4. Float over the dunes at sunrise

If you want to ponder how insignificant we really are, then hop into a hot air balloon and quietly absorb the unparalleled 360° view of eternal beauty that is the Namib Desert. Awake just before dawn and venture out to the launch site before sunrise, then float up peacefully into the sky as the sun peeks over the horizon. Get a bird’s eye view of the jagged mountain tops that emerge from shifting dunes and soar over a landscape that remains unchanged for millions of years.

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After a gentle landing amidst the amber dunes, as is customary with any balloon flight, you’ll enjoy a champagne toast, followed by a hearty breakfast. We’re talking fresh bread, buttery croissants, pancakes, fruit skewers, smoked salmon, a selection of cheeses and of course some piping hot coffee to get your day started. Though I must admit, not much can really top a morning like that – it was one of the most incredible, soul-enriching and humbling experiences and I cannot recommend it enough.

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5. Conquer some of the world’s highest dunes

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The Namib Desert boasts some of the world’s highest sand dunes, some of them reaching nearly 400 metres in height. Surrounded by countless dunes of differing heights, you really can take your pick, however most people flock to the world-famous Big Daddy and Dune 45. Whether you’re six years old or sixty, you can choose to climb the highest peak, or hike partway and slide down the side, or simply wander around the vlei below admiring the cascading dunes in all their glory.

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Sliding down the side of these towering dunes takes you right back to your childhood. You’ll hear the contagious giggles of delight as people bounce down the dunes with reckless, childlike abandon. I dare you not to smile as your feet disappear deep into the dunes, your shoes fill with sand and you glide down to the vlei as if you’re walking on a cloud. It’s so much fun!

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6. Gaze up at a gazillion stars

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The NamibRand Nature Reserve was officially declared Africa’s first International Dark Sky Reserve (IDSR) in 2013. It also became the world’s first IDSR to be awarded Gold Tier status, declaring it an environment with exceptionally little to no impact from artificial light. With the nearest town situated 90 miles away, the reserve is not only free of light pollution, but also boasts one of the darkest skies ever measured.

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Situated within this IDSR, &Beyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge boasts a high-tech observatory that is equipped with a Meade LX200R 12-inch telescope (one of the largest in the southern hemisphere) using Autostar II technology. Under the guidance of an expert resident astronomer, guests can get a closer look at the planets and constellations of the enchanting Namibian sky.

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