Sossusvlei to Lake Oanob
I awaken to the best-of-both-worlds, comfort that can only be experienced in a luxury safari tent. Surrounded by cloudy-soft linen and the pre-dawn desert silence, the temptation to linger and listen a little longer almost outweighs the excitement of our big outing for the day.
Up, up and away
We are taking a hot air balloon safari over the Sossusvlei, and despite my fear of heights (which I am assured will not come into play), I can’t wait to get a different angle on the gorgeous scenes which we visited yesterday.
Mixed emotions of fear and excitement are playing ping pong in the pit of my stomach as I meet up with the rest of our group at the lodge pick-up point, with dawn still a half an hour into the future.
The balloon hoists itself camel-like into the desert skies, and once we lift off, it’s all plain sailing. I have no word to describe the feeling of floating above these scenes of the Sossusvlei awakening as the sun inches over the dunes – lighting the sands grain, by glistening grain.
After about 2 hours of these mesmerising scenes we touch down at our breakfast spot, silent (for once) in the awe of what he have just experienced.
Dining in the desert
The clinking of champagne glasses, sausages sizzling on the grill and heavenly breakfast aromas soon snap us out of our reverie. From floating flights of fancy to two feet firmly on the ground, it suddenly seems as though everyone is talking at once – vocalising their take on every moment of this unforgettable trip.
Acacia’s and arrows
Upon returning from this remote desert location we only have a few hours to spare. While some head off to the archery range to learn a new skill, I am still in uber-relaxed mode and decide to take a meander around Sossusvlei Lodge instead.
After amusing myself in the curio shop for some time, I retreat to the poolside Acacia bar. A cool orange juice in the shade of the thorn trees and some friendly banter with fellow tourists provides just the fortification I need for the 3-hour trip to Lake Oanob Resort this afternoon.
On the road again
Regrouping, we head along the M47, spurred on by the prospect of spoiling ourselves with a treat at the famous ‘Moose’ MacGregor’s Desert Bakery at Solitaire, about an hour and a half away.
I half expect Solitaire to be a thriving tourist trap thanks to the fame of Moose’s apple pie, but instead it reminds me of a quiet pit stop along America’s ‘Route-66’ – possibly due to an arrangement of rusting vintage cars strategically dotted around the bakery. A single fuel station, post office, general store and small overnight lodge are clustered nearby.
The US influence ends at the apple pie though, the stone and thatch buildings of this eatery quickly restore an unmistakable African ambience.
Sadly, the iconic Scottish adventurer and baker par excellence, ‘Moose’, was laid to rest in 2014. Many say that the confectionary has never been the same, but we find the break a welcome treat and enjoy the pie nonetheless, as well as the cheesecake, and the custard slices…
All too soon our rest stop is over and we head along the dusty route towards Windhoek in the baking afternoon heat. The familiar muted tones of the desert are interrupted here and there by a stony array and may not be much to look at but they provide a familiar soothing backdrop to our route.
Our final stop
At last my roadside reverie is interrupted by patches of green suggesting that our lakeside destination is nearby and we pull into the popular Lake Oanob Resort just in time to check in for our overnight stay.