Namibia’s only certified Global Ecosphere Retreat® (Zeitz Foundation) and our favorite Namibian Eco-friendly desert lodge!
Wolwedans has been on our bucket list for ages. This year we couldn’t resit any longer, so we booked ourselves into the Dunes Lodge and Dune Camp and could finally tick it of our much wanted bucket list.
We are so impressed with the setup at Wolwedans and are still overwhelmed by this amazing self-sustainable Eco-friendly Lodge. Let us guide you through our journey to Wolwedans as fellow Namibians.
10 reasons why we love Wolwedans
01 | Breathtaking Location
Wolwedans is located in the NamibRand Nature Reserve, bordering the Namib Naukluft Park in the southern part of Namibia. It is surrounded by a backdrop of a magnificent colorful desert scenery with beautiful red sand dunes and awe-inspiring desert mountains.
02 | Surprising Arrival
When we arrived at the Wolwedans reception area we were quite surprised. It wasn’t an ordinary luxurious reception as we’d expected. The reception lies in base camp together with offices, a curio shop, the staff members residence and the tour guides rooms. Here all the coordination and logistics happen, which are involved in the Lodges operation.
We were welcomed by a super friendly guide who immediately took care of all our logistics. Our ‘Blue Bakkie’ was parked under a beautiful shadow tree among other cars. Our luggage was reloaded into the guides car and we left base camp. For approximately 30 minutes we were privately chauffeured to the Dunes Lodge, passing a water hole full of Oryx’s and Zebras and slowly ascending the red dunes.
We were happily welcomed by the Lodges staff members with a refreshing drink and lunch waiting for us!
03 | Collection of Exclusive Accommodation
The Dunes Lodge sits on top of a beautiful red dune overlooking the breathtaking NamibRand landscape, which surrounds Wolwedans. Most of the Lodge is constructed out of wood and operates mainly on solar panels. The main area consists of wooden decks overlooking the superb views of landscape and the water hole attracting a variety of animals. There is a comfortable fire place, lounges, dining rooms and even a wine cellar. They have their own vegetable garden and they have an amazing swimming pool overlooking the desert. The 9 chalets are constructed of a combination of wood and tented camp and have their own private veranda perfect for star gazing. Try sleeping with the blinds open. It’s an unreal feeling so close to nature in a luxury way. Keep in mind, the electricity in there rooms is merely enough to switch on your lights, so all cellphones and electronics must be charged in the Lobby.
The Dune Camp is based on a similar setup to the Lodge but even tho its just a few kilometers away, we still in awe of how much the scenery has changed. The Camp is managed by ladies only and sleeps a maximum of only 12 guests, making it a bit more remote and unique than the Lodge. Each tent has a big wooden veranda overlooking the never ending beautiful scenery. Unfortunately the camp doesn’t have a swimming pool, so there is no cooling of from the heat. Before heading to the dining area make sure to snap a few landscape photos from your deck. The lightning is amazing that time of the day! At dinner, all guests share one big family table, typical African tradition. I must admit, at first we weren’t too impressed with that idea. But as the night evolved, we ended up having so much fun getting to know all the other guests. The dinner was so tasty and the wine selection was remarkable.
04 | Dining Experience
Accept mouthwatering meals, all day long at Wolwedans. The Kitchen staff will make sure you will not leave hungry! Your breakfast choices vary from a healthy fruit salad to a typical Sunday eggs and beacon breakfast. Lunch is a 3 course light meal including a small appetizer, a healthy fresh salad out of their own vegetable garden and something sweet. Enjoy the sound of the camp fire crackling while sipping on a glass of wine and nibbling on your delightful 5 course dinner. The Lodge works in collaboration with Nice (Namibian Institute of Culinary Education) a restaurant and training school for chefs in Windhoek called the ‘Desert Chefs’.
05 | Activities
Buckle up, your about to see the most panoramic desert view you have ever seen!
Wolwedans offers scenic flights and hot air ballooning viewing the NamibRand from above. For those afraid of heights drive to Sossusvlei, enjoy a scenic sun downer drive, go for a walking safari, village tour or horse riding with one of the guides. For those not so adventurous book a Swedish back massage, relax and hang around the pool or do something good by adopting a fairy circle.
06 | Terrible Selma
Selma manages the Dunes Lodge. She introduced herself as ‘Terrible Selma’. Yes, you read correctly! I said “No! I cannot possibly call you Terrible Selma!” This woman is such a joyful soul. She has so much positive energy. Selma went to school in Swakopmund (the same town we grew up in). How amazing is this? Swakopmund locals at Wolwednas 🙂
Such a small world!
07 | Coffee in Bed
Sun is rising and sun rays are slowly moving across your face. You are twitching and slowly opening your eyes. The first thing you see when you open your eyes is the unbelievable landscape. I still can’t believe how amazing this view is! The next thing you are searching for is a fresh hot coffee in bed. And guess what… go outside and see what is waiting for you at 6am in front of your chalet door… Best thing in the morning! Enjoy your cup of coffee with an incredible view!
08 | Desert Wine Cellar
Ever been in a Wine Cellar beneath a red dune in the middle of the Namib Desert?
If not, make sure to put this on your bucket list!
09 | Adopt a Fairy Circle
Amazing how mysterious nature can be at times! Fairy Circles are all over the NamibRand Nature Reserve. They are weird looking dots of sand bordered by little flora forming a circle of nothing. Now for the most interesting part… Scientist have done their research about this unique phenomena but no one knows how they are formed and what their purpose might be.
You can can adopt a fairy circle for N$1000.00 where you can chose your own fairy circle and you will receive a certificate recording your circles GPS coordinates. The funds will go to the NamibRand Conservation Foundation.
How special is that?
10 | Global Ecosphere Retreats and Awards
It’s not only the location, the scenery and the hospitality that makes Wolwedans so extra-ordinary. Wolwedans is Namibia’s only Long Run Destination, Global Ecosphere Retreat®, program of the Zeitz Foundation.
At Wolwedans their aim is to run their whole operation on renewable energy sources, promoting and building a sustainable future.
“Being Global Ecosphere Retreat® (GER) certified shows that we are not only committed to sustainability, but effectively demonstrate that our resources are sustainably managed.” Wolwedans Website
- Grootbos Nature Reserve in South Africa
- Chumbe in Tanzania
- Segera in Kenya and
- Nihiwatu in Indonesia which are defiantly all on our bucket list!
Wolwedans has achieved quite a few other awards:
- In 2015, Wolwedans scored 5 flowers from the EcoAwards for their sustainable tourism operations
- Boulders Camp qualified as one of Africa’s finest safari Lodge by Classic Safari Camps of Africa
- “World Travel Awards – “Namibia’s Leading Safari Destination” – Winner 2006 & 2007.
- Tatler Magazine’s “101 Best Hotels in the World”, recognized as one of the finest retreats in the World.
- National Geographic Traveller – listed as one of the world’s Top 50 earth-friendly retreats.” Classics Safaris Africa Website
Your Wolwedans Collection Key Factors:
How to get there:
Wolwedans can be accessed by car from all over Namibia. We drove from Swakopmund, which took us roughly 4 hours. They also have a landing strip, for those planning to fly into Wolwedans. Get the directions here.
So what’s our Verdict? Why do we love the Wolwedans Collection?
It’s simple! Wolwedans is not only eco-friendly, it hosts beautiful Lodges and exclusive luxury Camps with not only phenomenal and world class views, but super friendly and well trained staff, delicious meals, close-up animal life and adventurous activities. We felt so close to nature! It’s a perfect get-away to just relax and let your mind wander off!
Between the Dunes Lodge and Dune Camp, we preferred staying at the Lodge. Simply because of the swimming pool we could enjoy in the desert heat! We got to spend our whole afternoon doing nothing but relaxing at the pool. I hope in future we can visit the other Camps- Boulders Safari Camp and the Private Camp. We have also agreed, that next time we will be going on the hot air balloon and adopt a fairy circle!
On your way to Wolwedans you will drive through the Namib Naukluft. Make sure to check out the beauty of the landscape in our video Endless roads leading through the Namib Naukluft
Have you ever been to Wolwedans? What was your experience like? We’d love to hear from you! If you have any questions regarding the lodge or this post please comment below!
We love making use of travel guides. Make sure to purchase any of these amazing guides from LonelyPlanet.com for more travel recommendations and information about Namibia.
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