Moose McGregor s Desert Bakery Namibia s pastry oasis MzansiBride

Winona Griggs

Moose McGregor’s Desert Bakery: A Sweet Haven in Namibia’s Wilderness

When I embark on my adventurous road trips through the deserts of Namibia, I always make sure to pack extra sunscreen, capture the breathtaking sights of dry riverbeds, and take frequent breaks to quench my thirst. But my latest discovery has added a whole new dimension to my desert checklist: Moose McGregor’s renowned bakery in the town of Solitaire. Now, I firmly believe that no desert journey is complete without a visit to a skilled pastry chef.

Solitaire, located a mere eighty kilometres north of Sesriem – the gateway to the mesmerizing dunes of Sossusvlei – may seem like a tiny dot on the map, easily missed with the blink of an eye. And that’s exactly what happened to me. I almost missed it completely. However, the absence of traffic on the road allowed me to make a hasty U-turn and head back to experience breakfast at Moose McGregor’s. This small cluster of a bakery, guest lodge, petrol station, and general dealer is significant enough to warrant a spot on the map, particularly for those with a passion for geography.

Astonishingly delicious pastries grace the shelves of Moose McGregor’s Desert Bakery.

Moose McGregor’s apple cake is something that everyone talks about. It’s the talk of the town, especially at the Solitaire petrol station’s Moose McGregor Desert Bakery. This place is known for satisfying hungry travelers and their vehicles at the same time. I have to admit, the brioche I had wasn’t the greatest I’ve ever tasted, but it definitely took the prize for the best pastry I’ve ever had in the middle of nowhere.

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Sitting at a café table just after 8 a.m., I realized why Solitaire is an important place. The pastries here are really good. And if you’re driving in Namibia, you know that a gas station is a crucial landmark on the map. But what caught my attention was the traffic at this crossroads of the C14 and C19 highways. These are major routes to Swakopmund and Sossusvlei, two popular destinations for experiencing Namibia’s natural beauty.

As I looked around, I saw a variety of vehicles passing through. There were sturdy 4×4 land cruisers, tough bakkies (pickup trucks), and even a few brave compact cars. Families in large Land Rovers, seasoned adventurers checking their extra fuel tanks, and weary tourists pondering how long it would take their two-wheel-drive rental cars to navigate the next stretch of secondary road.

Let’s put Solitaire on the map for our next road trip through Namibia. As we indulge in a plate of apple cake, we can take a moment to appreciate why we’ve come this far. And why not grab some pies and biscuits for later? They’ll be perfect for a late afternoon tea.

If we’re heading towards Sossusvlei, we won’t stay in Solitaire for long. The excitement to see Namibia’s vibrant red dunes will push us further south. But if we’re on our way north, with a camera full of Dune 45 photos, then we deserve to treat ourselves to a second serving of pastries. After all, we’ve just witnessed one of Namibia’s most stunning treasures.

The captivating beauty of Sossusvlei awaits us just south of our pit stop in Solitaire.

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If we need more time to savor that delicious apple cake, we can choose to stay overnight in Solitaire. The Solitaire Country Lodge is a great option to consider. Or, if we’re looking for a mid-way point between Solitaire and the slightly more expensive accommodations around Sossusvlei, we can make a stop at Weltevrede Guest Farm. It’s located 47km north of Sesriem and 37km south of Solitaire. With comfortable rooms, including dinner and breakfast, travel planning becomes a breeze. They also offer self-catering units and camping spots for those who prefer more flexibility.

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