Camels in Wadi Rum

Newsletter Jan 2014: Waterproof holidays

Tidal surges and gusts of up to 75mph battered parts of the UK on Friday as Britain continued to experience the worst series of winter storms for more than 20 years. What better time could there possibly be to swap your brolly for your sunhat? Book a waterproof holiday with Sally and Alice Travel Co. to some of the driest places on earth…

Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa: average rainfall 250mm per year

Most adventurers seeking a luxury South African safari holiday immediately head towards the Kruger National Park area – not surprising given it has the greatest concentration of top-shelf luxury safari lodges on earth, most of them with their own private game reserves where you can see lots of animals, and few other guests. Yet Tswalu dwarfs all of these at a mind-numbing 250,000 acres – the largest private game reserve in the world – and this huge area is shared only by the occupants of Tswalu’s eight luxury suites, one private home and two colonies of (very friendly) meerkats. Due to the little rainfall the area receives the landscape is raw, rocky, and mostly covered in distinctive red sand and low foliage which makes for incredible game-viewing. If you’re keen to swap grey skies for blue, contact Sally and Alice.

Pelican Point, Namibia: Average rainfall 8.13 mm per year

Namibia is home to two great deserts, the Namib and the Kalahari, but surprisingly it is one of Namibia’s top surfing spots, a tiny spit of land called Pelican Point, that receives the least rainfall each year (the town itself, Walvis Bay, receives just 10 mm, making it one of the driest cities on the planet). Here we recommend a stay at the brand new Pelican Point Lodge, which officially reopened under new management in October 2013. Guests are housed in 9 luxury suites in the renovated old Harbour Control building at the foot of the Lighthouse, with spectacular views of the bay and the Atlantic Ocean. If you would like to take advantage of the 300 days of sunshine that Namibia enjoys per year, contact Sally and Alice for more Namibian adventure ideas.

Uluru, Australia: average rainfall 284 mm per year

Australia is the world’s second–driest continent (after Antarctica), with average annual rainfall below 600mm over 80% of the continent, and below 300mm over 50%. Smack in the middle of the ‘Red Centre’, acclaimed desert camp Longitude 131° sits at the gateway of the dual World Heritage listed wilderness of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park – 15 luxury tents complete with private views of the sun rising and setting over Uluru (Ayers Rock). Activities include guided walks at Kata Tjuta, an early morning Uluru experience, and a lesson on bush food and medicine. There is a swimming pool for hot, lazy afternoons and in the evening guests take sundowners on secluded sand dunes and dine out under the spectacular desert night sky. Longitude 131° has recently joined the Baillie Lodges collection of luxury wilderness destinations and as a result now welcomes children 10 years and over. Contact Sally and Alice if you feel like going walkabout.

Dana Nature Reserve, Jordan: average rainfall 200 mm per year

Feynan Eco Lodge is on the western edge of the Dana Biosphere Reserve, the largest nature reserve inJordan. A favourite of National Geographic, the lodge has a unique desert design (the exterior of the sandstone building is decorated with rocks in order to blend into the craggy mountains), and is solar powered. Feynan Eco Lodge is remote – you can either hike into the reserve (about 5-6 hours to get to the lodge from the Dana Village and 6-8 hours from Wadi Ghwayr) and ease yourself into the beautiful surroundings or 4×4 transfers can be arranged. Prepare for a full experience; the produce is locally grown and bread is freshly made each day by local Bedouin women, and the lodge is lit by candles in the evening. The stunning reserve is perfect for hiking (there are complimentary guided sunset hikes each evening), trekking, mountain biking, and exploring, after which there are lots of places to relax—hammocks, a lounge with books and games, and rooftop beds for stargazing. Dust off your hiking boots and contact Sally and Alice.

Ouarzazate, Morocco: average rainfall 112mm per year

Kasbah Dar Ahlam (House of Dreams) is located in a desert oasis on the far side of Ouarzazate, Morocco (about four hours from Marrakech). The immense earthen clay structure sits in majestic splendour against the backdrop of the Atlas Range, whilst the garden surrounding the house abounds in rosebushes, palm, olive and almond trees. There are just 9 suites with views of the mountains and three villas each with a terrace, a garden and private pool. A stay at Dar Ahlam includes exclusive 4×4 excursions with guide and driver, camel-back riding, special gala dinners and a cookery class – guests can also continue their adventure in a private Bedouin-style tent set up in the heart of the desert. If you’re feeling partial to a tagine, contact Sally and Alice .

If you want to swap your umbrella for your sunhat then email us at: