Situated in the heart of the enormous NamibRand Reserve – among some of the most arresting desert scenery in Southern Africa – is a private reserve that is one of the largest of its kind in Africa and perhaps one of the most untouched by mankind. Wolwedans Collection of Camps prides itself on its minimal impact sustainability initiatives and its camps are some of Namibia’s greenest.
There is a certain solitude and peacefulness to this area, where escarpment hills break the desert dune scenery and grasslands stretch to the limitless horizon. The stark landscapes and low visitor numbers ensure tranquillity throughout. The camps are no more than a simple set of contemporary bungalows with sustainable development at its heart, where you wake up to 360 degree vistas of unrivalled beauty.
You will have to look much harder to spot animals in this arid, but starkly beautiful landscape and the biodiversity of species is limited, but there are oryx, gazelle and springbok, which you seldom see in other game parks, along with red hartebeest and zebra. You might also be lucky to see leopard, hyena, black-backed jackal and cheetah. Look closer, and you’ll see a whole host of other smaller species that have adapted to survive untroubled in the sand and rocks.
Game viewing is not the biggest draw card to this remote region however, rather the thought that very few humans get this unique privilege. Wolwedans carefully control visitor numbers to keep the carbon footprint low and ensure that outside influences do not place this delicate eco-system at risk. Water is scarce and enthusiastically conserved whilst the electricity is solar powered. Much of the reserve is also off limits to motorised vehicles. Getting there is difficult (without a plane) so very few other people enter the area.
There’s another noticeable lack of specific pollution here, namely light. The NamibRand area was recently declared Africa’s first International Dark Sky Reserve with virtually no light pollution. The clarity of cosmos in the night sky here is one you are not likely to see again.
There are four small camps in the reserve:
With a sentinel position atop a plateau, it has outstanding views of the desert all around. A comfortable camp of nine chalets each set apart among the dunes. The interiors give a sense of the old style safari – simple but luxurious. Dunes Lodge has with a small splash pool to beat the summer heat.
Unpretentious and down-to-earth for the adventurous traveller, situated besides a 250m high dune, limited to just 12 guests at a time.
In the shadow of massive granite rocks lies this tented camp with its unique, remarkable surrounds. Completely private – accommodating just 8 guests – Boulders Camp offers wonderfully scenic desert drives.
This takes exclusivity to a new extreme, with room for just 4 guests. Two chalets stand alone, meaning you wake up, roll up the blinds and enjoy the unbroken desert view in almost every direction. Priceless! Perfect for honeymooning couples, or those seeking the solitude that only a place such as this can provide.
And finally, a special word needs to be written about one of the managers at Wolwedans, Theo Shungu. Theo’s dedication and passion has won him enormous respect in the trade, always going that extra mile for his guests while keeping conservation close to his heart. Nothing is ever too much trouble for Theo. It’s all part of the special experience at Wolwedans and a credit to Namibian tourism.