Namibian Chefs Head To Germany

A CULINARY CULTURAL EXCHANGE

In partnership with the Millennium Challenge Account Namibia (MCA-N), four students from the Namibia Institute of Culinary Education (NICE) were able to participate in a cultural exchange programme at the Robert Wetzlar Berufskolleg (RWB) der Stadt Bonn.

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After several weeks of anticipation, the girls were finally ready to begin their journey on 30 September 2014. They were whisked off to the Hosea Kutako International Airport by private shuttle and were heartily welcomed with garlands upon arrival in Frankfurt. None of the trainees had ever visited Germany before and all but one, had never traveled by air.  Even the high-speed train trip to Cologne proved rather exhilarating. The entire experience was to be quite an adventure for our culinary ambassadors!

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Representing the chefs department were Beauranzia Louw-Sauls (left), Hirodina Sangunji (second left) and Yvette Naris (far right). The Food and Beverage Services Department was represented by Nelao Ngondji (third from right). The four ladies were selected by their instructors based on demonstrated competence in their chosen field, passion for the trade and an ability to adapt to different environments. They are seen in the image above with the principal of the RWB college (second from right).

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While in Germany, the girls attended classes at the Robert Wetzlar Breufskolleg (vocational training college); conducted a week of work observation at the KSI Hotel and had the privilege of visiting several sites of historical and/ or cultural significance. Floating on the river Rhine, strolling through Pützschens Markt and beholding the renowned “Kölner Dom” (Cologne Cathedral) are among the activities, which stand out as highlights for the culinary quartet. The ladies also showcased their own culture by dressing up in traditional attire to perform the “Nama Stap” and an Oshiwambo song for the benefit of their German counterparts.

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Our girls had this to say:

It was very interesting to see how a college abroad trains it students to become qualified professionals”.  Hirodina

We realised that having the right equipment makes a big difference to the efficiency of a kitchen and it might even affect the taste of the food. In Germany, the ovens and other kitchen implements seemed to work so much more efficiently”. Yvette

We also learnt that no matter where one works, it is very important to cooperate with others in your working environment”. Nelao

Thank you MCAN for making our trip possible! None of us had ever been to Germany before and the trip really opened our eyes to ‘the real world’ ”. Beauranzia

Wolwedans Private Camp Re-Launched!

The waiting period is finally over- the newly constructed suite at Wolwedans Private Camp is fully operational!

With a refreshing plunge pool, a spacious deck and a brand new luxury suite, visitors to the site can now enjoy a heightened experience of the camp.

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The location comes complete with a personal chef and is perfect for couples seeking some seclusion. The camp can now host a maximum of 3 couples. For exclusive use of the camp, a minimal occupation fee will be requested.

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Should you wish to make a booking, please feel free to contact our reservations team. The details are as follows: info@wolwedans.com

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Food for the Soul – VisionRetreat @Wolwedans

Think beyond the realm of the obvious. Join Heike Kolles for an interactive VisionRetreat at Wolwedans this season.

 

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The VisionRetreat has been handcrafted for women with a burning desire to change their lives. Women who dream of living a life of fulfillment and meaning; who despite making several efforts to attain their goals, find themselves feeling tired, empty and disconnected.

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If you are in a similar situation, the VisionRetreat is for you!

When:  Saturday, 15th November – Friday, 21 November 2014

Where: Wolwedans Private Camp, NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia

Why: Embark on a transformational journey: re-think, re-feel and redesign your life!

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If you are interested see more info here…

or contact magdalena@wolwedans.com

 

 

Indigenous Desert Trackers Return To Historical Homeland

For the first time in the history of the NamibRand Nature Reserve, visitors to Wolwedans are now able to experience a guided track through the world’s oldest desert with descendants of the prehistoric natives of the area. The excursion is of particular interest because the guides who conduct the activity are of Khwe heritage, an ethnic group which forms part of a nation of people who may sometimes be collectively referred to as “Bushmen” or “San”.

 

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Known historically for their aptitude as skilled hunter-gatherers, the San have mastered the art of interpreting patterns in nature. Such patterns may include animal prints or tracks, elements of weather and changes in vegetation. As a consequence of their nomadic lifestyles, San people in Namibia have often fallen subject to ridicule, mistreatment, marginalization and in some cases ethnocide. Throughout the annals of history, their way of life, cultural heritage and even their language has come under threat. Encouraging cultural diversity and promoting the upliftment of all human beings regardless of their creed or race are values which Wolwedans holds dear.

The use of Khwe guides at Wolwedans is certainly a feat that the Team is very proud of. The initiative would not have been possible without the cooperation of the Traditional Environmental Knowledge and Outreach Academy (TEKOA), which strives to preserve indigenous knowledge about: traditional culture; the art of tracking and the medicinal value of selected flora or fauna.

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By providing employment to the Khwe, entire families from a disadvantaged community are given an opportunity to become financially self-sufficient. The new activity is a testament to Wolwedans’ commitment to the upliftment of local communities whilst simultaneously adding value to each guest experience. Ultimately the development of community, culture, conservation and commerce is central to the Wolwedans Way.

 

Wolwedans Attracts International Fashion House

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We’ve always known that Wolwedans is one of the most visually striking locations on the planet for fashion shoots, but once again, the world has shown that it agrees with our view!

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With the latest issue of “The Look” magazine, readers can admire the distinct beauty of the NamibRand Nature Reserve. The pages are a collage of vivid colours, crafty layout, gorgeous models and an outstanding portrayal of the location. The magazine published images secured by Paul Kehl Zurich, the PKZ fashion house.

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The fashion house visited Wolwedans in 2014 to take some exquisite shots of their fashion line. Identified by their production team as a scenic location of note, Wolwedans did not disappoint. With vast open spaces, piercing blue skies and mesmerizing multi-coloured dunes, the photographers had the perfect backdrop for an array of photographic exploits.  The combination of skilled artists behind the camera, attractive personalities beyond the camera and magnificent landscapes surrounding the camera, resulted in an exceptional photo shoot  with a uniquely Namibian flavour. watch the behind the scenes video

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To view the eye-catching ensembles for yourself simply visit the PKZ webpage:

http://www.pkz.ch/de/magazine/men_2_2014.html

http://www.pkz.ch/de/magazine/women_2_2014.html

Let “The Look” inspire you this spring.

New Suite at Wolwedans Private Camp

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Wolwedans is pleased to announce the inauguration of the newly enhanced Private Camp. The improved facilities now offer guests an opportunity to bask in the exquisite surroundings whilst relaxing on an enlarged deck; or take a refreshing dip into the newly installed plunge pool on site. By far the most noteworthy addition to the Camp is the construction of an additional suite. The sprawling new chamber will serve as the master bedroom; spacious, tastefully decorated and conveniently located near both the pool and the deck.

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Not only is the new suite visually appealing, but the structure complies with the Wolwedans blue print for building designs that have a low impact on the environment. In line with the Wolwedans way, the additions to Private Camp were constructed using poles, elevated wooden decks and roll-up canvas walls. The facility is entirely powered by solar energy. This combination of characteristics enable Private Camp to be fully functional, whilst causing little or no harm to the delicate Namib desert.

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With the new chalet in place, Private Camp can now comfortably accommodate up to six individuals. Couples or groups wishing to secure the location exclusively will be requested to cover the minimal occupation fee. Guests are encouraged to contact our reservations desk for more information.

If you are interested in finding out more about Wolwedans Private Camp please click here

 

Lucas & the Cheetah

On the 22nd of April 2014, I went out with three other field guides to inspect the road to the dump site, about 1.5 km away from Wolwedans village, NamibRand Nature Reserve. This was around 17H15 in the evening, the colours were spectacular and the Barking Geckos were barking very loud, trying their best to attract females. To our surprise, we suddenly came across a very special sighting: one of the most rare and also endangered species of Namibia – the Cheetah!!!!

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I turned off the engine and took out my small Nikon camera, none of us could talk, we were silenced by this gift of nature. The cat stood up, looked at us and strolled towards the slope of the hill next to the road where we parked our vehicle – it  was at a distance of about 40 m away from our game viewer.

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This is my first time ever to get this close to one of the most beautiful creatures in Africa. I took many pictures and every time I took a shot it felt like the very first shot, that is how excited I got! This elegant cat, with pretty spots, wonderful colours and amazing background, really gave us the opportunity to spend more then an hour observing him. He was stretching, yawning and strolling, but my favourite is this photo with the stunning vistas of NamibRand Nature Reserve in the background. This is one of the best sightings in my guiding field.

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Photographed and compiled by  Lucas Mbangu

Senior field guide @ Wolwedans.

4C’s: Culture – Wolwedans Launches Namibian Music Video

Last Thursday 3rd April saw the launch of the brand new Tonetic music video ‘Undefended’ at Nice Restaurant and Bar. The beautiful courtyard at Windhoek’s most contemporary social hub was packed to the brim with members of Windhoek’s Art Scene and Film Industry. The event started off with a few acoustic songs performed by Tonetic & Shishani, a captivating duo that is known for their harmonic voices.

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Don Stevenson, Poet, prolific graphic designer and lecturer, then officially opened the event pointing out the importance of art offering different perspectives on reality. He took an excursion into the meaning of love highlighting the similarities of both love and art being of a transcendent quality and thus in an ever changing state of flux.Image 4

The song “Undefended”, which is essentially about love and loss, is a real humdinger and has already been getting a lot of local airplay. Jana Eleanor Brückner, Director and Producer for “Undefended” further delivered a short introduction to the video, in which she relayed the most important ingredient behind making it happen: “I have decided from the beginning that this video is a ‘no money production’- not to be mistaken with a ‘low budget production’, she said with a smile.

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The magic captured in the video comes from the love that has been put into this – from all sides. It was all about the resources and expertise everyone could bring to the party. Talking about money would have taken something away from this….” Nonetheless ‘Undefended’ would not have been possible without the generous contribution by the NamibRand Nature Reserve and the Wolwedans Foundation, whose ‘in kind’ support of the logistics and access to one of the most visually spectacular places on this planet have made the project possible. The Wolwedans Foundation has previously been instrumental in the promotional of local musicians in the past years by co-sponsoring a number of Namibian Music Festivals.

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As the  background to the ‘Undefended’ Music Video Tonetic has published this statement on his Fan page: “A few years back I started an acoustic affair with Shishani, we’ve made quite a number of hemi-semi-demi-quavered babies since… (and) I’m super happy that she features as my musical mistress in the upcoming video for ‘Undefended’.

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Of the Cinematography and editing of the ‘Undefended’ video he says: “The technical side was down to two ridiculously passionate and intelligent people, Liberty & Laurent from Endemic Productions. What I think of them is a bit beyond my vocabulary… it would be sinful of me not to work with them again… and again!” ’Undefended’ was recorded by Christian Poloni and Antonio Vilas at NBC Studios in Windhoek.

The video has already made ripples across the internet…enjoying over 3000 views on Vimeo in the first two days and close to 1500 views on Youtube….!

WATCH ‘UNDEFENDED’ HERE

Wolwedans scoops up multiple 2014 Safari Awards

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Thanks to the huge leaps made by Wolwedans Collection of Camps in implementing sustainability goal posts, Namibia once again gains international acclaim as a forerunner in sustainability in Southern Africa.

 

Winner:  Best Ecologically Responsible Safari Property in Africa - Dunes Lodge

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Wolwedans Dunes Lodge  has been awarded the prize of Best Ecologically Responsible Property in Africa by the Safari Awards. The award catapults Namibia to the forefront of eco-tourist ventures in Africa.Wolwedans has already contributed majorly to putting Namibia on the ‘sustainability map’  in when it has been nominated as one of three finalists under the conservation banner for the 2012 Tourism for Tomorrow awards. Every year the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) recognizes the very best in sustainable tourism. This Award is one of the highest accolades in the global Travel & Tourism industry. This achievement speaks volumes about the sustainability efforts the Wolwedans operation has been pursuing since its inception.

Winner: Best value property - Wolwedans Dunes Lodge

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The accolades are particularly noteworthy given the fact that more than 4000 vetted tour operators, travel agents and travel journalist were involved in the voting process.

In addition, nominees were selected from more than 1000 luxury travel professionals. The readers of notable publications such as that of Conde Nast Traveller, Tatler, Brides and Travel Africa Magazine all contributed towards the final result.

Runner up: Most romantic honeymoon room – Wolwedans Private Camp

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The awards recognize an establishment’s efforts to operate an environmentally friendly business, without compromising on excellent service delivery to clients. Wolwedans, which is situated in the NamibRand Nature Reserve, has been proven to adopt practices which benefit both nature and society, Through its use of solar energy, sustainable waste management and the promotion of conservation, Wolwedans was able to place first in the eco-tourism category.  For 2014, no other Namibian establishment was accorded a placement with the Safari Awards.

Vision Retreat open for registration now!

What?   Desert Coaching Retreat for Women

When?  Friday, 20th June – Saturday, 28th June 2014

Where? Wolwedans, NamibRand Nature Reserve, Namibia

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Why?

Do you sometimes feel empty and disconnected from yourself?

Do you feel a burning desire to change your life, but you can’t see your visions clearly?

Or do you have amazing ideas, but you feel mentally blocked?

Who?

Heike 2VISION COACH Heike Kolles of Visionsmanufaktur invites adventurous women who long for a meaningful and fulfilled life to an extraordinary VisionRetreat experience in one of the most marvelous and breathtaking places in the world: the Wolwedans Collection in the private NamibRand Nature Reserve, being part of the oldest desert in the world. In a reign of silence and beauty she leads you on an unforgettable transformational journey to the depths of your soul connecting you with your deepest visions and dreams and helping you to turn them into reality. In the heart of the Namibian desert you will explore your heart’s desire, your soul’s purpose and discover ways to realize your dreams. 

How?

if you are interested see more info here…

or contact magdalena@wolwedans.com