Desert Affection: A Trip For Two

26 Mar 2021

Annelien Murray 

As you float higher and higher into the sky on the desert breeze, the sun peeks out and illuminates the landscape below. Darkness makes way for soft peachy-pink hues to reveal the towering dunes of the Namib Desert. It’s the same horizons you were marvelling at the day before, but this time from a slightly different angle – from the basket of a hot air balloon. 

I have a question for you. How long should a holiday be to count as one? The Namib Desert needs only four nights (and five days) to woo you into a divine state of relaxation, romance and revitalisation. Fall in love again in... and with the world’s oldest desert. It is Gondwana Collection’s immense pleasure to introduce you to the Desert Affection Itinerary, packed with experiences that you’ll cherish for a lifetime - all while having the love of your life by your side. 

Here’s the deal: 

Your trip starts mid-desert where sundowners and stargazing are a daily must. There's a choice of where to spend your two nights here: The Desert Grace or the Desert Whisper. Afterwards you continue to the romantic coastline where you’ll spend another two nights at The Delight Swakopmund. 

Both desert destinations are located close to the world-renowned Sossusvlei effortlessly posing in front of international photographers lenses. Apricot-coloured dunes set against an immaculate blue sky with scorched trees make for marvellous art in the photography domain. The mesmerising sunsets will turn any realist into a dreamer with rose-coloured glasses. 

Speaking of pink... 

La vie en rose! 

The Desert Grace’s special touch inarguably lies within the soft pink interiors, which are in stark contrast with the unforgiving desert environment. At the bottom of a tiny hill, a sign with a pink rim advises to take a quick pitstop atop the hill where a pink fridge stands sentinel over the desert – stocked with refreshing drinks – and a pink frame offers the perfect setting to take pictures. 

Almost everything you lay eyes on is pink - decor, rockery, kitchen appliances, curtains, blankets, fridges, speakers and more. 

It is a safe, inviting haven after spending the day discovering the desert – either on a game drive, a hike amongst ancient fossilised dunes or by an eco-friendly e-bike ride. But you never have to be torn from the view, as your room’s private terrace offering limitless vistas has its own splash pool which means it is the place to hang out. 

If you’re feeling like a night out, the bar with bright pink neon letters “One night in Namibia” warmly welcomes you in its one-of-a-kind embrace. Scorpion walks offer a thrilling and educating outing. As your guide shines his UV light on the scorpions that he masterfully spots in the dark, it is impossible to miss their blue-green glow. 

As you relax atop a dune, toasting life with a pink G&T in hand, your drink seamlessly blends in with the rosy horizon, reminiscent of the day’s scorching, yet already forgotten sun. This is the exact colour that inspired the lodge interior. 

Included: Breakfast, light lunch, dinner, scorpion walk, Sossusvlei excursion, e-bike excursion, hot air ballooning in Sossusvlei for two.

If you thought it doesn’t get any more exclusive than this, Gondwana will exceed your expectations. 

Blissful solitude 

Experience the exact same desert in even more solitude. The Desert Whisper, also known as the Namib Pod, is a secluded slice of paradise for two. With views stretching as far as the eye can see, fringed by the Naukluft Mountains in the distance, there is no other human being in sight. A stay at the Pod is an otherworldly experience.

Included: Breakfast, Sossusvlei excursion, e-bike excursion, hot air ballooning in Sossusvlei for two. 

Second leg of the trip 

It’s mindboggling that Sossusvlei is a mere 50 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean as the crow flies. Your journey leads you to the place where the tumultuous Atlantic Ocean kisses the windswept dunes of the Namib Desert. It is a magnificent sight to behold for those who have the privilege to disembark here. 

Rooms at The Delight Swakopmund decorated in blues and red are spacious and have all the creature comforts one could ask for, including a hairdryer, a Nespresso machine and cookies, a flat-screen television, plush and comfortable bedding, and a bright red mini fridge. In the words of my travel partner, “The Delight is exceptional. Take the red fridge for example. It’s not just a fridge – it talks to you.” 

Although we have ruled out physically talking furniture, the hotel’s character tells a story, and it wholeheartedly shares it with guests. 

You can choose whether you want a culinary experience with the wide array of restaurants or an adrenaline-pumping adventure, as it is the activity hub of the country. My personal favourite is combining the two. Your culinary adventure starts at breakfast – a highlight when staying at The Delight. 

The Namib Desert, untouched and unpretentious, woos every single soul who sets foot on its bare sands - no matter from which side you approach it. This is the desert that is renowned for capturing hearts, and simultaneously setting them free, in perfect harmony. It sings a song only audible to those who are willing to tune in to the art of listening to silence – the silence of a land that vibrates with stories of ancient nomadic wanderers and its indigenous and endemic animal species. 

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