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All reviews dunes lodge mountain view suite the main lodge base camp bucket list magical place beautiful surroundings three days nature reserve plunge pool chef guide scenery desert namibia safari tents
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Reviewed 1 February 2023

This was the first of four properties we stayed at during our Namibia sojourn. We were torn about whether to visit the NamiBrand Nature Reserve over more time in the Damaraland region. In hindsight, we are glad with our choice - it offered enough variety and contrast compared to other parts of Namibia, and the fine people that supported our stay were arguably the best of the bunch.

We opted to stay at the Mountain View Suite, which is on the premises of Desert Lodge (formerly known as Dunes Lodge) but is a self-contained unit that comes with a private vehicle/guide and chef, and is far enough away from the main lodge that it provides an air of intimacy and tranquility that we seek in our safari experiences. It also is the best situated - the MVS is at the far end of the lodge, giving it an expansive view down the valley as well as the mountains in the distance. It's a massive, 107m² Suite with separate dining, kitchen, lounge, living and sleeping areas as well as an enormous 118m² deck that features a plunge pool as well as a waterhole that is literally right outside the deck. Since Lions and Leopards do not roam the area, they were able to place the waterhole very close to the room, giving us awesome views of Jackals, Springboks, Oryxes and a variety of birds that frequented the oasis to quench their thirst. The MVS is due to be renovated in the near future (we were told that we may very well be the last guests to stay at the current iteration of the Suite), we did not feel it to be lacking when it came to creature comforts. In fact, given its location we felt that it did a great job blending in and giving it a good sense of place. Also, unlike the other rooms at Wolwedans, the MVS offered WiFi throughout the entire unit, which came in very handy for the both of us.

The biggest benefit of the MVS had to do with the private guide and chef. Not only were we able to do what we wanted, when we wanted to, we really got to know our guide (Jakes) and chef (Selma), learning about their life, hopes and dreams. They are remarkable people that soon became friends rather than staff members. While the landscape and scenery are undoubtedly the primary reason to visit such a place, we soon found that the people are also a star attraction in Namibia in general and Wolwedans in particular.

The majority of our three days were spent driving around and exploring the area, enjoying the gorgeous scenery and marveling at the various wildlife that have adapted to such a harsh environment. We also took a balloon flight (it's a very early morning departure, though!), a tour of Wolwedans' operations and their efforts at sustainability and staff training, and a Bushman walk with Boetie, a descendant of the Bushmen that used to live in a way that is reminiscent of people in the film "The Gods Must Be Crazy." If there is one thing you can't miss while at Wolwedans, the Bushman walk is it.

Our next stop in our Namibia adventure was the Sossusvlei area, which is only about 75 minutes away by ground transfer, which begs the question: is it worth staying at both places? My answer is YES. While Sossusvlei is definitely a bucket list place, we felt that the scenery and environment were sufficiently different in both places, and since vast NamiBrand reserve does not allow private vehicles to traverse the area, it was a far more peaceful place to pass the time. I definitely recommend splitting your stay between both places.

Date of stay: January 2023
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank KI-NRT
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 9 August 2022 via mobile

Sustainability philosophy in action

The lodge and its neighbours are all supported by a base village where some really impressive recycling takes place and where the hospitality school is located

Really interesting to see water recovery system, salads grown in recycled yoghurt pots and sent out still growing, glass crushing to make bricks and sand filled plastic water bottles used to build walls

Lodge staff excellent and always super helpful- guides extremely knowledgeable and the bushman’s walk is a must

Food is varied maybe as a result of too much preparation at base village before being sent up to the lodge

Please use more glass bottles for water rather than the plastic ones still given out - the Wilderness camp’s model is an example of no plastic bottles in use!

Donate a tree to the foundation is the way we tourists can support an exceptional foundation to give the environment and local people a more sustainable future

Room tip: Bushman’s walk a must
Date of stay: August 2022
Trip type: Travelled solo
1  Thank Mildred2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Wolwedans Team, Marketing at Wolwedans, responded to this reviewResponded 1 September 2022

Hi Mildred
Thank you for this wonderful review and highlighting the the Village and all the work we do there. It means a great deal to us when guests really get what we are constantly striving to achieve.
We're working on the plastic bottles and we are rolling out our own bottling plant so that we can get rid of using the awful plastic ones.
I'll pass on this great review to everyone at Wolwedans.
Best,
Keri - The Wolwedans Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2022

We have travelled fairly extensively, and Wolwedans has one of the most spectacular settings of any lodge we have seen. The tents are amazingly comfortable, particularly for a location this remote. The staff -- well, they are simply the best. We enjoyed every minute of our stay there and hated to leave. You won't be disappointed. A truly magical place.

Room tip: The rooms (tents) and have similar (and spectacular) views
Date of stay: April 2022
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank HM_from_NH
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 31 March 2022

We just want to say some thoughts we have concerning the policy of the Wolwedans lodges.
All over Namibia there are expensive lodges and there is nothing wrong with it. But when one make one of the most beautiful surroundings of the country private and only put accommodation at extremely high rates…This is so wrong!
They have very fancy words to justify their policy that is nothing more than ‘earning as much money as possible’.
Nobody has the right to claim a beautiful place of this size for the few rich. The treasures of mother earth are for everyone. We all live on the same planet.
Installing a campsite for some tents won't overcrowd the reserve and gives the opportunity to ALL people to enjoy this extremely beauty.
It seems that they don’t want to deal with ‘lower people’.

Date of stay: March 2022
1  Thank martinesamoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 22 August 2021

This stop is a must when coming to Namibia.

From the moment we booked out trip, we knew that 1 night in this magical place would not be enough. this place blew our minds.

From the kindness of the people, to the landscapes, the activities, the food, EVERYTHING was perfect.

We cannot recommend this place enough, it was absolutely magical.

We will be back, definitely.

The Trancart Family

Date of stay: August 2021
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Max_Trancart
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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