A decade later he bequeathed this dream to the owners of a nearby hotel; then in 2023 it gained a more contemporary, stylish sister - the wildly romantic Honeymoon Hideaway. Both of these 1-bedroom boltholes are made for contemplation, romance and star-gazing (locals call them KuanguKuangu, from the Ovambo word for Milky Way). The lunar terrain around is hauntingly beautiful and ever-changing - and, thanks to all-glass frontage, you feel wedded to it. Staying here is a simple but spell-binding experience, one to savour for many years to come.
- You can choose to self-cater or eat at the nearby Barchan Dune Retreat, where great food and conversation are guaranteed
- The retreat has no less than 4000 hectares of estate waiting to be explored on foot or by 4x4
- Managers Gerda and Niekie are the kindest of hosts, with a deep understanding of the country and its people
- The Rustic Cabin is genuinely eco: solar powered, with a simple rocket boiler, and bathroom open to the elements
- The Honeymoon Hideaway, meanwhile, feels shiny and sleek, with long, elevated views from its wraparound deck
- You could go for days without seeing another human being, although you can spot plenty of animal and bird life
- If you want to self-cater, you'll need to bring in your own supplies - there are no shops for miles around
- It can get very hot here during the summer months
- Although it looks close to the NamibRand Reserve on the map, it's still 2 hours' drive away (just about day-trippable)
Best time to go
If booking the Rustic Cabin, bear in mind that showering beneath the stars could be less appealing in the colder months of June and July, when nighttime temperatures regularly drop below 10ºC.
Our top tips
You choose between cooking your own meals up at the cabin or dining at Barchan Dune Retreat, 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 the cabin.
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.
- Romantic Bolthole
- Two 1-bedroom cabins
- Self-catering; restaurant nearby
- Not suitable for kids
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car recommended
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
The Rustic Cabin
The original cabin is the more back-to-nature of the two. It's 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 handful of books and maps of Namibia. There are candles to light you to bed should the solar input drop.
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, and a few basic supplies.
Tucked 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.
The Honeymoon Hideaway
This newer cabin is better equipped and comfier; purists might say too much so, but we wouldn't! The open-plan space feels surprisingly urban and contemporary, with a wide double bed, plenty of hanging space, a kitchen corner (with gas hob, sink, big fridge and plenty of utensils), a wheeled dining table for two, and a pair of bucket chairs for sinking into with a cold beer or wine at sunset.
Even better views can be had from the terrace, which wraps around two sides. Being perched on a hill, you have long views over the other-worldly boulders to the dusty savannah and the jagged peaks which break the distant horizon. Sunsets here could not be more spectacular: a rainbow of golds, pinks and magentas.
There's also a semi-separate (indoor) bathroom with walk-in shower, dual flush toilet, thick white towels and surprisingly contemporary styling, including a funky circular mirror.
- Join one of the guided nature drives from Barchan Dune Retreat (1km away), to spot buck, oryx and zebras as well as the occasional warthog, fox, jackal - and the farm's resident meerkat
- And nearly 700 species of bird, including bulbuls, canaries, scimitarbills, eagles, the entertaining Cape glossy starling and the rosy-faced lovebird (one of Africa’s only parrots)
- Borrow fat-tyred e-bikes from the main lodge for a two-wheeled adventure; afterwards you can cool off in their small pool
- Spot prehistoric rock paintings at the Ubib Grotto, between Solitaire and Spreetshoogte Pass (a 2-3 hour excursion)
- Head off to Sossusvlei to see the iconic dunes at sunset - an easy half-day excursion from here
- Go walkabout in the Naukluft mountain park (30-minute drive) or even the NamibRand Reserve (2-hour drive) and experience the exhilaration of finding yourself alone with no sign of habitation for miles and miles - and miles
- Go hot air ballooning in Sesriem
- Set aside plenty of time for just being in your cabin: reading on the terrace as the sun sets, waking at dawn as the sky comes to life, stargazing at night - this is one of the cleanest places in the world in terms of light pollution
The cabins are conceived as a remote and romantic retreat for adults. There are no extra beds, and the Retreat has a strict no-kids-under-8 policy.
The Namib Hideaways are in the Sossusvlei area, between Nauchas and Solitaire near the Spreetshoogte pass.
Fly into Windhoek's Hosea Kutako (350km). From there, you can either drive (see below), or take the Dune Hopper air taxi to Solitaire (20 minutes down the road); or ask the managers of the cabin to organise a private flight right to Barchan Dune Retreat's own airstrip, using one of the licensed companies at Windhoek airport.
By Car from Windhoek:
You can rent a car with one of the car rental companies at the Hosea Kutako airport or in Windhoek. The nearest petrol station to the cabin is at Solitaire, the last from Windhoek is in Rehoboth. You can reach the cabin in a normal car, it is not necessary to have a 4 wheel drive vehicle. It takes about 3 hours from Windhoek or 3.5 hours from Swakopmund. If you want to hire a vehicle in Namibia, see our car rental recommendations; or ask our Tailormade Safari Operator who can give you a wider range of options.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.
- Windhoek Hosea Kutako 350.0 km WDH
- Beach 350.0 km
- Shops 30.0 km
- Restaurant 1.0 km