Reviews of Mundulea Reserve
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
A hiker's treat
We thoroughly enjoyed the guides and staff at all the places we stayed but none more so than Bruno Nebe. Bruno grew up in Namibia, the son of a professional hunter, and learned tracking skills from a Bushman.
We booked our stay at Mundulea for our second-to-last stop because we figured by then we would have seen a ton of animals and we would enjoy walking with Bruno just to see what we could see outside the confines of a vehicle. We learned about many different types of thorny acacia, all designed to snag and trip, and how to tell one dung pile from another. Whenever Bruno saw some poop he put it into his pocket until he had 6 samples and then laid them side-by-side under the shade of a marula tree – his outdoor classroom. He showed us how to ID the rhino’s dung by the bits of twigs nipped off at a 45 degree angle that it contained and how another one’s insects parts revealed it to be from a badger.
By the end of 2½ days we felt like we had walked a lot of the 13ooo acres. We never saw Hooker, the last male Black Rhino of the subspecies Bicornis chobensis, nor any of his gal friends. We did see scuff marks where some eland bulls had tussled and we watched a warthog watching us back before he trotted away with his tail pointing skyward. We dodged a swarm of wild honey bees in the mini-Grand Canyon we climbed through and passed by a pile of bones from a Kudu that had probably fallen to his demise.
We were informed and enchanted by Bruno’s knowledge of this special place.
Expert Africa comments
The above is a shortened version of this traveller's comments on her time at Mundulea; see her blog for full details - www.mousehouseimages.blogspot.com - and some stunning pictures!
Mundulea Reserve review
Our time at Mundulea was the best we have experienced in Africa, and possibly anywhere we have visited worldwide. Don't visit if you want hotel accomodation, but if you want to learn about and experience African game, birds, trees, plants, insects, predators, politics, conservation, Namibian history with the best guide you will ever meet then this is for you. Bruno Nebe has bought 4 old cattle farms and is turing them back into their pre-farming state, stocking them with all the native antelopes, game and cats except (to date) lion, elephants or white rhino. It is a massive task, and must be one of the world's best unsung conservation efforts.
Bruno has built a superbly secluded camp site, fitted it out with furniture he has made by hand. He cooks excellent food over an open fire. He takes you on walks to suit your level of activity, and the knowledge he imparts on the walks is breathtaking in its depth and breadth. Ask any question about anything Namibian and you get a detailed answer. Unfortunately we didn't see his leopards and cheetahs on foot, but we saw plenty of signs, including a duiker freshly killed and hidden under cover by a leopard.
Tracking the Black Rhinos was fascinating - he knows the individuals by their footprints. His most amazing conservation effort is to take the last male animal in the most endangered black rhino sub-species and breed it with females with the right genetic make-up borrowed from Etosha in an attempt to re-generate the sub-species. The camp is beside a waterhole and we spent all daylight hours watching the game come down to drink while we were not walking. But the most exciting part of the visit was when we stroked the puff adder he caught by hand!
The 'Jewel in the Crown' of our Namibian trip
Our stay at Mundulea was the 'jewel in the crown' of our wonderful stay in Namibia. It is hard to find words that do full justice to the truly unique experience of spending time there with Bruno Nebe whose deep and wide-ranging knowledge of so many aspects of Namibian culture and every aspect of wildlife preservation and conservation was astonishing.
The newly built camp has a wonderfully rustic charm in complete harmony with its beautiful surroundings and lacked for nothing in necessary facilities. Particulary impressive was the environmentally sustainable showers whiich Bruno had constructed using former gas cylinders which enabled the shower water to be heated by burning wood 'harvested' from scrub clearance. Just one more example of Bruno's many skills.
We were particularly fortunate that we were the sole guests at the camp during our stay so had lot of quality time to discuss a whole range of subjects with Bruno. The two walks we did were full of fascinating insights into so many different elements of the behaviour of game in a natural setting and was a massive contrast from Etosha where the game have become immune to the presence of humans. Relatively close encounters with kudu, a family of warthogs and wild cattle were electrifying.
Breakfast and evening meals were a delight with excellent and interesting meals cooked by Bruno over a wood fire. Sundowners with our host at a hide overlooking a waterhole were also a delight. Our only regret was that our stay had to come to an end but, hopefully we will get to return one day.
Mundulea Reserve review
I don't know how to describe the wonderful time we had a Mundulea. We went expecting basic camping facilities; & how we were we surprised! We did not expect such luxury - some of the furniture was built by Bruno. Take note of the chandelier over the dining table!
We had hot water for the shower (no bucket shower here), if taken during daylight hours; totally unexpected. Bruno has such imagination to have built this camp.
The walking was wonderful & it was such a change to see the animals from on foot rather than in a vehicle. Bruno's knowledge of the area is vast. It amazed me how he finds his way around.
The food cooked over the open fire was excellent with lots of it.
We would not hesitate to return - only next time, if going at this time of year, I think we would take hot water bottles & thermals; it got very cold in the night.
We wish Bruno all the best for his venture at Mundulea
Dinner by lamplight at Mundulea
Apart from one other guest we were the only people staying at Mundulea when we visited so we were lucky to have Bruno's (almost) undivided attention on our walks and also at mealtimes when Bruno prepared the food for us. The result was that we almost felt like houseguests rather than clients. We weren't that lucky with our gameviewing (as it was just after the rains it wasn't the best time of year) but we really enjoyed hearing Bruno talking not just about the wldlife but also about his aspirations for the reserve and all sorts of aspects of life in Namibia and Namibian history.
The camp facilities provide basic comforts but are not luxurious. There is no electricity but that is part of the charm. We found it very relaxing to get into the rhythm of light/dark as part of the daily cycle. Dinner was cooked over an open fire and eaten by the light of kerosene lamps with some interesting stories from Bruno.
One of the things we liked best about this reserve (apart from the wildlife especially Bruno's wild cows!) was that relatively modest hills gave great views over the Central highlands south towards the Waterberg plateau and north towards the Otavi mountains (where we were headed next). Perfect spots for sundowners.
Incredible African expereince with an expert.
This was a wonderful experience which allowed a family to truly walk in the african veldt with an expert naturalist. We would defintiely do this again if we get back to Namibia as we hope. Having siad that I do not think that what we had heard from Expert Africa truly described what the camping and walking experience was going to be. This meant that it took a little more time for Bruno and us to assess each other as to what was on offer or appropraite for us as a family. He did this very quickly and ensured an incredible experience but more information form expert africa would have helped. The first days walk proved a little too much for our 12 year old son at the end of a holiday, in the sun and possibly with less water intake in the previous day's motoring. He needed a pick up to finish what the rest of us had found a great day's walk.
Bruno adjusted the next day perfectly with two shorter walks and some caving.
The camping was great but more basic than we had been led to believe. this mattered not at all it was just not quite what we ahd expected. We would go back to it though.
Bruno's cooking, knowledge and conversation was fantastic and I must admit that we have already reccomended him and this stay to several friends. I think that the other thing you may need to consider is that whilst Bruno is a very modest man, having his individual attention, skills and teaching is a wonderful experience even down to teaching my son to do fried eggs on the open fire each morning. Before going we had not appreciated what a privilege it would be to walk and sit in his company.
It would have been good not to have needed to rush off on the last day.
The only reason for the average mark for facilities is that it is after all a camp with a bucket shower, but the location is better than excellent!