Nine avant garde Ikea-inspired blocks of wood, stone and compacted earth litter a granite outcrop in stealth mode among boulders piled up like a giant’s cairn. Inside your cuboid room is all naked wood and long straight lines with levels up and down and a semi-open-plan bathroom (the toilet is mercifully closed in). A high level of comfort pervades from the seriously soft linen and magnetically comfortable bed to the Nespresso machine, bath robes and a quietly humming mini-bar you’ll simply maul after your hour-long bump and grind transfer through that crazy scenery.
Food and drink: check. In the dark years, before the world discovered Namibia, a venison steak or kingklip and chips with a stodgy lump of white sauce was considered très haute and everywhere you went, a feller named Gordon Blue was celebrated for his signature chicken dish. A chef school in Windhoek is changing the cooking landscape and now a leek and mussel sauce accompanies your kingklip and the venison steak is garnished with an onion relish.
Swimming pool: check. Soaring hang-glider-style into that shimmering view.
Viewing deck: check. Poised above the rocky terrain with a central fire pit and a view in every direction - including upwards for a star-filled night-time extravaganza.
From just about everywhere the Brandberg Mountain dominates the picture. Namibia’s highest peak has an elevation of just over 2.5km above sea level and a prominence of 1.8km dwarfing Australia's Uluru several times over. Brandberg literally means Fire Mountain after its ever-changing hues that cover the spectrum of fiery colours providing an evocative backdrop to the hundreds of photos you’ll likely take from your private balcony.
Between you and the Brandberg stretches a vast and spectacular emptiness of singular beauty. And flatness. Small granite outcrops just like the one your luxury lodge hugs pop out of prairie-blonde fields that disappear into the ocean-flat horizon beneath an impossibly blue sky.
The Sorris Sorris Conservancy is a huge chunk of Damara steppe and, for most Namibians, this is the landscape that defines our beautiful country. And here the desert elephants, lions, rhinos, giraffe, kudu, oryx, springbok, ostrich, hyena, jackal and a profusion of birds have adapted to life with about 100mm of rain a year and about 1m of evaporation a day.
While sightings may be rare given the size and low productivity of this ecosystem, guided walks and safaris are exceptional if just for the scenery. And when you do encounter wildlife it is all the more remarkable for it. You can also take a guided or self-drive day trip to the Brandberg and walk among the 30,000-year old daubs of the San Hunter-gatherers. A balloon ride over this whole saga comes highly recommended.
For the price maybe some creature comforts wouldn't go amiss - if you really think wi-fi, cellular reception, air conditioning et cetera are essentials - but for such a sublime Damaraland experience, no price is too high.
9 luxury suites with en suite bathrooms, mini bar, Nespressos, bath robes, private balcony; main lodge with restaurant and bar/lounge, viewing deck, swimming pool
Guided nature walks, game drives and day trips to the rock paintings of Brandberg