Best New Lodges Namibia 2023
The word ‘Namib’ literally translates to vast place and no more adjective could be quite as adept at describing Namibia. Home to stark coastlines, swathes of sprawling dessert, wildlife-filled national parks and the world’s oldest dessert, this inspiring nation now ranks as one of Africa’s fastest growing tourist hotspots.
Catering to this significant rise in visitor numbers, Namibia’s accommodation scene is subsequently blossoming. Every year more and more lodges, camps and resorts are springing up, eager to entice intrepid travellers heading out on the safari adventure of a lifetime.
The best lodges in Namibia are well documented on the Secret Namibia blog but as each year ticks by new entrants force their way into our reckoning. Without further ado here’s our guide to the best new lodges and camps in Namibia for 2023.
Way back in 1995, when the tourism industry in Namibia was just taking its first infant steps, Wolwedans was set up with just four igloo tents. Oh, how times have changed. Nowadays Wolvedans runs 6 camps and lodges under its brand banner, having established itself as one of the preeminent accommodation providers in southwest Namibia.
A collection of dreams, rather than camps (that’s how the Wolvedans website describes them) it’s hard to argue with that bold claim, particularly when you consider that the camps are surrounded by the stunning NamibRand Nature Reserve, a 200,000 hectare desert paradise.
Although the camps aren’t ‘new’ in the sense that they’ve just been built, the formerly named ‘Dune Lodge’ has undergone a huge revamp over the last year or so. Now called ‘Desert Lodge’ this stunning desert home is striking with contemporary furnishings complementing the scorched backdrops superbly. Spacious lounges, bright bedrooms and sundowner decks characterise each modernised suite whilst the Mountain View Suite is the standout, affording guests jaw dropping views of the encircling landscapes.
In 2023 this is a great place to visit for serenity seekers, particularly if your safari itinerary brings you to this remote region of the country.
Onguma Camp Kala
The Etosha region is home to some of Namibia’s most desirable and luxurious camps- little surprise given that a game drive through Etosha National Park ranks very high on most traveller’s Namibia safari bucket lists.
Adding to the array of stunning digs in this part of the country is Onguma Camp Kala, a stylish and opulent lodge located right next to a bustling waterhole in the Onguma Nature Reserve. First opening its doors in November 2022, and the brainchild of designer Nick Pleman, Camp Kala oozes luxury at every turn.
Each of the camp’s lodges are built on elevated wooder decks, affording guests striking panoramic views over one of the Onguma region’s busiest waterholes (ideal for game viewing). As soon as you arrive here, you’ll be greeted by a mud plastered central tower that was designed to replicate the look of a termite mound; this just highlights the level of detail the design team went into in trying to blend the camp into its natural surroundings.
Befitting of a luxury lodge, guests can expect amenities such as a fully stocked personal bar, state-of-the-art cooling systems and full-sized baths. There’s even a butler service so you can rest assured your every whim will be catered for. Bush walks, Onguma sunset drives and Etosha game drives are just some of the activities you can enjoy during your stay. Well worth a visit.
For our next entrant we head to Damaraland, another of Namibia’s remote and desolate regions renowned for its fascinating desert-adapted wildlife.
Here safari goers will discover the magnificent Camp Onduli, named after the resident giraffe that’s often found roaming the camp’s perimeter. With six intimate suites, Camp Onduli is a great option for those on a honeymoon safari and here visitors will unearth plenty of luxury amenities that are guaranteed to make your post-nuptials getaway feel extra special.
Each suite comes with a star bed, enabling star-cross lovers to doze off underneath the shimmering night sky. If you manage to drag yourself away from your spectacular bedroom, you’ll also find a library, infinity pool and a cosy campfire located next to the camp’s main lodge.
Activities nearby are perfectly suited to the adventure-seeking safari goer. Elephant and rhino tracking is a popular pastime in these parts, whilst history buffs may well be enamoured by the opportunity to visit some wonderful San rock art sites. After a long day immersing yourself with wildlife, retreat to Camp Onduli for a speciality cocktail and some world-class cuisine.
Anderssons at Ongava
The popularity of family safari trips to Namibia has risen exponentially over the last decade, thanks in large part to the abundance of family-friendly accommodation options that are now on offer.
Leading the list of the best family safari lodges in Namibia for 2023 is Anderssons at Ongava, a beautiful camp nestled in the picturesque Ongava Game Reserve, close to Etosha National Park.
Renovated in 2019, and now boasting 7 private suites and a purpose-built family suite, here families can enjoy a range of first-class amenities including a spacious lounge, library, infinity pool and there’s even a curio shop selling a range of artisan gifts.
Away from the luxury amenities, Anderssons is a bird watcher’s paradise. Located beside the camp’s waterhole visitors will find a special underground photographic hide- a special spot where guests can grab their binoculars and look out for some of Namibia’s most iconic avian species.
If bird watching isn’t your penchant, then take a visit to Ongava Research Centre which is located just a short walk from the camp. Here visitors can explore the centre’s exhibition area and gain a fascinating insight into the conservation work taking place in Etosha National Park and beyond.
The Zannier Hotels group have long been associated with world-class luxury accommodation. However, their magnum opus must be Sonop, their second offering in Namibia after the impressive Omaanda.
Zannier Sonop markets itself as a revolutionary way to experience the untouched beauty of the Namibian dessert; it’s hard to argue with that claim once you arrive at this spectacular lodge.
Set within a private nature reserve on the Southern edge of the Namibian desert, Sonop boasts 10 ultra-luxurious tents that have been ingeniously constructed on top of boulders, meaning guests can enjoy remarkable views of the surrounding desert landscapes.
Every object in the ten tents has been painstakingly selected in homage to 1920’s British explorers. Expect to find binoculars and maps, travellers’ tales, telescopes, antique desks, and handmade stationary. In line with what one might expect from a 5-star safari lodge you’ll also find a stunning private terrace and lavish amenities including vintage bathtubs and there’s even a private landing strip.
When adventure calls, excursions including hot air balloon rides, horse riding and private sunset safaris can all be enjoyed here. If you can’t be persuaded to leave your stunning tent, guests can take advantage of the telescopes fitted in each suit to admire the magnificent surroundings or take part in a spot of dreamy stargazing.
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