Reviews of Doro Nawas
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Unusual, in a positive way. Stunning setting
Staff were proud of their culture and wanted to share it.
Brilliant elephant safari. Unusual lodge resembling a fortress in great scenery.
Very spacious chalets. Good food - sensible portions!
Lightning at Doro Nawas
We chose a strange time to visit Doro Nawas. We arrived in torrential rain. As we were checking in, lightning struck the lodge and the thatch in one of the chalets caught fire. The way the staff reacted to the drama was most impressive.
It was the birthday of one of the guests and all the staff sang a number of songs. They provided a cake which they shared with all the guests. The staff made it a wonderful evening.
The rain was the first for 2/3 years.
One improvement would be to provide mosquito nets. Although it is a low risk malaria area there were lots of creepy crawlies and nets would have helped in ensuring a good night's sleep.
Doro Nawas review
See earlier review - some nice touches like we had the same room - and the same guide picked us up from the air strip. We had time to drive ourselves to Twyfelfontein so could visit in a more relaxed way which was a good start to being back from the very rarefied context of the Skeleton Coast.
Made use of the pool and found a few (but not many) other guests now at the lodge.
as we were in transit, harder to judge
First, a minor point: the directions in Expert Africa's material was rather unclear. The camp is not marked on the printed map, and the directions were fairly vague about exactly where the camp was. Distances on the gravel roads are deceptive. There were other places marked but not Doro Namas. We spend a long time wondering if we had missed it and drove for a good way past where we thought it was suggested the turning to the camp was, and were starting to wonder if we'd missed the turn and whether we should go back - but then we found it. So maybe a ball park figure for the kilometres from the last turning or similar would be helpful.
By now we had stayed in five different camps/lodges and were getting familiar with the setup. So although the staff were as pleasant as anywhere we'd stayed and nothing was too much trouble and there were few other guests etc, Doro Nawas seems to lack a particular identity of its own. Maybe a lot of people, like us, use it as a transport interchange, or are just passing through. We went on a trip to Twyfelfontein which turned out to include a visit to the Damaraland living village which was surprisingly good with a very talented young man as the lead guide. Obviously we used a guide from the site at Twyfelfontein - which is fascinating and with a good museum - as outlined in the book. ( We returned to it ourselves when we stayed on the way back from the Skeleton Coast). However on the guided trip we didn't really have enough time and ended up keeping the young site guide until after closing time and not seeing the display/museum. It could have been better managed as an overall outing. The drive back to the lodge is quite rocky and by this time we were pretty tired. The room was large and airy but putting the bed out on the veranda not realistic as much too windy. We had our first experience of getting the menu in both English and the Damara/click language from charming waiter which was nice.
So overall, we felt a bit 'neutral' about the lodge although there was nothing in particular that was negative.
Excellent location/setting. Comfortable rooms - very spacious with large bathroom/shower area. Can slide back the folding doors and move bed to large veranda to sleep under the stars if one chooses. First night - we had dinner on the building roof by candlelight and kerosene lamps. Beautiful but a tad chilly - blankets were provided. BBQ - choice of fish/beef steak/sausage accompanied by polenta porridge (?) or rice - fairly unappetising. 1 desert.
Went elephant trekking (07.30 to 12.30) - some very rough tracks. Also living museum but too hot to continue to rock engravings.
2nd hottest place we stayed - temp c. 33 -35 degrees - just too hot to bear in mid-afternoon.
A great spot with a fantastic vantage point
We enjoyed our time here, and particularly the trip to the Desert Elephants. For those who have their own transport, we would recommend making your own way to the rock engravings and Organ Pipes/Burnt mountain as there is no real added value in taking the lodge trip, which works out more expensively. Although not offered by the Lodge, we would strongly recommend a trip to the Petrified forest, which we found really interesting.
The staff were friendly and welcoming, particularly the manager Alvin, although I wished he hadn't laboured the dangers of snakes and scorpions as much as he did, as this meant I was particularly on edge throughout the two nights of our stay (unnecessarily it transpired).
Sleeping under the stars
Doro Nawas was a revelation. Being able to wheel our huge bed out onto the balcony and sleep under the stars was an incredible experience not to be missed.
The excursion down the dry riverbed in a four wheel drive landrover was an adventure in itself and finding elephants was the icing on the cake. We would have liked another night here.
Scenic location, dry, hot and windy
Twyfelfontein engravings worth the visit but maybe stay for one night onlyRead more about the whole safari
Sleep under the stars (with the bats!)
The best welcome and most friendly staff of our entire trip. Enthusiastic and happy and likely to burst into song at any moment!
Spacious, well arranged, huts with both inside & outside shower. The highlight was wheeling the bed out onto the terrace and sleeping in the open air. To be able to lie back and star gaze was very special. The bats flying close to your face for a while, gave it an added twist! Cold in the morning, so the thick blankets provided were definately needed.
A superb trip out into the valley to track desert adapted elephants with our guide Mwezi. After looking at the tracks in the dust, we rounded the corner and were up close and personal with a large group of elephants. Fascinating to sit and watch the different behaviours of young and old elephants in their natural habitat.
Also enjoyed sitting on the bean-bags around the camp-fire in the central area.
What can we say, fantastic location, amazing rooms and the 'castle' was great! But here the thing that made it for us was the Staff! It felt great staying there as it was very energy efficient and they generate their own electricity etc.
So friendly and helpful and they read the menu out to us in Click language and English and sang on our last night which was fun!
Erwin took us to look for Desert Elephants but due to the time of year they had gone further up the river bed and he just said 'we aren't going back to camp until we have found them' which was great seeing as the excursion should only have been half a day (it turned out we found them in time anyway, but we liked his determination'. There were only 3 of us in the Jeep so it was really personal and he answered all of our questions really well.
The rooms were huge, the patio was fab and the view was out of this world. We were initially going to stay at another lodge close by but we were so glad it was fully booked and we stayed here instead. The food was great as well and the pool was stunning (although it could have been cleaner- possibly my only criticism but I advised Doro Nawas at the time too).
I do have to say getting there was not easy on the route suggested to us in a 2WD. The D2612 was not an easy road and we had to turn round and go back on the C35 up to Khorixas and then on the C39 which was much better. At the rate were driving on the D2612 we could have walked the same pace. But that is not a criticism of Doro Nawas.