Africa’s Finest, David Bristow and Colin Bell’s grand publication, guides us through sub-Saharan Africa’s most ecologically sustainable safari destinations, sharing the responsible vision of an eco-friendly industry. Following this lead, and with all intention to point you in the direction of our Greenest Game Lodges, we bring to your attention these remarkable properties, demonstrating their lightness of impact and contribution to the land upon which they are laid. Having listed Desert Rhino Camp, Damaraland Camp, Etendeka Mountain Retreat and Serra Cafema, we round off our summary of Namibia’s superlative lodges with this unique and spectacular collection of camps in the NamibRand Nature Reserve, Wolwedans.
Named after the Brown hyena, one of Africa’s most successful desert-adapted predators, Wolwedans demonstrates its own specialisation in desert luxury. Four camps, situated in their own magnificent locations within the Reserve, deliver exceptional views and offer comfort and solace in simply, yet elegantly designed structures. The intimate lodges are in place to offer visitors a taste of the tranquillity of the Namib, the incomparable vistas that seem to extend to the end of the world, and the intricate details of the desert’s indigenous residents. The NamibRand Nature Reserve consists of 200 000 hectares of farmland, a compilation of 13 properties, joined together to create the largest privately owned nature reserve in Africa. Many years ago, these farms were converted from dwindling domestic farmlands to the roaming sanctuary for wild, drought-resistant animals that call the Namib home.
Granite hills rise persistently from the dry earth, interrupting the constant roll of copper coloured desert sand and the shimmery gold grasses that characterise the region. Mountainous plateaus, sweeping escarpments and the continuous dryness of the arid savanna portray such staggering beauty, offering so much of so little. The minimalistic beauty of Wolwedans is what makes this destination so irresistible. The nurturing way in which the lodges operate further emphasises the ethos of Wolwedans:
Wolwedans is more than a collection of camps – its ethos lies in setting an example in responsible tourism, the empowerment of its employees and its commitment to the conservation of NamibRand Nature Reserve.
Suites, lounges, dining areas and even swimming pools are raised off the desert floor on wooden stilts, lessening the weight on the delicate environment. Canvas walls, which can be raised to let in both sun and star light, keep the camps feeling light and mobile, while the gorgeous, furnished interiors keep the focus firmly on luxury and comfort. Solar power has advanced from lighting and heating, to include refrigeration, which now runs on a low energy solar hybrid system, as opposed to gas. The staff at all four of Wolwedans’ camps are taken care of in a staff and volunteer village nearby, which is also run on solar energy, maintaining the respectful relationship Wolwedans and its employees with the NamibRand Reserve.
Vegetable gardens feed the lodges and the staff village, and grey water is treated and used to nourish the indigenous trees that are so often parched from years of endless drought, quenched only by the few millilitres of rainfall that collects after a short thundershower. Namibian sunsets are known the world over to be some of the most spectacular in Africa, and in this private reserve, there is even more reason to appreciate the beauty of the night skies. It has been named Africa’s first International Dark Sky Reserve, and deservedly so. The nearest town is 150km away, keeping artificial light and the crowded electricity of city life at bay, and opening up the heavens to some of the best star gazing to be had.
Such a spectacular location should be visited, even if only to bask in the natural beauty, but at Wolwedans, guests have the opportunity to learn from its philosophy of light foundations, community upliftment, wildlife conservation and energy efficiency. All in the lap of desert luxury!
Contact us to arrange your bookings in this pristine region of Namibia at Dunes Camp, Private Camp, Dunes Lodge or Boulders Camp.