Client News, Itineraries

Wolwedans celebrates 25 Years

Celebrating our Jubilee

25 years ago, we pitched four igloo tents in the dunes on wooden decks, with shared bathrooms, and a wooden split pole hut in the heart of the camp serving as the kitchen, dining room and lounge. Back then our game viewer was a second-hand, white Toyota Hilux double cab with a bench on the back… and so Wolwedans was born. Today the Wolwedans Collection comprises 4 camps (not just 4 tents) and is growing with exciting additions planned for 2020 and beyond. We’ve certainly come a long way since those humble beginnings, and we thank everybody who’s been part of this incredible and rewarding journey.

Alongside Hella Göbel from Sabela Africa who covers the German speaking European market for us, as well as the Benelux countries under the banner of Classic Safari Namibia, we have recently partnered with Classic Portfolio to market Wolwedans (and Boulders Camp in particular) in the US and UK. We are excited to be entering these territories and are hopeful that through these dedicated marketing arms, we can reachall our prospective clients. 

There seems to have been some confusion in Europe around these two separate Classic affiliations by Wolwedans, so for central Europe all remains as is, with Hella (Sabela Africa) being our trusted and long-time Wolwedans ambassador, and Classic Portfiolio breaking new ground in the US and UK. If you occasionally hear from Wolwedans via the Classic Portfolio channel in central Europe, please just regard it as a double reminder to sell one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.

This update will provide you with some useful and important information to better prepare you for selling and discussing our collection of camps and lodges into 2020. Besides introducing some interesting new pricing options, we have also outlined some other activities. 

Renovations at Wolwedans
To celebrate our Jubilee (25 years) the entire Wolwedans Collection is currently undergoing a gradual re-vamp and up-grade (both infrastructure and softs). Renovations started in 2018 at Boulders and the process across all lodges and camps will be completed mid-2020. Currently, we are working on Dunes Lodge (to be completed by end July 2019); Dune Camp will be next (ready March 2020) and Private Camp will get a proper revamp too, as well as a new bedroom.

StarBeds
By April 2020, we will introduce Wolwedans StarBeds and Wolwedans guests will finallybe able to make the best of Africa’s first Dark Sky Reserve.Positioned atop a dune plateau with breathtaking 360° vistas, and situated half-way between Wolwedans and Boulders Camp, StarBeds will sleep up to 12 guests and open a whole new era in activity based experiences at Wolwedans (horse-riding, walking and e-Biking (fat bikes). 

Needless to say, StarBeds can be reached by car serving as a sleep-out, from Wolwedans as an alternative 2nd, 3rd or 4th  night.

StarBeds is not a stand-alone experience/camp and can only be booked in conjunction with any of our other lodges and camps. More info will be forthcoming as this amazing new experience takes shape.

Unpacking our 2020 Rates
Considering the improvement of our overall product/experience, looking at market trends and a host of practical considerations, it is now time to make some strategic changes.

As of 2020, the Wolwedans Collection will comprise of Classic Camps and Premier Camps.

Dunes Lodge, Dune Camp and StarBedswill henceforth be our Classic Camps. Premier Camps for our exclusive experiences include Boulders Safari Camp, Private Camp and Mountain View Suite. 

While the experience is fantastic all year round, we have introduced High Season and Savings Season rates which are based on the times of high and low demand. Our third night at 50% promotion as well as the Stay 4, Pay 3 (at the same camp) offer encourages stays of 3 nights and longer and is valid all year.

CLASSIC CAMPS

Dunes Lodge | Dune Camp | StarBeds

As of 2020 – mainly due to increasing demand – Dunes Lodge will become a DBB destination with the option of a commissionable up-grade to FBA (full board and standard activities). This move has been received by agents with great enthusiasm, as it offers a more affordable Wolwedans experience for those who stay for one or two nights and then move on (mainly self-drivers on the two week Namibia circuit).

THE DETAILS:

  • The Dunes Lodge DBB rate covers dinner, bed, breakfast and includes a sundowner drive.
  • Dunes Lodge guests can opt for the FBA upgrade, which includes lunch and shared, scheduled activities (scenic drives and guided village tour).
  • The upgrade is NAD 1 500 per person per night (rack) – and commissions apply.
  • For simplicity, the FB+ Scheduled Activities upgrade must be booked for the whole party for the duration of stay – so guests are either on DBB or FBA, but not a combination.
  • If guests want to do non-schedules activities, per person rates apply as per our activity rate sheet.
  • Please note that Classic Camps (Dunes Lodge, Dune Camp, StarBeds) rates exclude drinks.

Fully Inclusive options at Wolwedans Premier Camps
If you prefer full board & activity rates (all activities included except Ballooning, Scenic Flights and massages) for your clients, then please book Dune Camp (ideal in combination with StarBeds). Or opt for one of the Premier Camps which are fully inclusive.

At all camps there will be an activity brochure in the rooms (outlining all the different things you can do at Wolwedans) and these are confirmed on a first come, first served basis. Scenic drives, as well as sundowner drives, are always guaranteed.

Activity requests can be made with the booking in advance (i.e. day-drives, horse riding, scenic flights), and whilst we will try our utmost to make it happen as requested, it is subject to availability and weather permitting in some cases and can’t be confirmed in advance.

Going for the family market
At both Dunes Lodge and Dune Camp, we will introduce a ‘Private’ unit (a mini-Suite), each comprising two standard en-suite rooms (same level as rest of camp/lodge) and a children’s room (sharing bathroom with parents). A lounge, dining room and kitchenette allows for more privacy and also opens the market for families with small children (under age of seven). The rate is calculated on a minimum of 4 adults, and private meals will come at a small surcharge. Needless to say these “Private” units can also be booked by couples who travel together.

PREMIER CAMPS

Boulders Safari Camp | Private Camp | Mountain View Suite

Boulders Safari Camp (now accommodating 10 guests), Private Camp (which will be extended by one room to sleep 8) and Mountain View Suite at Dunes Lodge, have all been grouped together.

The Premier Camps have all been common-rated. This has meant an increase for Boulders Safari Camp, but the value of such an exclusive, remote and intimate experience cannot be overstated: only 10 guests in the vast, spectacular desert in the South of NamibRand.

The Premier Camps primarily cater to the fly-in market, hence, we strongly encourage a three-night stay, with a 50% discount for the 3rd and 4th nights. This way you really get the best out of your stay at Wolwedans.

For guests travelling by private charter, Sossusvlei can easily be done from Wolwedans; fly to Sesriem, visit the dunes and return for lunch. This option (which is not possible with seat rate fly-in’s) is highly encouraged and makes for a more relaxed visit to the southern Namib.

As of 2019, Boulders sees firm arrival days (Mondays and Thursdays), which works exceptionally well so far. With a cohesive group of guests, we can now really weave the magic (think: surprise bush dinner) and provide a well-rounded undisrupted flow of experience. Thursday arrivals can opt to stay for a fourth night at 50% discount.

Sustainability levies
Last but not least, our (non-commissionable) sustainability levies, introduced in 2018 and channeled directly to the NamibRand Nature Reserve (park fees) and the Wolwedans Foundation (community, culture, and commerce) have proven to be an incredible catalyst for good. In 2018, levies collected for philanthropic purposes exceeded our net profit by 75%, turning our “Business in Balance” model from a noble idea to a real revolution.

In the course of our jubilee year, we will share some wonderful stories with you from the Wolwedans Foundation. These range from the Wolwedans Desert Academy (vocational training) to organic vegetable gardens and a free-range chicken coup.

All this work, apart from the breathtaking beauty of NamibRand and our charming unique camps, is whatreally sets Wolwedans apart and adds a special note to any visit. Guest happily pay the levies as they experience and observe the good their contribution unlocks.

Our team is looking forward to attending to any questions you might have. We thank you for your ongoing support and look forward to growing the business to our mutual satisfaction.

Yours,

Stephan & the Wolwedans Team
Balancing People, Planet & Profit, since 1995

Reservations & Enquiries: For your convenience, we have online availability calendars for our camps. Please note; provisional bookings are indicated as “Sold”, so please enquire if it does not show as available. Most of the time we are able to make a plan. Boulders Safari Camp has a different booking calendar, which is updated manually.

Contact us: on reservations@wolwedans.com  for more information. 

We look forward to hearing from you.

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