Wild beauty

Whether you’re a local or a tourist, there’s a lot to love about Namibia. Just ask Sossusvlei Desert Lodge Manager, Emsie Skrywer.

“There are so many things that make Namibia special,” she enthuses. “For one, the diversity of its people and the fact that it boasts one of the oldest nomadic tribes. It’s also one of the oldest deserts in the world and offers so much untouched beauty. All four corners of the continent offer beautiful landscapes, but the dunes here at Sossusvlei are a bucket list experience for most people.”

Emsie is as passionate about Namibia as she is about tourism in general, and this makes her a favorite staff member for many a traveler that visits Sossusvlei Desert Lodge.

“I started working in tourism and hospitality over 12 years ago because I’m curious about the world and love meeting people from all works of life,” she says with a smile. “You end up becoming part of other people’s stories without even knowing it; when they check out, you hear ‘You made this a trip of a lifetime for me’.”

Apart from Emsie’s magnetism and charm, you’d be hard pressed not to have the trip of a lifetime at the beautiful Sossusvlei Desert Lodge. Blending in with the dramatic Namib Desert, Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is a marvel that needs to be experienced to be believed. It boasts 12 exclusive suites, each one a masterpiece of rock and steel. From the wide glass windows overlooking the horizon to the skylights just above the bed for nighttime stargazing while you drift off to sleep, every feature is an ode to the surrounding natural landscape.

I like to refer to Sossusvlei Desert Lodge as ‘Star Wars on earth’,” says YPA founder Nick with a laugh, “especially when you see the distinct design of the lodge juxtaposed against the rocks and red dunes of the Namib Desert.”

Fun Fact: the Namibian Tourism board launched a specialist program in 2011 and Nick was assigned as one of the first “Namibia specialists”. Nick is passionate about connecting travelers to this amazing country.

“Each ultra-luxurious suite overlooks a private pool and the vast moonscape in the background. There’s a waterhole right in front of the lodge, frequented by wildlife such as oryx, zebra, ostrich and gazelle, and an array of spectacular experiences to enjoy. When you want to get out of the vehicle and stretch your legs, you can enjoy activities like e-biking, stargazing from the lodge observatory, guided walks to see ancient Bushman rock art, helicopter flips, hot air ballooning and hiking the tallest sand dune on earth.”

Being based in the middle of nowhere is a large part of the Lodge’s charm and tranquility, but it also means that sustainable practices and responsible tourism are a permanent way of life.

“&BEYOND’s vision is to deliver extraordinary guest experiences and give back by protecting Namibia’s wild spaces, animals, and people, Emsie explains. “Through the Africa Foundation, &BEYOND’s non-profit community and conservation development partner, we’re driving fundraising and supporting numerous nature and community conservation efforts.”

Offering locals job opportunities at the Lodge also makes a big impact, and in return staff members like Emsie bring their own insights and stories to the guest experience, sharing her own ancestral history of the Nama People with the numerous guests that flow through the doors.

If you’d like to know more about experiencing Namibia’s diverse people and profound natural beauty for yourself, let us help you set up the trip of a lifetime.

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