Wolwedans is nestled into the Namibian dunes, set against a backdrop of extraordinary natural beauty. Located in the heart of NamibRand Nature Reserve, its portfolio of camps provides the perfect base from which to explore vast stretches of awe-inspiring and undisturbed nature. At Wolwedans you have a choice of the rustic but unique comfort of the Dune Camp, the more elaborate Dunes Lodge, the quietly secluded Private Camp, or its latest gem, Boulders Camp, secretly tucked away amidst the grandeur of large granite rocks. The tents open so you can have the desert in your bedroom. (At least one famous couple has taken refuge from the paparazzi here.)
No matter which camp you opt for, warmth and personalized service – plus a commitment to care for guest and nature alike – are the hallmarks of Wolwedans. (All the chalets and tents are designed in such a way that within six months of being dismantled nature would have restored itself and no trace of the camps would remain.)
SAVING THE PREDATORS
NamibRand, located in southern Namibia, is a private nature reserve established by the Brückner family to help protect and conserve the unique ecology and wildlife of the southwest Namib Desert. The reserve originated in 1992 as the dream of Albi Brückner – to extend desert frontiers by integrating a large number of former livestock farms and developing a wildlife sanctuary. To date, 13 former livestock farms have been purchased and rehabilitated into a single continuous natural habitat. The reserve maintains a conservation policy of minimal interference, with constant monitoring, implemented through an environmental management plan. Local outreach efforts focus mainly on predator-livestock management on neighboring properties.
The reserve supports the sustainable utilization of its resources through high-quality, low-impact tourism; NaDEET (Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust), which was established in 2003 to increase awareness and knowledge (as well as eco-friendly attitudes and skills) in Namibia’s youth and educators; the capture and sale of live game, mostly zebra to keep numbers at sustainable levels; and the development of a horticultural project to grow indigenous medicinal plants for commercial production, creating local jobs and earning funds for conservation.
Another project that got off the ground in 2006 is the Namibian Institute of Culinary Education in Windhoek. Offering a first class restaurant and stylish bar, the institute is a ‘living classroom,’ training aspiring chefs to polish their skills and further their careers in the hospitality industry. It has been a very welcome addition to the Windhoek social scene!
The foundation also funds The Desert Academy, a hospitality-training school created with the support of the Namibian Tourist Board. The aim is to raise the skills level of the local tourism workforce, and thus the quality of the Namibian hospitality product.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
“Our vision and commitment to Wolwedans, and the development of Namibia and its people, still drives us forward today. Wolwedans was not only designed for profit, but mainly to make an important contribution to the local economy, to provide opportunities for those who would otherwise have had none, and to help conserve one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.”