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hotels closest to the dunes

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london
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hotels closest to the dunes

I am confused. I gather the park is very big and that the dunes only cover part of it? So does being nearest to the park gate give you quickest access to the dunes themselves..versus one lodge which | think has a private gate? Also is it worth staying inside the park at Sossus in terms of access to the dunes? Or is that actually further away from the dunes than others outside?

Is it better to self guide or go with a guide?

8 replies to this topic
Dublin, Ireland
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1. Re: hotels closest to the dunes

it is a little tricky until you see the setup. I'll try explain it as best I can, I was there for 3 days a couple of years ago.

To go to the dunes, there is one gate that everyone must go through, except for the one lodge as you've discovered. They sometimes go earlier than all the others, but not always. I stayed with them to get in early only to find others got there quicker entering throught the main gate. That said, I was on the lodges transport with 6 or so others, an some folks wanted a long breakfast before we left... if you decide to book them, make sure it's clear you want to go in as early as possible or you'll end up wandering in at 7am, which is late.

at the main gate there is a camp site, where I stayed for 2 nights (1 night in the lodge, 2 at the camp to give me 3 mornings at the dunes - yeah, I like my photos :-) That is just about the easiest as you get up, and drive (or pack your tent if you have a roof tent - then drive). but it means camping. They have a bar that serves cold beers, cokes etc, and they do food there too. it's nothing special, but fine. there is also a shop where youcan buy charcoal, steaks etc.

The other lodges are a little further out, and check each ones travel time to the gate. some are up to an hour's drive from the gate, and that's an hour you loose in bed :-) That said, you've a nice lodge to go back to afterwards.

once through the gate, there is about an hours drive on a road (with no turnoffs) with loads of dunes on either side. they are smallish, not spectacular, but the further you go the bigger they get. the biggest of them are about 3/4 of the way to the end of the road, and can be climbed. so far, you can do all this in a 2wd car if self driving, no guide.

at the end of the road there is a car park, and a 4x4 shuttle to go in further, or you can drive your own 4x4 (put it in 4x4, lock the front hubs) in further to yet another park. there are a few picnic tables there. From there, you will see people hiking in a few directions, but to the left as you go in is where dead vlei is, which is the one that is most photographed with all the dead trees.

so, yes, being nearer to the park gate is good. Self drive is fine, but DO bring loads of water with you, once through the gate there is no food or water to be bought.

Hope this helps!

Hermanus, South...
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2. Re: hotels closest to the dunes

Sossus Dune Lodge is inside the gates of the park. You can do a guided trip or self drive down to the dunes and you will be in before everyone else staying at lodges.

Manchester, United...
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3. Re: hotels closest to the dunes

I liked Sossus Dune Lodge but I wonder when you will go as there is no air con and the accomodation can get pretty hot. You can take a guided tour in a 4x4 which will include dawn at dune 45, Deadvlei and meal at Sossusvlei. Its a good trip.

The dash for the dune resembles the wacky races with every type of vehicle tearing through the dunes at speeds far exceeding the max speed limit. So from the lodge you will be in first but will not get there first. Our guide spent some time complaining righty about this. It was fun though and the sunrise was fantastic with views and photo opportunities to die for.

Sossus Dune Lodge is stylishly designed with walkways between each cabin. They are pretty strung out in a terrific position overlooking the dunes. Food was fine although I have read of some problems. The pool is terrific and its an amazing place for a beer or glass of SA white wine.

Market Bosworth...
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4. Re: hotels closest to the dunes

The plus side to staying at Kulala as we found out was that as it was the wet season and the rivers were high we were the only ones that could get in for the first few hours so we had Dune 45, Big Daddy and Dead Vlei all to ourselves!

Glasgow
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5. Re: hotels closest to the dunes

We will be staying at the Kulala Desert Lodge in June. I believe there is a private gate into the park which we could use if we were taking an organised tour with the hotel - but if we are self driving we have to use the public gate. Does anyone know how much extra driving this would involve? Generally we prefer to self drive as far as possible.

We only have one full day in the area so want to make the most of it.

Is it reasonable to get to Sossusvlei for sunrise (or as early as poss), see Dead Vlei & Hidden Vlei - climb a dune and have some lunch? Then go to Sesriem in the afternoon?

Should we take an organised tour in the morning to take advantage of the private gate and get the earliest start?

Sorry folks, thats quite a lot of questions - but it is hard to get a handle on this area.

Market Bosworth...
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6. Re: hotels closest to the dunes

I think the earliest you can get in is sunrise and the public gate is quite a drive away, 50kms rings a bell but I may well be wrong. If you have a 4x4 once you are in you can drive down to Dead Vlei otherwise you have a 5km walk or there are 4x4s there that you can pay to go down in.

We prefer to self drive but were fully inclusive there so trips were all included and our guide was fantastic. We took the morning trip and were back for lunch then to Sesreim in the afternoon stopping for sundowners on the way back. From memory Sesreim was about 36km from the lodge. It takes you 20 mins to get out of the lodge onto the public road.

Cary, North Carolina
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7. Re: hotels closest to the dunes

Sossusvlei is part of the Namib-Naukluft N.P. which covers most of the southern Namib Desert. The area is probably half the size of Britain. You can see the dunes from miles away and from most of the lodges. The closest dunes are fairly close to the gate, but the high dunes at e.g.. Dead Vlei are about 70km away, even from the closest lodge.

Atlanta, Georgia
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8. Re: hotels closest to the dunes

thanks very informative

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