Opening in March 2020, Kwessi Dunes is located deep in Namibia’s striking NamibRand Nature Reserve and shares a 100 km border with the Namib-Naukluft National Park to the west and the Nubib mountains to the east; 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 big game but rather soaking up the beauty of the colourful landscape, admiring the antelope that scatter the sand, and gazing at the stars the 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.
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.
Kwessi Dunes: Quick Facts
- 12 air conditioned chalets: 10 twin/doubles, 2 family
- Ensuite bathrooms with indoor showers and outdoor showers
- Separate open-air ‘star gazer’ room in each chalet
- Air conditioning throughout
- Swimming pool at main area
- Entirely solar powered
- Wifi available
- Battery charging facilities
- Complimentary laundry service
- Children of all ages are welcome
- All meals and local drinks, most activities
- Not included: Flights, some activities (hot air ballooning; day trips to Sossusvlei, horse riding, helicopter flights), premium brand beverages