Out of Africa… Namibia 2023
29 degrees, red-orange dunes, antelopes on the pavement – that’s what awaited us at the MICE Trophy Africa in Namibia in February! Between Namibian desert and green animal paradise, Larissa found herself on a special trip to the land of the red dunes.
Starting point was Frankfurt International Airport at 10 p.m. on 14 February with a 10-hour flight to Windhoek.
After a short fresh-up at the Windhoek Country Club, we boarded 8 brand new, white Land Rover Defender 110s – our means of transport for the next 5 days. With the Land Rover guides in front, we drove in a convoy 300km towards the desert. Anyone who has ever been to Namibia knows that this is a unique experience! The individual lodges cover many different styles – from classic and authentic to high-class luxury. The landscape impresses with its multifaceted nature, the picture changes almost by the minute and so the driving times seem like a walk. Including a few short stops, we arrived on time for sundowner at Sossusvlei Lodge – an authentic 4-star lodge hotel right at the entrance gate to the Namib Naukluft Park.
The 52 superior accommodations at Sossusvlei Lodge feature a terrace overlooking the desert landscape, a spacious, air-conditioned twin room and a full en-suite bathroom. Facilities include a sparkling pool, bar, sundowner deck, beer garden and outdoor terrace where you can enjoy a magnificent view of the floodlit waterhole.
The next day we went early in the morning for sunrise breakfast in the Namib Desert, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013.
A unique dune landscape stretched out before us while we had our breakfast under acacias. From there, we continued to our next overnight spot – the “Desert Grace” Lodge of the Gondwana Collection Namibia.
The lodge, which opened in 2018, is the first of the Gondwana lodges to be built entirely from sandbags instead of bricks. This not only has a positive impact on the environment, but also ensures that the lodge’s 24 rooms (each with a private pool) are cooler and very well insulated. Namibia is a leader in sustainability and environmental protection: over 40% of the country is protected! Inspired by Wes Anderson films from the 60s, this lodge offers a unique experience.
Day 3 was characterised by strong contrasts.
Starting in the middle of the desert, we first went to the Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge. 19 luxurious bungalows in African style, including 5 suites, invite you to stay. The rooms are embedded in the natural surroundings and offer a seemingly endless view over the Namib. From the desert we went to Swakopmund, a coastal town with just under 45,000 inhabitants. It is reminiscent of the time of the German colony – so you suddenly drive past the “Old Local Court” or the “Brauhaus”. We checked into the 4-star Strand Hotel Swakopmund. After 2 days of desert & sand, the blue ocean was right in front of our door. Namibia is not known for its contrasting landscapes for nothing!
We also experienced this contrast on the fourth day. We started with a catamaran on the lagoon of Walvis Bay, accompanied by seals and pelicans.
From the water to the dunes – After a stop at the hotel, we went by quad bikes to the Action Venue in the dunes near the town. Dune boarding and blind-fold driving were tried out as examples of possible activities and despite a Defender (V8 engine!) buried in the sand at the end and the blazing sun, all participants had big fun!
A personal highlight followed in the evening at the “Moon Landscape” in the hinterland of Swakopmund.
As a surprise, we found ourselves at dinner surrounded by hundreds of lights in the canyon – this sight was truly extraordinary!
From Swakopmund, we headed back into the hinterland to Windhoek on the last day, where we stopped by the Safari Court Hotel, which is currently being converted into the Mövenpick Hotel. There are a lot of developments in Namibia’s hotel industry at the moment.
When you think of Africa, of course you think of all the animals!
Due to its special geographical differences, Namibia offers the best conditions for many different animal species. In order to preserve this wealth of species, there are both state and private protected areas. On so-called “game safaris” it is not uncommon to meet the famous Big5 and more!
In the afternoon, we therefore went to the GocheGanas Nature Reserve and Wellness Village.
GocheGanas is situated only 29 kilometres south-east of Windhoek on a hill overlooking a spectacular landscape. The luxury lodge offers a unique combination of wildlife, nature and wellness experiences.
With 25 different species of wildlife in a 6000-hectare nature reserve, game drives and walks are welcomed as an enriching experience.
During the beautiful nature drive with views of Namibia’s vast wildlife and the subsequent sundowner in the middle of the bush, we reviewed the past days.
6 days – 4 hotels – 1,000 kilometres
Namibia has shown us its most beautiful side!
We are very much looking forward to bringing our clients here to experience the wonderful nature and place that this country offers for our business. Especially for incentives and a group size of up to 80 persons, the country is perfect for those who are looking for extraordinary experiences!