Kwessi Dunes Camp
Disconnect with the World
Kwessi Dunes is located deep in 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 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.
Why You’ll Love Kwessi Dunes:
• The diverse landscape of rich, red dunes, elusive fairy circles, unravelling plains and craggy mountains has to be seen to be believed.
• Kwessi Dunes is a brand-new camp and our first in the area; it’s is as special to us as it is to you and the rooms are cool and quirky (and air conditioned!).
• The is a private experience on a private reserve and the small number of lodges in the area co-ordinate with each other to ensure you won’t bump into another soul.
• Kwessi itself is located in 15,000 hectares of exclusive desert terrain, but you’ll have access to all 200,000 hectares of the NamibRand Reserve.
• Break away from traditional game drives and try horse riding, star gazing, quad biking, a nature walk or a hot air balloon flight.
• The star gazing opportunities are out of this world. The NamibRand is Africa’s first designated International Dark Sky Reserve meaning it’s one of the least light-polluted areas in the world – and it shows.
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.
Accommodation & Amenities
• 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: Yes
• Hairdryers: On request
• Battery charging facilities: Yes.
• Complimentary laundry service.
• Child policy: We welcome children of all ages.
• Disabled access: Please enquire with reservations.
Kwessi Dunes is open all year round. The hyper-arid desert terrain is amazing in all seasons (and the air-conditioned rooms will always keep you cool!), but the winter and summer months offer different experiences in terms of activities and weather.
April to October is Namibia’s dry, winter season. Temperatures are pleasant during the day but it can get cold in the early mornings and evenings – nothing a good jumper and jacket can’t handle, however! This is the time of year to witness the desert in its iconic, dry state and capture the now-famous photos of the inky trees silhouetted against the blood-red dunes and the grey mountains shimmering in the background.
In November, the temperatures start to heat up and at the beginning of the year in particular, you can witness incredible thunder and lightning storms made even more dramatic by the striking terrain. This is an excellent time of year to spot some of the migratory birds that arrive in the desert.
• Morning and afternoon scenic drives in the striking NamibRand Nature Reserve
• Nature walks
• Skybeds experience and star gazing
• Quad biking
• Day trips to the dunes of Sossusvlei (at an extra cost)
• Hot air ballooning (at an extra cost)
• Horse riding (at an extra cost)
• Scenic helicopter flights (at an extra cost)
• Spa treatments
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 forms 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 to 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.
Natural Selection Safaris
Semi-Permanent Tented Camp
Max. clients in vehicle
Morning and afternoon scenic drives in the striking NamibRand Nature Reserve, Nature walks, Skybeds experience and star gazing, Quad biking, Day trips to the dunes of Sossusvlei (at an extra cost), Hot air ballooning (at an extra cost), Horse riding (at an extra cost), Scenic helicopter flights (at an extra cost), Spa treatments