Wolwedans Guiding Diaries – Part 1

lucas mbangu

A GOLDEN MOMENT for Wolwedans Guides

compiled by senior field guide Lucas Mbangu

On 14th June 2013 Wolwedans Guide Jonathan Nangombe chanced upon the near impossible. While on a sundowner drive one hour before sunset he spotted a little animal… when he got closer for inspection, it was the Namib endemic golden mole!!! This is a rare sighting, as this precious little animal is very hard hard to spot! 

golden mole

Jonathan did not hesitate to bring the mole back to a group of Wolwedans guides, of which 99% asserted that this was the first time they saw one in their guiding experience. Jan Friede, an experienced pilot guide who has been guiding for over 20 years also admitted that was his first time to have a golden mole in his hand!

This small mammal fits in the palm of your hand and does not have eyes to see. The golden mole is not a relative to mouse as many people assume, it belongs to a super order Afrotheria, which includes elephants, sea cows, elephant shrews, hyrax and aardvark.

golden mole tracksGolden moles have got a very impressive trail, in most cases the trail is seen from grass to grass, this is their way to harvest termites which are found to the roots of the grass. It has broad hollowed-out clans to dig in the sand.

Golden Moles do not construct burrows, they do however take refuge about 50 cm below the surface of the sand,where it is a cool 25 degrees during the dry day.t swims underground to get around and protect itself against nocturnal predators, such as owl and jackals. Breeding is believed to occur between October and November, with a gestation period of 4 to 6 weeks. In return 1 to 2 live young are born. Interestingly, not popular in some of the mammal books, hence little is known about this fascinating little desert dweller.

golden mole

Special thanks !!!!!

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for this extraordinary sighting to Jonathan Nangombe (Wolwedans field guide) and another special thanks to Jan Friede pilot guide and photographer of African profile safaris who was at Wolwedans Collection of Camps at the time

 

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

Cheuk and Mary
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!

Leading the way in sustainable tourism….

The Wolwedans Collection of Camps is a very special cluster of safari camps – all snuggled into the dunes sporadically placed against a Namib Desert background. The ethos embedded within the conscience of the people involved in Wolwedans is simple and effective. Wolwedans stands proudly for sustainability, conservation and responsible tourism within the precious and stunning NamibRand Nature Reserve.

Right from its beginnings in 1998 this approach has been adopted by Wolwedans and the proof is in its earliest mission statement which reads, “We are committed to sustainable growth by carefully balancing quality leadership, economic progress, social responsibility and care for our environment”.

 

Jana Brückner, communication officer for the camps and the reserve, excitedly relayed news of Wolwedans’s recent progress in the field of sustainability.  Wolwedans has been nominated for the prestigious 2012 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards which is one of the highest accolades in the global travel and tourism industry.  It has been nominated under the category of “conservation” which is very fitting as it recognises the mammoth efforts put in by staff, conservationists and founders to ensure the region, communities and wildlife in the Namib are protected and conserved.

Wolwedans has also recently launched its solar hybrid system/ power station as part of its new sustainability strategy. They seem to be setting an impeccable example in the tourism industry and hopefully many other Namibian camps and lodges will follow in their footsteps towards responsible tourism practices as a result.

The solar-hybrid installation will reduce the camps’ carbon footprints as fossil fuel consumption will decrease by 65%. Hats off to Wolwedans and their conservation and sustainability efforts.