- Exquisite desert location
- Luxurious canvas chalets
- Seclusion and tranquility
- Wolwedans Portfolio
Situated in the 200,000 hectare NamibRand Nature Reserve in southwestern Namibia, Dunes Lodge is the largest property in the Wolwedans portfolio. Set in a lovely spot on top of a dune plateau, it affords guests panoramic views across the desert out to the rugged Nubib mountains. The reserve is a tranquil and secluded location, where oryx and springbok are commonly sighted, as well as an abundance of birdlife.
The communal areas are exquisitely designed in permanent tent-like structures, with wonderful surrounding views. Two lounges contain large leather sofas and dark wood fittings, with one featuring a cosy fireplace for cooler evenings. There’s a library and elegant cellar where wine tasting or private candlelit dinners can be arranged. Breakfast and lunch are served at individual tables, in the evenings beautifully presented meals are served around long tables in two dining rooms, and the service is impeccable. There are plenty of places to relax, from sun loungers around the pool, to the wooden decking which encircles the buildings with spectacular sunset views.
The accommodation comprises ten very comfortable and spacious canvas chalets raised out of the sand on stilts, each with a seating area, writing desk and an ensuite bathroom equipped with a shower, flush toilet, and twin basin. The interiors are simple yet luxurious, with double beds draped in mosquito nets and made up with superior white linen. A telephone and WiFi are available in the main areas, although not in individual tents. The chalets’ canvas walls are rolled up to give the impression of sleeping right in the midst of the enveloping desert. Alternatively, ‘star beds’ are positioned on each private veranda so that guests can sleep directly beneath the stars during warmer months. The chalets are not heated, and can get chilly in winter (June-September), so do bring warm clothing if travelling at this time. The stylish Mountain Suite, perfect for honeymooners, is located a good distance from the other rooms, and with its slightly inflated price tag comes a lovely king-sized bed, lounge, dining area, bar cabinet, plunge pool, and a hammock draped across a shaded patio. There’s also a kitchenette in which a private chef can prepare bespoke meals on request.
Activities are centred on exploring the untouched wilderness of the reserve, be it by foot, vehicle, or air safari. Nature drives with knowledgeable and personable guides bring this exquisite landscape to life, and for a significant additional cost, hot-air balloon or private plane rides provide breath-taking experiences. Kudu, zebra, giraffe, and a variety of antelope can be found, but although the reserve is also home to predators such as leopard and hyena, sightings of these are fairly rare. Delightful sundowner trips and picnics are offered, along with informative tours of the Wolwedans village, educating visitors about the ongoing social and sustainability projects in the area. Spa treatments are also available.
Children over six are welcome at the lodge, and for under twelves an extra bed can be added to a chalet to share with parents. For those with older children, a designated family suite consists of two bedrooms separated by a canvas wall, with a shared bathroom. Cots and high chairs are available on request. As both the lodge and the pool are unfenced, parental supervision is essential at all times.
Although Dunes Lodge is the largest of the Wolwedans portfolio of properties, it combines relaxation and exclusivity in a sublime setting with superb service to boot. Inevitably there’s a price tag to match, but the phenomenal surrounding landscape, good variety of interesting activities, and high level of creature comforts make this a great base for some fantastic desert adventures.
Hi, just back home now as stayed in London last night. It was fab! We loved it! Amazing all round- Thankyou. Best holiday ever!!!
Accommodation great at both places, guides lovely, staff great. We saw more animals than ever expected: giraffes, lion, elephants, water hog, wilder beast, impala, white rhino, crocodiles, hippos in lake Sybia, monkeys in trees at Tonga.
Beach beautiful, but a bit windy, waves v rough but didn’t deter my boys. We snorkeled which was fab but too rough on day we booked to do ocean experience.
My boys swam in all pools!!!
Weather better than we expected!
Must go and do some laundry, but hope that helps?
Nicola B reviewing South Africa Luxury Safari & Beach Holiday on 24 July 2019
We had an amazing holiday.
Everything was fantastic.
The transport wa spot on, great drivers, all on time, vans really comfortable and water supplied, a really nice way to travel, and you also get to hear all about the local area. Both companies were excellent.
Virgin - was a brilliant airline, not sure why I haven't used them before, SO much better than BA.
Rhino ridge was amazing from start to finish. We has a great female safari guide, who we got very fond of. The wildlife is more sparse but as its more challenging to find we enjoyed this, the surrounding are spectacular. Our guide had great knowledge of the birds. walking safari was excellent and highly recommend. The rooms were superb, very comfortable.
Thonga beach lodge staff were brilliant, the whole place was amazing, the range of activities excellent and again out guides excellent. The food was wonderful. Again the bird guiding and general guiding was brilliant. We really enjoyed the cultural side of our visit, seeing the local communities and church etc. My only comment on thonga for future guests would be if they can afford it maybe to go for a lodge with a ocean view, our lodge was great , the childrens was quite cramped and low down with a very damp musty smell - not that they noticed it, but I think if people were expecting luxury they might not get what they wanted... saying that it was fantastic for us. The lodge staff were amazing and went out of their way for us.
Oyster box was a phenomenal hotel and quite a shock to be back in the world after Thonga - but really worth the stay - we loved it, they Kindly gave us a room for the next day as we had a late flight.
The whole experience was brilliant and really well organised- thank you. We ALL loved everything!
we loved having transport rather than driving, it meant we could relax , sleep and find out about the country from the driver.
If we changed anything, I might spend a little less time at the beach and maybe take in another safari region also. We were repeatedly recommended the Phinda private game reserve (andBeyond) so maybe we would have spent a couple of nights there, in addition, local guides and the tour people said it would give good variety to the Rhino ridge.
However we were 100% happy with what we did, we really look forward to our next safari !!!
Alison D reviewing South Africa Luxury Safari & Beach Holiday on 23 July 2019
We arrived home last Sunday morning so we've been back for a week.
Firstly, I would like to say thank you very much for the superb arrangements that you made which went like clockwork from start to finish.
The term part of the trip went really well and we really enjoyed this. Our guide was really helpful and friendly as was our cook/ muleteer.
We loved the first nights accommodation and the Riad Adore in Marrakech was amazing and one of the best hotel accommodation I've stayed in.Alex
Mountain refuges were as expected.
All arrangements by Tourdust were just perfect right up to the moment we were collected by our friendly taxi driver to take us to the airport on our return.
I have passed Tourdust details on to several people both in Marrakech and since our return and I hope that these result in further bookings.
Alexander W reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent on 22 July 2019