Creating lifetime memories at Gondwana’s secret Desert Whisper
The Desert Whisper looks almost like a chrashed UDO, balancing on a rocky mountain wall. Photo by Gondwana Collection Namibia
Creating lifetime memories at Gondwana’s secret Desert Whisper
14 December 2020 | Tourism
A lot of people must know that feeling, a memory which stays with you for a lifetime. For a long time I only had two of those memories. The first memory is that of my first trip oversees from Amsterdam to New York JFK in August 1998. By invitation of the Captain and the First officer I had the privilege to join the KLM crew in the cockpit of a Boeing 747 for the entire trip. Truly a once in a lifetime experience. My second memory goes back to February...
The first memory is that of my first trip overseas, from Amsterdam to New York’s JFK-Airport in August 1998. By invitation of the Captain and the First Officer, I had the privilege to join the KLM crew in the cockpit of a Boeing 747 for the entire trip – truly a once in a lifetime experience. My second memory goes back to February 2002 where I visited a beautiful old restaurant in the city-center of Antwerp in Belgium. The ambiance, the excellent food and the price I paid for the wines are still vivid, but it was worth every Euro. These are memories that you treasure and this year I added a third such memory.
Completely taken by a surprise, I had the privilege to spend one night at The Desert Whisper, part of the so called Secret Collection of Gondwana Collection Namibia. Together with the other Gondwana lodges in that area, The Desert Grace, Namib Desert Lodge and Namib Dune Star Camp, The Desert Whisper is situated approximately 34 kilometers from Solitaire and located in the middle of the Gondwana Namib Park.
The drive towards The Desert Whisper, also known as “The Pod”, is an adventure in itself. Guests are not allowed to drive up the mountain, where this luxurious accommodation is situated. We are requested to park our car and with the assistance of a very helpful Gondwana ranger our luggage is transferred onto one of Gondwana’s vehicles. The trip from Namib Desert Lodge to The Desert Whisper only lasts 15 minutes. We certainly do not complain, the view is simply stunning. In the far distance The Desert Whisper reveals its shape and for a moment, The Pod reminds us of a crashed UFO, balancing on a rocky mountain outcrop. And closer to The Whisper we understand why we are not driving ourselves: the ranger maneuvers the off-road vehicle swiftly into a steep climb to the top of the mountain. What follows is a short but exciting adventure and we are content to leave this task up to a professional.
Having arrived at The Desert Whisper, the ranger takes the time to introduce us to the Lodge and explain all the rules. Then it is time to celebrate our arrival. Some biltong and cheese snacks are served and the first drink is poured. Cheers! It becomes evident very fast that nothing lacks in this beautiful designed place and everything is taken care off. The fridge is filled with food and drinks. The variety of gins, wines, champagne, whiskey and other alcoholic beverages is amazing. “Are we sure that we are the only guests here tonight?” we ask ourselves a couple of times.
Out of this World
The silence sets in after the ranger leaves and we almost become one with The Whisper. Every inch of this mysterious Pod needs to be discovered, every so often one of us expresses a lout “wow” having discovered something new and interesting. The interior is amazing and designed very well, it blends in beautifully with nature. This pod in the Namib breathes luxury and tranquility and after our exploration it is time to pour a second Gin and Tonic and start enjoying the view outside. The panorama of the Namib Desert offered by
The Desert Whisper is something out of this world and a similar view hard to come by. When Norah Jones comes in on the Marshall speaker set and The Desert Whisper is reverberates with her voice, the Pod comes to life.
The tone is set. The Whisper is óur place for the night. For hours we enjoy the stunning view combined with music, drinks and snacks. For hours we either engage in deep conversation or we find that we do not talk at all, allowing this breathtaking experience to fill our senses. This get-away does not only feel like a retreat, instead you have the quaint sensation that the world is coming to a standstill. There is only the Whisper, us and the Namib Desert – nothing more.
The Whisper offers you a private chef to prepare your meals, but if you prefer a more private ambiance, you may decide to cook yourself. The Pod is fully equipped with a kitchen and a BBQ facility. We decide to light the gas BBQ, because what is better than having a braai on the deck, with a stunning view of the Namib Desert? As the sun sets, the night sky becomes visible. Complete darkness is falling like a mantle over the desert. The view of the endless horizon is gone, but makes place for something equally beautiful. What follows is a night sky full of stars and it is something that never bores. The Whisper is even equipped with a stargazer, which turns this into an enthralling experience.
Like a Whisper
Waking up in this place is really something else. Drinking your first coffee in bed and watching how the sun transforms the Namib landscape. For a moment you wonder whether you are still dreaming. The panoramic view from the bed is imprinted in your memories for ever. Will this moment ever stop? But then… having totally lost track of time we realize that we only have an hour left. A quick morning shower, with a panoramic view of course, and a breakfast are our last activities in the Pod, but in keeping with the luxurious offer so far, our breakfast is taken care of. A comprehensive choice of food, catering for every taste is found in the fridge. We enjoy the last moments of early morning on the viewing deck: the silence is only disturbed by a little breeze, it almost feels like a whisper in your ear.
Reality kicks in when we see a dust cloud on the gravel road approaching our abode. It is the ranger who picks us up again and takes us back to our own vehicle and the Namib Desert Lodge, where we check out. WE do not speak much on the way back to Windhoek. I know my travel companion very well; both of us need time to process these beautiful images and impressions, settling into our minds as a memory we will never forget. This one is filed away forever, along with Antwerp and the KLM-flight.