We’re bringing a touch of Natural Selection character to the Namib Desert and Kwessi Dunes will feature our usual cool and comfortable style with a few quirks along the way. 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 camp fire for a morning cuppa, whilst in the heat of the day, the swimming pool is the only place to be.
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.