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Digital Subscriptions > > SPLENDID ISOLATION

SPLENDID ISOLATION

IMMENSE SILENCE, NOT A SOUL IN SIGHT, AND LANDSCAPES AS ETERNAL AS THE HEAVENS ABOVE. WE ENJOY REMOTE LUXURY AT THE OLDEST DESERT IN THE WORLD, IN THE HEART OF NAMIBIA

The door of the chalet is wide open. A cheeky little bird has flown in and landed on my head as I sleep. Wake-up calls don’t get much more natural than this. Just as the creature narrowly escapes my swatting hand, the sun creeps over the mountain at the other side of the valley, and a bright beam of hot African sunlight hits me in the face.

VIEW FROM THE WOLWEDANS DUNE CAMP

I’m a little disorientated – the way you are when you wake up in an unexpected place – and I struggle to remember how I got here. And why that door is open? Not that it seems to matter much: the walls are made of canvas; anyone keen to get in could just zip them open. Slowly it dawns on me that we are in the middle of the Namib Desert. We arrived yesterday, and we are at the Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, in a remote corner of Namibia. The chalet is perched atop a dune and overlooks the eternal landscape of the oldest desert in the world.

AN ORYX SHELTERING FROM THE SCORCHING SUN

It’s all coming back to me now. I left the door open myself, when I stumbled back into the cabin a few hours earlier. That must have been around 4am. I had set an alarm in the dead of night in order to get up and watch the sky just after moonset. That’s when the stars are at their brightest, and the Milky Way reveals itself in all its glory. In the absence of the moon, the NamibRand Reserve gets so little light that it was recently named an International Dark Sky Reserve. A reserve for stars – another endangered species to gawk at in Africa.

A DANCING WHITE LADY SPIDER
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