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

 

Magical Destination Weddings at Wolwedans Collection of Camps

Imagine standing on top of a dune next to your loved one, your toes caressed by the warm and soft dune sand and your eyes set on endless plains covered in a shimmer of silver grass. For this special moment this kingdom is yours. At Wolwedans you can realize what many couples dream of: A small and intimate wedding, set in one of the most visually spectacular places on earth.

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I just wanted to say a massive thank you for all that you did for Paul and I in the run up to the wedding. Our stay with you at Wolwedans Dune Camp could not have been more perfect. Everything was absolutely magical from the second we entered the gates to the second we left. We both really appreciate everything you did and all the many questions you answered over the months. Again, such a big thank you. Our expectations were high but Wolwedans exceeded them :)  

Marianne & Paul Craik

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You can celebrate your special moment along with your family and friends. At Wolwedans we can accommodate wedding parties from two to forty in numbers. Guests can be booked into the sophisticated Dunes Lodge or the slightly more rustic but equally charming Dune Camp.

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The Wolwedans team will glady go the extra mile to make your wedding extra special by adding those personal touches. Be it the three tiered wedding cake, your choice of flowers, personalized decorations or any other wish that would make your wedding even more memorable!

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We have a number of qualified marriage officers that we can call upon who will marry you according to your wishes. This could be by means of a spiritual ceremony, a religious service or by civil ceremony. The ceremony could be in the early morning (recommended during summer) or in the late afternoon. We can arrange everything from air charters to the bridal bouquet and a lovely four-course wedding dinner or champagne breakfast in the dunes.

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For a designer ceremony contact Dr. Willem Moore – a Namibian registered Officiant of Rites of Passage Ceremonies who provides clients with the opportunity of completely individualised and tailor made religious, inter-religious, non-religious or gay/same-sex marriage/civil union ceremonies. He has been conducting weddings in the almost spiritual environs and breathtaking landscapes of Namibrand since 1995 and is the initiator of a unique approach to relationships and love that also provides couples that once married, or entered into civil unions at Wolwedans, with the opportunity of successive rites of passage ceremonies such as initiations (baptisms) and confirmations.

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The NamibRand Nature Reserve in the Namib Desert is one of the most unique venues in the world for a wedding, and certainly the most remote. After almost a decade of facilitating such dreams for a privileged number of fortunate couples from all over the world, we would be delighted if the next wedding at Wolwedans was yours.

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“Wolwedans is an amazing wedding venue. The breathtaking location and beautiful camp was complemented by a friendly, welcoming and caring team, not to mention the charming priest. It was the perfect start for our life together.” 

Paul & Helen Jackman

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Destination weddings at Wolwedans have become a regular feature at our lodges and camps and the Wolwedans team has grown well accustomed to treat wedding couples to an extra warm welcome.

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To speak the words ‘I do’ out into the colours of the wild, to truly experience a magical union with both your loved one and nature itself, is a unique and utterly romantic idea.

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As the bride and groom however, we suggest that you spend your wedding night at the idyllic and remote Wolwedans Private Camp, romantically set in an enchanting valley and probably one of the most private places you will ever discover.

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Alternatively, your special night could be in the elegant and stylish Mountain View Suite, a private chalet adjoining the Wolwedans Dunes Lodge with magnificent views over the Chateaux Plains.

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Wolwedans Boulders Camp is the latest addition to the Wolwedans portfolio of camps and lends itself to intimate wedding parties of up to eight people.

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Exploring Wolwedans from Horseback

You love the wide open spaces, dunes and vistas of NamibRand – and Wolwedans in particular? This month a long awaited dream has become reality: Wolwedans launches its Horseback Safaris – in association with Namibia Horse Safari Company.

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Now imagine the sensation of freedom when experiencing this magnificent landscape and it’s wild inhabitants from horseback. Other than walking, there can hardly be a better way to get up close and personal with nature. A brand new activity launched at Wolwedans Collection of Camps from September 2013, the Wolwedans Village is now complete with horse stables and a resident  professional horse guide. 

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The horseback safaris offered at Wolwedans can be tailored to suit each guests riding ability. Different options (always on a first come first serve basis) include a two hour mid-morning ride around the village, three to four hour morning or sunset rides with breakfast, or respectively, sundowners in the dunes, as well as day-rides (5 – 6 hours on horse back) with a picnic lunch served in the field (normally at Jagkop mountain).

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The horses range from gentle souls to more lively rides, once again dependant on each guests level of experience. For more information, please have a look at the different options for rides and feel free to enquire with your guide or our camp management.

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Introducing Megan – your resident Wolwedans Horse Guide

‘I did all my guiding training with Andrew Gilles as well as doing a lot of self study – I believe there is always more to know when you are a guide and I learn new things every day.

I have been working in the Namib for two years now, managing the horses as well as guiding all the safaris, including Sossusvlei and the Naukluft mountains.  I was also involved on camping trips, where I guided as well as cooked dinners and breakfasts on the fire.

I enjoy guiding as it gives me the opportunity to work with people from all over the world.  I get to learn about their cultures and I get to share my knowledge of the area I work in with them.  There are few things that make me happier than having a satisfied customer at the end of their safari with me.  I feel that the combination of horse and nature gives guests a different perspective and feel of our country and I thoroughly enjoy seeing them experience it first hand and at the same time falling in love with the horses.’

Wolwedans chosen to feature among Africa’s Top 50 Truly Sustainable Safari Camps

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Wolwedans Collection of Camps has been handpicked to feature in ‘Africa’s Finest‘, a brand-new coffee table book celebrating the most sustainable safari lodges and camps in Africa. Taking a deeper look at what it really means to run a sustainable and eco- friendly safari operation in Africa, the authors aim to simultaneously celebrate both the beauty of those camps that are run right and thereby add value to the preservation of their environment and its people, but to also expose the beast of the safari industry: ’the safari eco-pirates, cowboys, money launderers, green-washers and fence-sitters’.

Colin Bell, the cofounder and former CEO of the pioneering African travel company Wilderness Safaris, and now Great Plains’ CEO, along with environmental scientist David Bristow have teamed up and launched a revolutionary new book: Africa’s Finest. The book is the result of over two years of field work and writing. Illustrated with photographs taken by over 50 of Africa’s top photographers and in collaboration with a group of independent environmental scientists it is part reference, part coffee-table book.

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What this means in effect is that with Africa’s Finest’ a critical study of tourism in African has been undertaken resulting in an eye-opening book – which educates and delights at the same time. The book includes a check-list of sustainable practice, alerting the novice to look out for environmentally unfriendly practices – literally the other side of the coin often found hiding behind the shiny facades of glamorous lodges praising themselves as being premiere ecotourism destinations.

Bell & Bristow on what they hope Africa’s Finest will achieve:

‘We hope it will become a game changer in the safari tourism industry in helping to reverse many of the negative trends and declines in Africa’s wildlife. We believe Africa’s Finest will become a valuable tool for travel consultants who sell Africa and for potential travellers to Africa to help them decide where they should stay’

17699-TechHouse Through the book’s outstanding photography & field work it tells remarkable stories about Africa’s remaining untouched wilderness, but among these is a more sombre tale;  the book’s foreward by Morne Du Plessis, WWF South Africa’s CEO, points to the cover photo of a giant tusker: ‘this very elephant is dead (probably from a poacher’s bullet), and possibly all large-tusked elephants in the wild will be shot out in the not-too-distant future along with all wild dogs and possibly most free-roaming lions and cheetahs’.

The book’s intention is to give hope and solutions for conservation, ways in which we can all contribute to the changing world to conserve what’s left of Africa’s wilderness.

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‘If Africa’s wild places, and the people associated with them, are to be there to greet our children, their survival can be positively affected by business, specifically a transformed, nurturing, all-inclusive safari and wildlife industry. The operations that follow sustainable and renewable tourism models and partnerships, will be the ones that secure a future for the wildlife, the extraordinary cultures and people living in or around game reserves, as well as the very land on which all this depends.

 

Family Friendly Private Camp

Reading Tip: Condè Nast Traveller 'I had a house in Africa'
Wolwedans Private Camp is located in a quiet and idyllic valley. This splendid suite caters for four guests exclusively. It is the perfect getaway for families, honeymooners or individuals seeking uncompromising privacy and solitude. 

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Private Camp is a safe, private retreat in the desert and makes for a perfect family getaway. Menus and special requirements for the children can be discussed with the designated staff, including a private guide and private chef. The villa has its very own waterhole, allowing for exclusive game watching all day long…

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Guided activities such as scenic drives, scenic flights, hot-air ballooning and nature walks can be arranged either exclusively for you (at an extra charge) or to be shared with other lodge or camp guests.

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Private Camp is your special home at Wolwedans. It demands nothing much of you, but to relax and enjoy the ever-changing colours of the desert.

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Private Camp offers two spacious en-suite bedrooms, a ‘Sala’ where one can laze away siestas, various decks and the central lounge, combining a study, living room, a dining area and a fully equipped kitchen. Its open-plan design allows uninterrupted views of the surrounding nature.

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Family Hux: ‘My family of four (two boy ages 2 and 4) stayed at Private Camp which was perfect. We didn’t have to worry about disturbing other guests and our daily activities were planned around our needs. We had a chef (who cooked child-appropriate food on request), maid and guide. The guide, Felix, was the best we have experienced to date: extremely knowledgable, very friendly and fantastically patient with the children. The camp was situated in front of a waterhole set in stunning wilderness. I felt it was a safe environment for the children and we didn’t come across any big bugs in the camp. Sand-dune walks with the kids highly recommended. They also came on drives for 3 hours and were fine. If you are at all worried that the ‘children are too young’ – don’t be. We all had a trip-of-a-lifetime which will be remembered one-way-or-another buy all of us.’

Namib Sand Sea declared a world heritage site

It’s official. Bated breath turned to utter relief in the early morning hours of Friday, 21 June, when it was announced that the Namib Sand Sea has been declared as a natural World Heritage Site. This is the second UNESCO World Heritage site for Namibia.

Namibia-2009-1361Namibia’s delegation to the 37th Session of the World Heritage Committee meeting held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, cheered at the announcement and eagerly began spreading the happy news this morning. This is a wonderful feat for conservation in Namibia.Namibia-2009-1029

The Namib Sand Sea (as the Southern Namib Erg) was identified as a potential World Heritage site in 2002. Preparation for the nomination of the Namib Sand Sea started in 2009. The dossier listing the criteria needed for World Heritage inscription was compiled during 2011 under the leadership of Dr Mary Seely of the Gobabeb Research and Training Centre. The dossier was presented to the World Heritage committee in 2012.

IMG_0018The 1972 Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage makes provision for sites to be inscribed as cultural, natural or mixed (having both natural and cultural values).

Namibia’s first world heritage site, Twyfelfontein, was inscribed in 2007 as a cultural site. The Namib Sand Sea is Namibia’s first natural World Heritage site. NamibRand Nature Reserve and Wolwedans are proud to be bordering on this brand new World Heritage Site!

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit chooses Wolwedans as their location for 50 year anniversary edition

Wolwedans has been chosen as a location in Namibia for the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimwear 50 year anniversary edition. Shot on 7 continents, two of the Swimsuit models were photographed in and around Wolwedans Dunes Lodge.Wolwedans-7sen as a location in Namibia for the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimwear 50 year anniversary edition. Shot on 7 continents, two of the Swimsuit models were photographed in and around Wolwedans Dunes Lodge. Cintia from Brazil and Adaora from the US make beautiful ambassadors for Wolwedans… the photography is outstanding, thanks to top photographer Kayt Jones, and the jewel coloured bikinis make a wonderful contrast to the stark beauty of the NamibRand Nature Reserve. The team spent 10 days at Wolwedans Dunes Lodge and had a blast with the wonderful light conditions, where shooting is easy throughout most of the daylight hours. Wolwedans would once again like to thank the amazing team under Chris Stone and MJ Day for the amazing exposure that Wolwedans will enjoy with the publication of the 2013 edition on Feb 12, 2013. Wolwedans-61 Wolwedans1-266x400 Wolwedans51-284x400

Cheuk and Mary get married at Wolwedans

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from China chose Wolwedans as their venue of choice to say the “I do’s” over Easter 2012. Captured by Wil Punt of Peartree Photography who traveled especially from South Africa to capture this very special moment for the couple. The photos speak volumes about moving away from the pressures and expectations of getting married in a modern world. Cheuk and Mary came all the way from the other side of the world to find silence, a most awe-inspiring backdrop and a friendly, attentive, but discreet Wolwedans team, to make their special day just perfect. Cheuk and Mary’s wedding photos are set against the perfect backdrop of ethereal desert scenery, the only audience being some dung beetles, perhaps a lizard or two and some Oryx watching from the dunes in the distance….

and a stunning wedding gown....

Fairy Circle Love....
True glamour in the desert:

It's a done deed...now it's time for the honeymoon....and we don't even have to travel anywhere. Wolwedans is just perfect!