- 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.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019