This desert retreat is situated on the dry Auab riverbed in the Kulala Wilderness Reserve. The 11 climate-controlled, thatched “kulalas” merge seamlessly into the timeless desert landscape, with exquisite fittings and fixtures, and each with a private plunge pool. The extensive use of neutral colours, gorgeous textures and natural light reproduce the soothing pastel tones of the desert. Each villa has a rooftop “skybed” for romantic star gazing, with both indoor and outdoor showers. An elegant entertainment area includes al fresco fine dining as a highlight. Varied activities aim at acquainting guests with the splendour, solitude and stark beauty of the Namib Desert, with excursions to Sossusvlei (via our own private gate), and nature drives and walks providing awe-inspiring views of desert-adapted wildlife and plants. A balloon safari (at extra cost) offers a unique experience soaring silently above the desert, while eco-sensitive quad biking explores this beautiful area on the ground. NOTE: Ballooning closed from mid-January to mid-February.
Little Makalolo lies in one of Hwange National Park’s best wildlife viewing areas. It offers privacy for guests who enjoy small camps and a sense of remoteness. The area is ecologically diverse, ensuring great numbers of animals year-round. The camp’s six spacious en-suite tents (including a family room), with both indoor and outdoor showers, are nestled in the tree line. Teak walkways lead to the main area where a false mopane tree shades a separate dining and living area with views of the much-frequented waterhole. During siesta hours, guests can enjoy up-close and outstanding wildlife viewing at the log-pile hide that overlooks the waterhole in front of camp. Activities centre on game drives in open 4×4 vehicles and guided morning walks. The area’s large number of waterholes attracts game in both quantity and variety, especially in winter when water sources become scarce and Wilderness Safaris takes responsibility for pumping 22 of Hwange’s boreholes in the Concession to sustain its wildlife. Guests are also able to visit the nearby village for authentic cultural interactions. A “pizza stop” and sleep-out option at the wildlife-rich Madison Pan completes the experience.
Little Ruckomechi celebrates one of the Zimbabwe’s great wilderness areas. Set amongst the iconic albida trees that characterise the region, the camp is built on wooden decks offering three or four* airy and elegant en-suite tents conveying the romance of a bygone explorer era. The stylish living spaces, including a dining room and lounge as well as a plunge pool, all look out over the great Zambezi River and the Zambian foothills in the distance. Little Ruckomechi’s location within our private Ruckomechi Concession ensures an exclusive safari experience complete with a diverse range of activities – game drives, boating, canoeing and walks – through which to explore Mana Pools National Park in all its abundance. NOTE: Little Ruckomechi opens in July this year and will run seasonally from May to mid/late November each year. *Three tents are offered FIT and four are available for private bookings
Ruckomechi Camp, situated in a private concession with access to the western areas of Mana Pools National Park, accommodates guests in ten spacious en-suite tented units, including two family units, all of which overlook the wide Zambezi River. The camp is set amongst broad-canopied ana trees, much loved by the elephants for their rich nutritious seeds. A favourite amongst guests, the camp also boasts an outdoor “bath with a view” in a secluded, scenic spot. The central dining, bar and lounge areas face the majestic, evocative escarpment across the river in Zambia, and are connected to the rest of camp by low-level walkways. There is a separate area with a pool and sun loungers for swimming and sunbathing, and an inviting fire deck for convivial evenings under the starry skies. Wildlife viewing takes place in open 4×4 vehicles, on foot, on motorised pontoon boats or on canoes. A sleep out situated nearby, overlooking a productive waterhole completes the Ruckomechi experience. NOTE: Ruckomechi is open seasonally between April and mid/late November each year.
Set amongst shady trees on the banks of the Kunene River, Serra Cafema is one of the most remote camps in southern Africa, its Portuguese name originating from the mountains that dominate the northern skyline. Guests fall asleep to the sound of rushing water, while by day they explore one of the driest deserts in the world. The camp’s eight unique canvas and thatched chalets, each with its own en-suite bathroom, show great attention to detail; the elevated decks and simple structures of wood, canvas and thatch create a camp that is at one with its surroundings. The dining room and pool look out over the Kunene River. Activities here are varied, including boating (water levels permitting), walking, viewing breathtaking landscapes, as well as carefully guided quad-bike excursions that tread lightly on the dunes. In this isolated region, the Himba people continue their nomadic, traditional way of life and when in the area, guests have the opportunity to meet them and learn about their lifestyle and traditions.
Doro Nawas rests on the slopes of a small hill on the edge of the dry Aba-Huab River overlooking ancient plains with glorious views of the rugged Damaraland area. Guests are housed in 16 natural walled units (including a family room), the design and décor blending in with the surrounding scenery. Each unit consists of a bedroom, en-suite bathroom, outdoor shower, and veranda for stargazing or sleep-outs under the skies. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas, a residential pool area and a small curio shop. The camp provides an excellent base for exploring the local area in game drive vehicles and on foot, combining a luxury safari experience with economic empowerment for the local community. Guests can view petroglyphs – prehistoric rock engravings – and San rock art at Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s first World Heritage Site. The combination of Africa’s past and present makes Doro Nawas a fascinating visit. Doro Nawas Camp is a joint venture between Wilderness, the Doro !Nawas community and a Namibian empowerment company.
Damaraland Camp is situated in the Huab River Valley in one of the best wilderness areas in Namibia, offering endless vistas across stark plains, ancient valleys and a stunning ochre-purple mountain backdrop. Ten large en-suite, adobe-style thatched units (including a family unit) are raised off the ground, each with a walk-in dressing area and a large deck on which to sit and contemplate the desert. The spacious living area comprises a dining area, and swimming pool. New technology combined with ancient knowledge has produced an eco-friendly yet high-performance design in this unique camp. An open campfire and outdoor boma are enjoyed during calm evenings and stargazing is superb, thanks to the crystal-clear night skies. Activities include nature drives and walks during which guests can see species such as desert-adapted elephant, gemsbok, kudu and springbok, as well as rare succulent plants. Further afield, ancient rock art and geological wonders dot the area. Damaraland Camp is the result of an award-winning partnership between Wilderness Safaris and the Torra Conservancy; visits to the local farmstead allow guests to see this relationship in action.
Desert Rhino Camp offers an original and exclusive wilderness experience and the possibility of seeing some of the largest free-ranging population of desert-adapted black rhino in Africa. The camp, set in a wide valley sometimes flush with grass, has eight comfortable Meru-style tents with en-suite bathrooms. A tented dining and living area and plunge pool offers uninterrupted views of the desert and mountains, while extraordinary welwitschia plants dot the plain in front of camp. Activities include rhino tracking on foot and by vehicle with Save the Rhino Trust trackers (an NGO responsible for the conservation of the black rhino in the area), full-day outings with a picnic lunch, birding and nature drives. Other species seen in the area include Hartmann’s mountain zebra, giraffe, elephant and lion. Desert Rhino Camp is run in conjunction with Save the Rhino Trust so in addition to gaining amazing insight into the ecology and conservation of this area, a portion of guest revenue goes to the Trust and its conservation operations.
In a remote area of the Kaokoveld, in a land of bare mountains, gravel-strewn plains and dry riverbeds that draw fascinating wildlife, lies Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp. Both the eight large en-suite tents (including one family unit) with shaded outdoor lounges and the main area and swimming pool look out over rugged scenery: a wide valley that slopes down to the almost-always dry Hoanib River. Explorations of this isolated yet diverse area take place via game drives along the riverbed’s narrow ribbon of vegetation, where a surprising wealth of desert-adapted wildlife can be found: elephant, giraffe, gemsbok and springbok, with glimpses of lion and brown hyaena. The Skeleton Coast with its desolate rocky coastline, noisy colonies of Cape fur seals and remains of shipwrecks is accessed either by a fascinating drive or scenic flight, depending on the weather. The camp is fully solar powered and a joint venture with the neighbouring Conservancies of Anabeb, Torra and Sesfontein.
Situated at the foot of the majestic Sossusvlei dunes, a private entrance to Namib Naukluft Park makes Kulala Desert Lodge the closest location to Sossusvlei, while magnificent views of its famous red dunes, mountainous scenery and vast open plains make it the most spectacular. The camp comprises 23 thatched and canvas “kulalas” (including three family units) with en-suite bathrooms and verandas. Each unit is built on a wooden platform to catch the cooling breezes and a flat rooftop where bedrolls are placed for guests to sleep under the stars. The main area, with northern African-inspired décor, has a lounge, dining area, pool, and wraparound veranda overlooking a waterhole. Activities impress guests with the overwhelming magnitude, solitude and tranquillity of the desert and include private tours to Sossusvlei, scenic nature walks and drives to view the desert’s fascinating flora and fauna. At extra cost, it is also possible to experience the area on a hot air balloon safari and eco-sensitive guided quad-biking excursions. NOTE: Ballooning closed from mid-January to mid-February.