or a timeless table cloth, or the handcrafted, dune sand cover paper mâché decorative plates from Namibian artist Kabo Craft; my home sanctuary breathes Desert Grace’s feel good mood. Shop the range HERE.
If we feel good, it brings good karma to share this with others. By gifting yourself a beautiful, handcrafted silver with rose quartz pendant either as a necklace or on a bracelet, you automatically support the good causes of our Gondwana Care Trust. Emblazoned with our famous hand logo, you reach out and communicate to the less fortunate showing that you see them and care. Little Bugs Projects from NamibSky Community Trust is another way of supporting the education of the children in the area. Whilst the children go to school, their parents produce beautiful soft toys in all various color combinations and African animals. By purchasing their toys you empower the project and their beneficiary families all in one go!
A few kilometers away, an unassuming waterhole provides a haven for the animals roaming free in the Namib Naukluft Park which was proclaimed way back in 1907. In 2021 Gondwana’s environmental & IT team placed a camera at the waterhole overlooking the comings and goings of the fauna, and streaming live on YouTube. This honest, real view instantly provided a soothing to the battered souls during the pandemic and soon created a global community. The NamibiaCam merchandise, exclusively to The Narrative, reflects the characters of the animals that, unbeknownst to them, provided much solace to humans all around the world.
Should all of these rewarding and enriching experiences make you want to be on top of the world, we can offer you Desert Whisper. Created in 2019 inspired by the shape of the locally found !Nara melon, this exclusive dwelling for 2 with a private pool offers unobstructed views of the desert and the theater of the sky. The sound of the breeze blowing through the grass formed the inspiration to its name and sets the tone to embrace the solitude in one of the sparsest populated areas in the world.
You will leave the Namib Desert Collection as a new person, with better insight and a keen sense of natural beauty, yet you will carry with you a timeless connection to mother earth.
Written by: Sonia Noirfalise