It’s hard not to describe Namibia as remote, off-the-beaten-path, otherworldly, isolated, secluded or see-it-to-believe-it. The truth is, it really is all that! Considered one of Africa’s most mysterious corners, Namibia not only offers its visitors unique game-viewing experiences with rare desert-adapted species but the country’s flagship Etosha National Park is regarded by many safari aficionados as one of Africa's greatest wildlife reserves.
Luxury safari lodges and camps in Namibia are few and far between – the arid Namib Desert makes it one of the least densely populated places on Earth – but because we’ve been exploring this destination since 1998, we’re able to curate a definitive list…
1. Shipwreck Lodge
Shipwreck is the only lodge situated in the soul-stirring Skeleton Coast National Park, a mysterious slice of wilderness where the enormous dunes of the world’s oldest desert meet the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean to form one of the most dramatic coast lines on our planet. This luxury safari lodge features an innovative design that resembles the perplexing shipwrecks scattered along Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. Shipwreck Lodge boasts all the bells and whistles in one of Africa’s most hauntingly picturesque locations.
- Game drives in a rugged and ultra-remote wilderness area
- Eclectic lodge design
- Quad-biking excursions across the sand dunes
- Track rare desert-adapted animals like elephants, elusive lion and brown hyena
- Walks and sundowner drinks on a deserted beach
Couples and families looking for remoteness
2. Onguma The Fort
The Fort is a luxury safari lodge in Namibia’s Onguma Game Reserve, an 84 000-acre private wilderness bordering the renowned Etosha National Park. Considered the only safari lodge of its kind in Namibia, The Fort’s gorgeous suites feature spectacular views of a waterhole and yonder Etosha Pans. This Moroccan-inspired hideaway is beautifully designed and complimented by wonderfully attentive staff. Enjoying a sundowner drink on the main deck while watching the dusty sky change from pink to inky black is a memory you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.
- Breath-taking sunsets
- Gorgeous views over Etosha and Fisher’s Pan
- Completely private suites, about 50 metres / 164 feet apart from one another
- Game drives in Etosha, home to endangered cheetah and black rhino
- Sunset drives in Onguma, a bird-watcher’s paradise – over 300 species
Couples and families with children over seven years
3. Wolwedans Dunes Lodge
This luxury safari lodge is situated in the untouched NamibRand Nature Reserve, an International Dark Sky Reserve that’s specifically protected for its exceptional quality of starry nights and nocturnal environment. Wolwedans Dunes Lodge sits perfectly on top of a dune plateau, providing 360-degree panoramic views of the surrounding desert landscape. Each spacious tented suite has a private veranda that connects you with the tranquil desert; sleeping with your canvas blinds open will reveal a limitless carpet of stars.
- Perched on top of a dune plateau, delivering panoramic vistas
- Situated in the heart of a 494 000-acre private reserve
- Exquisite meals prepared with organic fresh produce
- See the famous fairy circles on a hot-air balloon ride
- NamibRand is an International Dark Sky Reserve – exceptional star gazing
4. Hoanib Skeleton Coast
Hoanib Skeleton Coast is set in a remote part of the Kaokoveld, home to the semi-nomadic and pastoralist Himba people renowned for their ability to survive in an arid and seemingly unforgiving environment. This luxury safari camp offers a unique glimpse into one of Namibia’s most off-the-beaten-path destinations. Established in a rugged valley that’s home to a surprising diversity of animal and plant life – like the strange welwitschia (the world’s oldest living desert plant) – Hoanib Skeleton Coast is an exclusive and intimate camp that delivers a very sought-after safari experience. Luxurious tented suites are positioned in a dry riverbed and boast mesmerising views of the surrounding lunar landscape. Hoanib is beautifully decorated and gleams an elegant atmosphere in a blissfully quiet locale.
- Intimate desert camp in a remote and isolated wilderness
- Track desert-adapted wildlife like elephant, giraffe, lion and brown hyena
- Full-day excursions to the Skeleton Coast for stays of three or more nights
- Beautiful views of Hoanib River valley
- Spacious tented suites with en suite bathrooms
Adventurous couples and families
5. Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
This luxury safari lodge in Namibia is surrounded by the alluring mountains and sand dunes of the world’s oldest desert, the Namib. Sossusvlei Desert Lodge features a striking contrast with the ruggedness of its surroundings while contemporary, sleek design and fluidity compliments its natural desert environment. Spot wildlife at a nearby waterhole while the last bit of daylight disappears behind the sand dunes. Visit the walk-in wine cellar and handpick an exceptional bottle to accompany your meal. Attend a talk by a qualified astronomer in the lodge’s observatory, which boasts a powerful electronic telescope to elevate your experience in this International Dark Sky Reserve.
- Situated in the ancient Namib Desert
- Private airstrip 30 minutes from the lodge
- Air-conditioned suites with in-room fireplaces and star-viewing skylights
- Observatory with professional astronomer
- Scenic drives to Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon
Families with children
6. Damaraland Camp
This luxury safari camp is rated the most successful eco-tourism venture in Namibia, thanks to the successful partnership between Wilderness Safaris and the Torra community of Damaraland. It resulted in the Torra Conservancy being proclaimed, Namibia’s very first community-owned conservation area. The largely uninhabited Damaraland is an area of dramatic geology and is probably best-known for the rock art of Twyfelfontein – a World Heritage Site of paintings and carvings created some 10 000 years ago. Walk out onto the private veranda of your thatched chalet and drink in the sensational views of this captivating region.
- The most successful eco-tourism venture in Namibia
- A remote location in the spell-binding Damaraland
- Excellent African cuisine
- Track rare desert elephants, lion and black rhino on game drives
- Ancient rock art at Twyfelfontein, a World Heritage Site
7. Hoanib Valley Camp
A joint venture between the Kaokoveld’s local communities and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation – the world’s most successful and longest-running giraffe research organisation – Hoanib Valley Camp is an elegant and intimate property where you can completely immerse yourself into one of Namibia’s most remote and wild environments. This luxury safari camp is beautifully decorated with furniture made by the local Rundu carpenters and Himba carvers. Despite its unbelievably remote location, there is still Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the camp.
- Situated in the remote Kaokoveld, one of Southern Africa's last untouched wilderness areas
- Views of the picturesque Hoanib River Valley
- Wi-Fi throughout the camp
- One of the best places to see desert-adapted elephant, giraffe, lion and rhino
- Cultural interactions with local Herero people
Couples and families looking for an off-the-beaten-path experience
8. Little Kulala
This luxury safari lodge is a welcome oasis situated along a dry riverbed in Namibia’s Kulala Wilderness Reserve, a splendid area that showcases the absolute solitude of the Namib Desert. Step inside your climate-controlled thatched villa, complete with private plunge pool, rooftop star bed and desert views that will leave you breathless. Don’t miss an excursion to Sossusvlei, renowned for its immense rich-ochre sand dunes – one of the most astonishing sites on our planet.
- Stylish lodge in remote desert setting
- All villas have romantic rooftop Star Beds
- Private entrance to the dunes of Sossusvlei
- Drives, walks and quad biking (ATV) excursions in a private reserve
- Awe-inspiring balloon safari over the Namib Desert
Couples and honeymooners (ideal for special occasions)
9. Serra Cafema
This is one of the remotest camps in Southern Africa, a place where you can truly disconnect from everyday life. Nestled under lush trees on the banks of the Kunene River, this luxury safari camp is situated deep in the heart of the Hartmann’s Valley in Namibia’s Kaokoveld. Serra Cafema is one of Namibia’s flagship desert lodges and consists of spacious chalets set on elevated decks with beautiful views of the river. Enjoy fascinating nature walks, boating excursions and respectful interactions with the Himba – semi-nomadic, pastoralist people indigenous to the Kunene region.
- One of the most remote camps in Southern Africa
- Spectacular views over the Kunene River
- Respectful interaction with the Himba community
- Nature drives and walks in the Hartmann’s Valley
- Boating safaris on the river (water levels permitting)
- The Honeymoon Suite can only be reached by rope bridge and has some of the best views!
Couples and honeymooners
10. Little Ongava
Little Ongava is probably the most luxurious safari lodge in Namibia. Perched on the summit of a hill with alluring views over the plains of the private Ongava Game Reserve, a sanctuary for black and white rhino and a healthy predator population. The lodge’s main thatched outdoor area looks over an active waterhole, while the luxurious suites feature private plunge pools, salas, air-conditioning and Wi-Fi connectivity. All guests share a dedicated guide and vehicle for game drives in the legendary Etosha National Park.
- Arguably the most luxurious camp in Namibia
- Built on the crest of a hill – magnificent views
- Only three luxurious suites with private plunge pools and salas
- Situated in a private reserve with convenient access into Etosha
- See big game like lion, and white and black rhino
Honeymooners and families – the entire lodge can be booked for exclusive use