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Message for Patty - Stiltz and Wolwedans Dune Camp

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We arrived home yesterday after 6 amazing weeks travelling on a RTW ticket, ending in Namibia. You asked me to post a trip report quickly as you are going out on 2nd Sept and your trip includes staying at The Stiltz in Swakopmund and Wolwedans Dune Camp. Both were amazing places. I have not got time to write the whole trip up before you go, but is there anything specific that you want to know? We had one night at The Stiltz and wished we'd had longer. When we arrived it was a lovely sunny afternoon, though very windy. Our room (number 7)overlooked the river estuary and it was well worth the extra to have the view. It was too blustery to sit out on the deck but the large windows enabled us to sit and watch flamingoes and other birds whilst sipping a glass of wine or two ! The decor is 'quirky' - I loved most of it, especially the terracotta tiles bordered with broken tiling, with the addition of brightly cloured pieces now and again. We ate at The Tug restaurant which was a 15 minute or so walk from the Stiltz, but we drove as it was so windy. They offered to make the reservation when we arrived as there is no restaurant on site (other than for breakfast). The meal was very good. It was very cold overnight - the wall heater was not adequate to heat such a large room, but they do also provide a fan heater and the bed has an electric blanket - we used both! Breakfast was very good, and we had the best coffee of the whole trip. We took what we thought were passion fruit from a bowl but could cut into them - I guess they were just for decoration!! The wind had dropped by morning, but the sun was still shining and we would have loved to have stayed another night. Swakopmund looked a place well worth exploring but we only had time for a brief look - preferring to make the most of the excellent view from our room.

Wolvedans Dune Camp was the highlight of our trip and I'm glad we ended up the trip there. I cannot compare it with the Lodge because we did not see the lodge - they are 8km apart. We chose the camp based upon Kavey's report in which she stated that she thought the view of the dunes was possibly better from the camp than the lodge. The view was spectacular. We were in tent 6 which was the furthest from the restaurant/bar area - a 5 minute stroll through the dunes. From choice, I would have selected rooms 3 or 4, or 1 or 2 (apparently Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie stayed in room 3 so I guess that would be the best!). The food was the best we tasted during the whole trip and the presentation was excellent. They warn you to take a shower in the evening as the water is heated by solar panels and they say you are not likely to get hot water in the mornings. We ignored this and had really hot showers both mornings that we were there (but be warned the early mornings are very cold and a cold shower would have been *!*! if your neighbours sharing the tank had used all the water the night before! We slept with the tent flaps open and awoke to 3 oryx feeding just below the deck in the morning. I had to get out of bed to watch the sunrise because it was just out of direct sight from the bed, but I think the rooms mentioned above would have given a direct view from the bed. It was amazing. We were allocated a guide for the two days (Jose) and he looked after us very well. We were taken on a full day tour with lunch at their very own 'Hard Rock Cafe' in the middle of the desert - a slightly different version to the norm!! Lunch was lovely - marinated cold beef with a variety of salads. A small mouse also joined us for lunch, nibbling at my husbands foot!! Apart from the guide and the mouse we were completely alone in the desert. The scenery was breathtaking. The camp itself was very intimate catering for a maximum of 12 guests. They also have several students who are training for the tourism industry - they added to our experience as we helped them with their assignments (we taught Agnes what little Spanish we know!).

Is there anything that you specifically want to know, Patty ? I realise that this may be a bit disjointed and will do a proper full report when I can, but you did ask me for info on these two places.

Have a great trip, we certainly did.

Gaynor

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