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“Night skies made in heaven”

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Wolwedans Dunes Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Cape Town
Level 6 Contributor
163 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
“Night skies made in heaven”
Reviewed May 31, 2013

There are very few places such as this - which marry comfort in a pristine location with serious eco consciousness. With no grid supplied electricity, just solar panels to generate the power needed by the lodge, the little veggie garden with produce for your salad, the limited water per guest (but still more than enough) and the pipes running your shower water off to the base of an acacia tree in the red desert sand which is solely reliant on your shower water... this is taking eco consciousness to the next level, resulting in a feather light carbon footprint and a wonderful lodge in an extraordinary desert setting.

As a first visit to Namibia, our Sossusvlei experience was memorable, made ever more special by the 3 nights we spent here. In a gorgeous, pastel toned setting, the tents are spacious, well furnished and very comfortable to hang out in. The deck overlooking the dunes with the occasional Oryx wandering past is a perfect place to spend the hot afternoon reading or observing the desert - as it faces east, you're in the shade.

This is the only lodge with a pool, so if you enjoy swimming choose this one. Its a long trek to get here by road (it takes 6.5 hours from Windhoek) but once at Wolwedans you will experience peace and quiet like you have never before.

The night skies are incredible, you can view the Milky Way and many, many clusters of stars. I attach a photo that you will not believe. The southern night skies are spectacular and this reserve with its "dark sky" status allows you to observe them like nowhere else. What is missing here is an astronomer, someone to teach you more about what you're seeing.

The food was good overall. Remembering how remote we were always made us realise that having the right ingredients takes alot of planning and cooking with what you can get takes creativity - and with that the chef manages to pull off a 5 course meal every evening, which is impressive.

The service if warm and friendly, but perhaps at times a tad too slow... but then again, its the desert and who has a train to catch anyway? This place is the perfect antidote to a frenetic city lifestyle.

We would certainly return to this lodge as we had a super time and thought it to be very good value for money.

Room Tip: they are all the same, but the closer ones involve less of a walk through the soft sand.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Daisylu2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
officemd, officemd at Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, responded to this review, June 3, 2013
Dear Guest

Sincere thanks for your visit, and for sharing your experience with TA readers. Thank you, for recognising our efforts at making Wolwedans as eco-friendly as possible, in the middle of nowhere - it is hugely costly and challenging, but all the more rewarding when guests acknowledge the soft footprint. The team will receive your feedback, and will be pleased that they pleased their guest. Your images you posted are lovely, and illustrate you review very well. We wish you 'many happy returns' to Wolwedans and the NamibRand Nature Reserve.

Kind regards, ALison
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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303 reviews from our community

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Pretoria, South Africa
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2013

What an amazing place. My wife and I stayed at the mountain view suite and dined at the lodge. The manager, Eric, and his team were fantastic, the service was superb, the food is good - preparing food in the desert takes some planning! Expect continental and warm breakfasts, great lunchtime salads and 5 course dinners. There is a good selection of wines and other drinks. Prices on extras are reasonable. Ask about massages, star beds, sun downers and walks. This is the desert so although there is wildlife, the great beauty is the landscape and the night sky's. Take closed walking shoes for the sand, warm evening clothes in winter, sun tan lotion and a good book. Our suite had a charger but I think lodge rooms don't- u can charge at reception though. There is cellphone reception but you won't get much on data. We flew in, which is great, but expensive, if you're not in a hurry we understand the drive is great. Staff pool their tips, guides and the masseurs get tipped individually. They can communicate in a variety of languages so they are very easy to engage, including by phone and email, and incredibly helpful. Our view- if you're going to Namibia don't miss this place, it is fantastic for a short break

Room Tip: Ask if the mountain view suite is available- you might pay a bit more but is worth it
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Gerald K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
officemd, office md at Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
Dear Guest
We are most grateful for your 5-star review, and detailed feedback. Readers will be in no doubt re extras they need to bring along, and what to expect. We're pleased that you were satisfied with Wolwedans, our team, and the NamibRand Nature Reserve - wishing you many happy returns to our remote wonder.
Kind regards, Alison
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Blanden, Belgium
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed April 30, 2013

Wolwedans must be seen to be believed.
The location, the isolation and fabulous nature is phenomenal.
Awe-inspiring mountains, red dunes, game, plants, endless horizons, fabulous sunsets. This place is a space to contemplate nature and how beautiful our planet really is.

The main building is exquisite. Great usage of canvas, wood, fantastic furniture, bookcases, candles.... There is also a great pool and a superb bar.

The dining room is really cosy and can be opened/closed with the canvas depending on the weather. The food is fantastic. The chef came and explained the menu, and the ambiance when dining in the evening and seeing the mountains afar bathing in the moonlight is incredible.

The safari trips are lovely and comfortable. evenening sunset drives into the dunes. Oh My God.... Lots of game to see Zebra, Oryx, Ostriches, Jackals....

The service is very good, everybody is friendly, nice and attentive.

The lodges are very spatious, nice terrace. Beautiful bathroom. incredible views over the dunes and the mountains.

Only one negative point. In winter it's VERY VERY VERY cold. And believe me...you'll need lots of clothes to get warm in bed, as the lodges are eco-loges, no heating and even the showers run on solar power so be prepared when coming to Wolwedans !

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Steve C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
officemd, office md at Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
Dear Guest
thank you for your enthusiastic review, for all to share. Wolwedans and the NamibRand Nature Reserve clearly had a positive effect on you, and yes we are as enthusiastic, considering our extreme remoteness and what our team achieves. there will always areas to improve upon, and we appreciate everyone's feedback as a compass to keep us on track.
We hope that you will visit again, in the near future.
Kind regards, Alison
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2013

We stayed at the Private Camp. Amazing place, very private (two rooms only). Great service: our driver/guide Elias was just delightful to be with, and we had a lot of fun with Mano, the cook and Tabeya, the maid. The drinks at sunset at "Sunset Boulevard" were unforgettable (thanks Elias) and so was the view. It was cold at night, but Tabeya put "Bush Babies" in our bed: hot water bottles to keep us warm... We saw plenty of animals, in particular one morning were "Bush TV" was on: zebras and oryxes at the water hole 30 meters from the Camp.... Can't forget the view...
We want to go back soon...

Room Tip: There are only two, and the one on the South side is the best.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Philippe47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
officemd, officemd at Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Dear Guest
thank you for choosing to stay at Wolwedans Private Camp and thank you for your kind review and for mentioning each of the team members that met with your satisfaction. It is always pleasing for the team to note that the guests they 'looked after' were happy with the quality of service rendered.
Please come back soon ...
Kind regards, Alison
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed April 20, 2013

I am surprised at the great reviews this place gets. Our experience was not 5 star by any means and I am surprised this place gets 5 star rating with the associated prices.
We spent 3 nights here during our honeymoon at the beginning of April. We had the misfortune of bad weather when we there which did not help the experience. Bad weather is out of the lodges control, but they seemed to have no plan B other than hot water bottles in the rooms/tents. The aim of the place is to be eco friendly which I presume they use to justify the discomfort guests who are paying for 5 star have to endure. Basic things like the hot water taking ages, the rooms being cold, no internet (which some people may perfer), no alternative entertainment for the rainy weather (all books are in german other than national geopgraphic magazines from the 90s). Attention to detail was definitely lacking. We were given a basket of goodies for easter sunday. Before we could enjoy any of it, it was taken away!

Some effort was made on one of the days for a wine tasting in the cellars to compensate for the terrible weather. They also arranged a lovely private dinner for us in the cellar. The food at dinner was close to Michelin star quality with best soups I have ever tasted. We also had great steak and lovely salmon. However, I had the worst cappuccino and hot chocolate in my life here.

The most irritating was that on our 1st for the nights they failed to close the zips on the tent properly. The howling wind woke us with a fear as it sounded like someone was trying to get in.
The rooms have no plug points, no bath robe, no blankets in the food area - gain lack of attention to detail in a 5 star place. Very poor in comparison to lodges I have stayed in the Eastern Cape in South Africa. I dont really accept the eco friendly ethos when a large proportion of guests fly in fro windhoek and the rest drive over 400km with 4x4s. They could put a bit more effort into guest comfort. However, the staff are very helpful and friendly. The main advantage of the place is the great scenery, so make sure you go when the weather is good or dont bother.

Room Tip: Try and get a room as close to the eating area. make sure they close the flaps properly
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sugarman77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
officemd, office md at Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
Dear Guest
Our apologies for the late response. It was most unfortunate that you experienced unseasonal bad weather whilst visiting us. You make some valid suggestions eg. reading matter and your critical feedback is certainly appreciated and will be acted upon.
All our hot water geysers are solar operated, so it does take a little longer to get hot water (and cloudy weather is a bigger challenge). Standard operating procedures include closing tent flaps properly, and we apologize that the team slipped up here.
We hope that the terrific food and stunning scenery made up for the bad weather and did not spoil any fond memories you may have of Wolwedans or the NamibRand Nature Reserve.
Kind regards, Alison
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 8, 2013

The NamibRand Reserve is a must when visiting Namibia; Unique landscapes and a service to go with... its what Wolwedans offers to you. Attention to detail is never forgotten. The simple touch of turning off the lights of the Land Cruiser while returning at dusk to the lodge, is magical. Next time you see an Oryx, you think of Wolwedans.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank apfLisbon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
officemd, officemd at Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Dear Guest
thank you for your five-star Trip Advisor rating, and for sharing with readers what a magnificent destination the NamibRand Nature Reserve is. thank you for choosing to stay at Wolwedans, and for reinforcing that our efforts to promote the NRNR as a Dark Sky Reserve meet with your approval. We hope the fond memories of your visit last for many years to come, and that you will visit us again in the future.
Kind regards, Alison
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vevey, Switzerland
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed April 3, 2013

Most probably the best lodge of Namibia. It is located inside the huge Namib Rand conservancy. The game drives are to be considered more are scenic drives around the conservancy and are simply amazing with tall green gras covering red dunes. No where does one get as close to the Oryx who come as close as to enjoy the shade of the tents of the lodge. Very confortable tents, great food and a well trained staff.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank DominiqueSch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
officemd, officemd at Wolwedans Dunes Lodge, responded to this review, May 13, 2013
Dear Guest
thank you for sharing your 5-star review with readers - the scenic drives on the NamibRand Nature Reserve are amazing (as you say). We also appreciate your vote of confidence for our accommodation, food and staff. The team looks forward to welcoming you back.
Kind regards, Alison
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wolwedans Dunes Lodge

Property: Wolwedans Dunes Lodge
Address: NamibRand Nature Reserve, NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia
Location: Namibia > Hardap Region > NamibRand Nature Reserve
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in NamibRand Nature Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wolwedans nestles into the dunes and is set against a backdrop of extraordinary natural beauty. Located in the heart of NamibRand Nature Reserve, our portfolio of camps provides the perfect base from which to explore vast stretches of awe-inspiring and undisturbed nature. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Wolwedans Dunes Hotel Maltahohe

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