Jetsetters can arrive by charter plane (little over 1hr flight) from Windhoek or from their sister game lodge Omaanda. We chose an excellent 8-hour ground transfer through breathtaking Namibian landscapes; and we loved every second. Once installed, they'll guide you to explore on horseback, electric bike, jeep or on foot. Cool off in their spa or beautiful pool afterwards, or star-gaze at night. Every day, your jaw will drop afresh at the epic scene before you. Pinch yourself! It's remote, spectacular, unforgettable.
- It's a hugely ambitious feat to have created not just this lodge, but this atmosphere: relaxed, yet frissoned with a sense of adventure
- We loved languishing by the beautiful spa and pool, hypnotised by vast plains, changing light and mind-altering cocktails
- These are some of the most mesmerising and inspiring landscapes we have ever seen
- Solid canvas tents combine old style luxury with creature comforts
- Wonderful service and dining for somewhere so far removed
- It's a long drive from Windhoek - but we really enjoyed our journey, and you can always fly in if you prefer
- Communal dining might not be for everyone, but most people love it, and should you wish to dine alone it can be arranged
- Nights can be a little nippy, but the beds are exceptionally comfortable and they'll do whatever it takes to keep you cosy
- Not cheap, but worth every penny
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Luxury Desert Lodge
- 10 tented suites
- Gastronomic restaurant
- Over 6s only
- Open all year
- Heated Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car essential
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
All 10 sturdy canvas tents are fixed on raised wooden bases spread out across the site. Each overlooks the plain beneath with viewing decks outside.
Walk in and step back to the 1920s. Antiques reminiscent of that era - writing desk, globes, campaign chairs, a brass telescope and binos to scout across the desert, even a chandelier - sit alongside super comfortable four-poster beds. We enjoyed delving into an old travelling trunk replenished with ice each day to keep our drinks cool. Thoughtful touches include decks of cards and games in case you need entertainment. Wardrobe space comes within a large leather travelling box. Bathrooms have clawfoot bath tubs, rain shower, double vanity, dressing tables, even a set of scales. If it all seems a bit old fashioned, fear not: you'll be able to chill with fans and A/C, and there's a Bluetooth sound system and other electricals to jolt you back into the 21st century. They also have Wedgewood crockery and kettle for those in need of a cuppa.
There are two 2-bedroom tents, suitable for families and closer to the main reception. The remaining eight 1 bedroom tents are spread out with plenty of space between them. Being nearer the reception will mean less walking back to the breakfast and dining tents, but further away means you'll be closer to the infinity pool.
- Mosquito net
- Safe box
Two tents at the top of the camp are used for dining, though you can also take "light bites" down by the pool bar. Breakfast and lunch are taken in the tent with the clearest views across the desert. To set you up for the day, breakfast is à la carte. Our fresh fruit salads and granola with passion fruit were excellent; our daughter loved her pancakes with blueberry compote and maple syrup.
The main event is dinner, served around 8, which all guests are invited to. Expect an opulent grandeur, with candelabras and silverware on the vast table, and service befitting a grand old country house. Considering Sonop's remoteness, we found the food remarkably good: cucumber gaspacho, kingclip curry and perfectly cooked rack of lamb. And we loved our traditional South African milk tart with the crispiest of pastry.
There is also a cocktail and cigar lounge which capture the feel of an old gentleman's club, with billiard table and obliging barman. Our only regret was not having spent more time there. And if we go back, we're determined to book a bush breakfast or dinner, with nothing but desert surrounding us.
- Coffee / tea making
- Room service
- This is a place to soak up the stunning landscapes: the reserve has 5,600 hectares to explore and lots of ways to lap it up
- Zoom out on their fat tyre electric mountain bikes: we completely loved the wind-in-your-hair freedom
- Horse riding - they have their own stables nearby and a guide can take you out into the desert
- Book a hot air balloon excursion, a guided hike, or a dinner in the wild
- Go for a wildlife drive: there are oryx, hyena, rabbits, foxes, jackals, kudus and occasionally leopards (not a place for big 5)
- It's possible to take a day trip to the Sossusvlei dunes, but it does take most of the day
- Their open-air cinema down by the pool bar is an amazing spot to watch a movie
- Or recharge in their delightful spa, gym and treatment centre
Sonop welcomes children over the age of 6. We think it would suit adventurous teens who don't mind some bumpy drives, and can cope with being unglued from their devices for a few days.
Family friendly accommodation:
The 2-bedroom tents are intended for families (and closest to the dining areas); but they can put extra beds in the other tents too.
Sonop luxury tented camp is located at the southern extremity of the Namib desert, in the Karas region of Namibia.
Take an internal flight from Windhoek, or from their sister lodge Omaanda, to the Sonop airstrip, from where it's a 10-min drive (complimentary). Alternatively you could drive the 800km from Windhoek; handy if you're doing a tour of southern Namibia.
- Sonop Airstrip 10.0 km
- Windhoek (Hosea Kutako) International 800.0 km WDH
- Beach 300.0 km
- Shops 100.0 km
- Restaurant 100.0 km