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“Amazing beyond words!”

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Wolwedans Dune Camp
Certificate of Excellence
New york
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Amazing beyond words!”
Reviewed 19 April 2014

This was by far the coolest and most amazing place we've stayed at - and we've stayed at a number of places. At first I was a bit sceptical about the whole concept of a luxury camp but one look at Dune Camp and I 'got' it.. You definitely won't be 'roughing' it - there is a bed to sleep in (a very comfy one), a shower, even a closet for your luggage. The tent are on platforms so you don't need to worry much about creepy/crowlies. The location is absolutely amazing - right in the middle of a beautiful desert landscape... the service was amazing. Every morning they would deliver a tray with tea and biscuits to the tent so you could watch sunrise from your tent while drinking tea and eating yummy biscuits. There are two game drives a day - in the morning and in the evening - and evening drives include 'sundowners'. The food was good; my only probably was that I had a very hard time eating gazelles for dinner, because we saw that on our game drives earlier in the day:)

I cannot say enough about how great this place is!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Lena A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Magdalena W, Public Relations Manager at Wolwedans Dune Camp, responded to this review, 19 May 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for sharing your experience of Wolwedans with the world! Much time is invested into ensuring that the facilities and service are of a high standard. In light of our efforts, your positive feedback is much appreciated.

Kind regards
Magdalena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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119 reviews from our community

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English first
Burleigh Heads, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
187 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2014

If you want to lose – or perhaps find – yourself, this is the place to come.
Soon after you take off from Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, in your Wilderness Air five-seater aircraft, you can forget about civilization. For 90 minutes, you fly over the sparse beauty of the Namib Desert: a vast land of shrubs and grass, with few trees.
Every so often you see individual or groups of the mysterious “fairy circles” with nothing growing inside the grassy circles – possibly because of termite action below the ground though mineral radiation another theory.
“When I took some of the sand away, I was able to grow things in it,” Wolwedans guide Simon told us later. “But when I planted the same things within the circle itself, nothing grew.” He added people can own a circle for 500 Namibian dollars (about $50) a year; a plaque in the circle has the owner’s name on it.
Now it’s time to land…but where? You look for a landing strip as the plane starts to descend. All you can see is the desert. Finally you see a barely distinguishable dirt track as the wheels touch down.
From nowhere an open safari Land Rover appears. You and your luggage are “transferred” and off you go for a 45-minute drive to the camp. How could there be anything remotely resembling human life in this stark land?
At least there’s animal life to reassure you that this is still indeed Africa, that you have come to the right place: zebra, oryx (Namibia’s national animal), springbok, bat-eared fox.
“We’re almost here,” said Simon – but again, where? You drive up a little red sand dune and when you reach the top, you see the camp – a collection of half a dozen accommodation tents and a large central tent, all on permanent bases.
In winter (July and August), which is the most popular tourist season because of the summer’s extreme heat, temperatures can drop close to zero at night. And so it’s a warming surprise to find a hot water bottle or two in your bed at night.
Wolwedans is dedicated to making the lightest possible footprint on the environment. As the brochure notes, and we heartily endorse:
“In this harsh and unforgiving environment…the 200,000ha privately owned NamibRand Nature Reserve, through high quality, low-impact tourism, today is a role model demonstrating holistic biodiversity conservation balanced with financial sustainability.”
Wolwedans offers four different camps, all with elegant safari furnishings and fittings. At Dune Camp, for example, solar power gives the tents 12 volts of electricity for lighting and hot water for a shower. An air horn is provided to call for help in an emergency, and earplugs in case the noise of tent canvas flapping in the wind keeps you awake.
Before sunrise each morning, hot water in a thermos plus coffee-tea makings and biscuits (very more-ish!) are left on the outdoor deck. It’s a nice way to wake up as, covered with blankets after you have moved to the outside daybeds, you watch the sunrise,
Visiting Wolwedans is all about the spectacularly open and colourful scenery – after all, this is a vast desert at around 1,200 metres above sea level plus surrounding hills climbing another 1,700 metres. The clear air and lack of light from any civilization also make for spectacular night-time skies and stargazing.
Although there are some large animals, the main focus here is the scenery plus small life like the white dancing spider Simon dug up after lifting the tiny lid on its hole in the ground. We also met termites, dung and other beetles, ants – and a delightful chameleon with independently rotating eyes, which we picked up and watched as it moved slowly up an arm.
Water is very scarce so it’s interesting to hear how life adapts – collecting morning dew moisture from plants, eating plants and creatures for their moisture. Other than the occasional acacia tree – and a “forest” of about a dozen scattered trees – vegetation consists mostly of grass clumps growing on the fine red sand.
You leave this area with, as the brochure says, memories of “the majestic landscapes of red Namib sand dunes, golden grass savannah and impressive purple mountain ranges.” Wolwedans has it all.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank mike g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Magdalena W, Public Relations Manager at Wolwedans Dune Camp, responded to this review, 18 March 2014
Dear Guest

Thank you for such a glowing review of Wolwedans.
You skillfully and intricately described the wonders of the NamibRand Nature Reserve. The team was delighted to learn that you seemed to appreciate every detail of your stay. We look forward to welcoming you to Wolwedans again in the near future.
Kind regards
Magdalena
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 6 Contributor
133 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 January 2014

We were picked up by our guides Jonathan and Abraham in open jeeps at Kulala Desert Lodge and taken on a two-and-a-half hour scenic drive to Wolwedans, located in the NamibRand Nature Reserve. The drive was very enjoyable for the beautiful scenery, rock formations and animals that we were able to see. Once at the Lodge, we were greeted as always with refreshing drinks and smiles by the very friendly manager, Eleni, and her staff. In addition to friendly, Eleni had a good sense of humor and was extremely efficient and attentive. Everyone was very patient with our large group of 11. The tented rooms were impeccable, decorated with very tasteful furniture. They had large verandas from which you could observe the pristine scenery and occasional animals (including a steenbok - antelope- that has marked the lodge as his territory and is unafraid of humans). The bathrooms were extremely nice with luxury toiletries and two sinks. Out of all of the wonderful lodges that we visited during our two-week stay in Namibia, Wolwedans was tops in terms of the room. Although the common area was a bit of a trek from some of the rooms and a bit small, it was cozy. There was no pool at the lodge, which would have been nice given the high heat in December. However, we were taken to the Wolwedans Lodge, about 20 minutes away, where we were able to take a dip in their pool. The food was among the best that we had in Namibia. I appreciated the small portions at lunch. Dinner was more generous. Our guides, Joanathan and Abraham, were fantastic. Jonathan was extremely knowledgeable on the flora and fauna of the area. He even dug up a white lady spider for us, which was a treat to see. We were taken to view beautiful sunsets, where our group was completely alone, amid this spectacular scenery (no other people in view as far as the eye could see). Fantastic experience! I look forward to returning on our next trip to Namibia.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank MartaH69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Açores
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 December 2013

We have visited Wolwedans in October 2013.
Our trip was (well) organized by NatureFriends Safaris and we have chosen "7 Day NamibRand Bonanza" with 2 nights in Wolwedans Dunes Camp and 2 nights in Wolwedans Boulders Camp.
The first part in Dunes Camp was perfect, with very beautiful landscape, nice rooms, good food, and very nice and gentle people taking care of us...we have good memories of Uncle Benny, Ivone, Vanessa and Scharon, all excellent professionals.
The second part, in Boulders Camp was not so good. The landscape is also very beautiful, but:
-the WC/bathroom is separate from the room, which is very uncomfortable if you are ill, or at night, specially if it is cold and windy.... when we go back to our room we are completely awaken. Also during the day, people from the room next to yours or, in case of the first room next to the main building, other guests or staff can see you "traveling" from your room to your bathroom
-All the employees we met, specially Richard, the person in charge of Boulders camp and Hendrick, one of the waiters, do very little effort to please you.
-the food is ok in quality but not in quantity and even if you ask for a cookie between meals, the answer is "no".
A special thanks to Elias, our guide in Wolwedans and to Aaron, our pilot, they are both nice and intelligent persons, and also excellent professionals. Thank you for the good moments.
As I can not find on tripadvisor a separate place where to write a review about Boulders Camp, I will write both reviews (Dunes Camp and Bouders Camp) here.
To rate Boulders camp:
Service: Poor
Value: very Good
Sleep Quality: Average
Cleanliness: Average
Location: Excellent
Rooms: Average

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Candido0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2013

It is difficult to select one absolute highlight in a country where we had so many. We would highly recommend Namibia to anyone who loves to visit African countries. But if we had to pick one, it will have to be Wolwedans Dune Camp. The tents (formally it is a tent, but this word does not do justice to the spacious and wonderfully decorated rooms), the amazing location and scenery, the tasty food, the cosy athmosphere, but above all the wonderfull friendly staff and our great guide Ben, who made this a stay we will never forget. Thank you all at Wolwedans, we certainly hope we can come back one day.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Joopie14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Menlo Park, California
Level 5 Contributor
87 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2013

This is our second visit to Wolwedans (we stayed at the Lounge and Boulder camp last year). Dune Camp is in a very private setting under a camel thorn tree since we have a party of six. The drives as usual are really pleasant. But this year they arranged for a five star lunch outing for us. The location and the service was spectacular. Unfortunately the desert giraffes have been reduced to two. We picked Aug. instead of Oct. because the weather was perfect. One area the mgmt should consider is the seating arrangement for dinner. It is communal at Wolwedans. However, both this and last year we found certain guests to be uninterested to interact (maybe due to language barrier).

Room Tip: If you do not want to "trek" through sand then pick the room closest to the main lodge
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank tkng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Windhoek, Namibia
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 July 2013

During every second of our visit we felt very at home at Boulders Camp. We were very impressed with the way the place is run. Starting with the friendly and always helpful staff. The excellent and very tasty food. What we really enjoyed was the way the well trained staff working together as a team. They were always present and ready to help, but discreetly gave us the space to enjoy the beautiful location and scenery.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank PackSaf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Wolwedans Dune Camp

Property: Wolwedans Dune Camp
Address: NamibRand Nature Reserve, NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia
Region: Namibia > Hardap Region > NamibRand Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Speciality Lodging in NamibRand Nature Reserve
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
DUNE CAMP – has six canvas tents built on stilts atop a 250-metre-high grass covered dune. A spacious deck allows for sleeping outdoors under the stars, and an en-suite bathroom completes this very civilized camping experience. The main area comprises a lounge, dining area and open-plan kitchen, which allows guests to chat to the chef while their meals are being prepared. The charm of Dune Camp, lies in its tranquil and intimate atmosphere, capturing the romance of a bygone era. ... more   less 

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