“A never-to-be-forgotten escape from the world: a self-catering hideaway for 2 in a remote corner of the lunar Naukluft mountains”
The best part of staying at Kuangukuangu is simply drinking in the vastness and beauty of the landscape which is spread out before you.
The cabin has been fashioned as one big, glass-fronted sleeping space with an outside cooking area and shower room slotted in alfresco between its outer wall and an enormous boulder. Beyond the sliding glass doors is a paved and shaded terrace with a table for two and twin director's chairs: this is the place where you're bound to spend most of your time reading, stargazing and gulping in those awesome views.
A large double bed - with a feather duvet and triple bank of pillows and cushions - is the axis round which the cabin turns, positioned so you awake to see the valley bathed in the first light of dawn without slipping out from between your sheets.
Behind the bed stone shelving doubles as your bedside table and on a higher ledge you'll find a CD player along with a selection of the owner's favourite Namibian sounds (choirs, marimbas, local music) - a collection of National' Geo' magazines and a handful of books and maps of Namibia. There are candles to light you to bed should the solar input drop, whilst animal hides and block prints of Namibian wildlife speak of the owner's love for the Great Outdoors.
On a small side terrace between the cabin and a huge rock you'll find your outside kitchen comprising a moveable gas hob, sink, cool box and small cupboard containing your cutlery and crockery, pots and pans, kettle and cafétière, matches and a few basic spices.
And tucked away round the corner is the shower room and toilet which are also open to the elements. Water is heated by a simple rocket boiler: it's lit for you on the day of your arrival then you're responsible for firing it up yourself. You'll find a small bottle of shower gel, another of shampoo and a small bar of soap.
As a guest at Kuangukuangu you choose between cooking your own meals up at the cabin or dining at Barchan Dune lodge which is a 10-minute walk away. The chances are that you'll only be here for 2-3 nights, so we'd recommend you do both: it would be a shame not to have at least one meal beneath the stars at KK.
If you don't fancy shopping before you arrive (which in practical terms would mean in Windhoek, Walvis Bay or Solitaire) you can order a braai pack for your first night which will include sausages and meat for the barbecue, potatoes with garlic butter as well as salad and dessert: wine or beer can also be picked up at the main lodge.
You may prefer to have all your meals at Barchan Dune round its one big dining table, inside or out, in the very good company of Willem and Hannetjie (that's unless they have a full house in which case they'll be involved with preparing and serving).
Big breakfasts include Hannetjie's homemade breads, cheese and cold cuts, juice of the carton kind, fruit and cereals and the offer of eggs any way you'd like them.
If lunches at the lodge are fairly light in content - something along the lines of quiche, carpaccio or tuna fish with salad and served with a glass of white wine or beer - dinners are a lot more substantial. Willem enjoys wine and an engagingly quirky part of eating with him is that every night he'll ask one guest to choose the wine for the rest of the assembled company from a number of bottles lined up on the sideboard. Our supper was excellent: a tuna, gherkin and onion wrap as entrée was followed by springbok steak with a Greek salad and potatoes, and then a scrummy chocolate brownie for dessert. But best of all was the easy conversation with Hannetjie and Willem who seem born to their new role of keepers-of-the-inn: it was fascinating hearing them talk about life on their remote latifundia.