The desert experience isn't just about the rare, desert-adapted lion, elephant and rhino - it's also about huge orange sandunes at Sossusvlei, the desolate Skeleton Coast, unusual plantlife and rock paintings. Camp designs can be dramatic, and offer a variety of experiences including walking, quad-biking and star-gazing. They usually have a pool and some have a/c. Namibia.
Best time: May to October is best when it's dry and cooler (temps in December are scorching) but pack a thick jacket - nights are cold.
Access: Charter from Windhoek's Eros airport; the international airport is a 2 hr flight from Johannesburg or Cape Town. Alternatively, rent a car and drive - roads are good, but distances are big.