Reviews of Doro Nawas
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Weird but Wonderful!!
Initial impressions are that it feels a bit strange at first. We both thought “where are we going?”, as you turn off the main road, and encounter rather off-putting ram shackle dwellings, a burnt out bus and a few goat pens and continue driving over the hill into this strange looking place in the middle of nowhere. One wouldn't think that you would arrive in a slightly weird yet such a luxurious camp.
We were met by a very pleasant manager called Steven and given a good orientation of the place. Arrangements were made to take our belongings to the lodge. It really was huge and sumptuous if not a bit over the top accommodation, but we really liked it.
The activities offered here are very expensive but can be easily done by yourself such as visiting Twylfontein, Organ pipes etc. If Desert Adapted Elephants are your thing then one might want to pay the high prices. We have seen so many elephants and they all look the same except the desert elephants are a bit long in the legs, thin and apparently bad tempered and if you are lucky you can see them on the way to Twylfontein in your own car.
We went on an early morning walk with a very knowledgeable guide and really enjoyed it. In the evening the same guy showed us various star constellations with the rooftop telescope.
The food served here was cooked to a good standard, although I was served an apple crumble with raw crumble one night. When I pointed this out; the waitress said it was definitely cooked but it was as raw as any dough and a few other guests stared to point out the same problem, but the staff said, "nothing wrong with it"! Anyway it was a busy night and I really didn't mind it at all.
Doro Nawas review
There is a sense of drama about the approach to Doro Nawas which is continued when you stand on the terrace of the hut, taking in the infinite desert-wide view. Breathtaking ! This was just such a beautiful place to be: all you need to do is open your eyes and they feed themselves on the empty spaces that stretch in all directions. The chalet was built in dramatic style, with thatch, stone, wood that gave the feeling of a desert palace. Watching the sun set, watching the sun rise from the terrace !
The restaurant facility (and the house style) is rather more formal than at Kulala, but the food is ample and good.
We were sceptical about doing the elephant tracking activity but when our guide, Lister, promised we would definitely find elephants, we did it and had another wonderful Namibian experience. He had already walked us around the wilderness, giving names to so many plants, insects, tracks, birds. He really came up trumps with the elephants: two groups and two solitary bulls. Plus two cheetahs. Not bad ! This was an extraordinary experience, topped by a fine sunset.
Doro Nawas review
As far as location goes, this was perhaps the best place we stayed in Namibia.
Would have been nice to have had a few walks offered from the Lodge, but otherwise service good and only thing that could have been improved was food (perfectly safe but not particularly creative).
Expert Africa comments
The main focus for activities at Doro Nawas is tracking the desert-adapted elephants and excursions to the World Heritage site at Twyfelfontein. Short hikes are also on offer; however these are not as clearly promoted as they are less popular than the other activities. We have passed on this review and hope that in future Doro Nawas will more clearly promote their walks.
Doro Nawas review
Friendly staff and service along with good facilities and excellent rooms with fine views. Food reasonable.
Very interesting trips to find the desert adapted elephants. long and not very comfortable morning outing with little to show for it mainly due to the intercom radio on our vehicle not allowing contact with the other vehicle which was more successful. Afternoon trip was very successful and was run for us because of the morning's technical problem. This was not totally resolved, but was sufficient to let us get excellent access to the animals. The staff tried to charge the full rate for the second trip, despite it being necessary because of the technical malfunction. However, we did manage to negotiate a more appropriate charge after the staff had to contact more senior managers 'elsewhere'.
Slight difficulties with this arrangement on check-out, but resolved simply. Altogether a very good place to stay, though the overall 'feel' resulting from it being run on a contract basis means that it suffers a little in comparison with the directly managed lodges.
Doro Nawas review
A stunning location especially for the sundowner experience and to see the desert Elephants.
We had an unfortunate experience with a radio failure which meant that we did not get to see one of the big herds in the early morning drive. That siad the camp did allow us to go again in the afternoon where we had a wonderful experience of the herd in late evening light.
The sleeping out experience is NOT to be missed, truly wonderful.
Best accomodation we had
An excellent site and with fantastic accomodation. Sleeping outside under the stars was an unforgettable experience. We struggled to find the elephants on outr morning trip. The jeep was uncomfortable and the resort made the mistake of putting all 10 of our group in one cramped 4x4. The radio for the 2 jeeps out was not working properly and our jeep could not find the elephants. Our guide went faster and faster in a mad dash to try and find them. When we got home the other party had found them. Fortunately the lodge arranged for another trip but it meant our whole day was taken up finding the elephants where a little bit of common sense and communication could have given us a much better experience.
The desert elephants more than made up for our difficulties when we found them.
Rolling our beds onto the patio!
Terrific rooms, with beds that can be rolled right out onto the patio to sleep under the stars---fantastic!
Tracking the desert-adapted elephants was great, although our vehicle's radio wasn't working in the morning, so the driver of the other vehicle wasn't able to let our driver know when he found the elephants (and we consequently saw only a solitary male that AM). However, the management was very accomodating, and lowered the price of an afternoon ride significantly to compensate for the radio problem.
We saw a large family group (as well as a big bull) in beautiful, golden, late afternoon light.
Doro Nawas - chalets on the wide open plains
Chalets were extremely good - huge, well appointed and you could roll your bed out onto the terrace to sleep under the stars. Your private terrace has an amazing view out over the plains, with the nice touch of a outdoor shower. It's a splendid, extremely private spot to sit and contemplate the vista and wandering animals. The lodge itself we really liked - a bit like a Moorish Castle and well suited to the mountains behind. Again, from the terraces you get a spectacular view out over the peaceful plains, with wonderful sunsets.
The pool while lovely, was just too small for the number of guests. Although we had a nice few hours on the loungers, most people were left to sit on the deck. I'd recommend they invest in more than 5 loungers!
There were plenty of activities on offer, but you did have to fit in with their planned schedule - this wasn't a problem for us as we were self-drive, so we drove ourselves to Twyfelfontein and the Organ Pipes as they didn't have this on offer the afternoon we wanted to do it. We're glad we did, because it was very easy to do this yourself, it cost us nothing (apart from a little petrol!) and we had the Organ Pipes to ourselves - a real highlight.
If you're self-drive I'd recommend doing the local attractions yourself because they are easy to find and self-guide. In terms of the Doro Nawas activities, we did a guided desert elephant safari with the Doro Nawas guide one morning, and found the Oscar group up into the river, after a 2 hour mission where we'd nearly given up hope! It was amazing to get so close to them. We really enjoyed this activity and would recommed it.
Staff were variable. Our first night they were great - kind, attentive and very cheerful. On the second night service was patchy at best, and we waited over an hour for our dinner. When busy they look like they might struggle to maintain good service. The food was average - it was edible and well presented, but not of a high standard.
We would go back to Doro Nawas, because we thought the setting and our beautiful room really made this a special place to stay.
Doro Nawas review
Arriving after the long drive from Swakopmund we were uncertain if we should turn off the main road as the sign said Doro Nawas Camp. Arriving at the end of the track we were in no doubt that we were in the right place as there was the Lodge sitting dark and brooding on top of a low hill.
A member of staff came down from the lodge with cool face towels, just rght for wiping away the Namibian dust.
Going up to the main building we were given welcome drinks and shown the facilities before being shown to our " room". This is an understatement as the building, just for us, was nearly as large as the ground floor of our house and this just for a bedroom and en-suite bathroom.
The bedroom, with island site bed, felt like a half marathon just to walk to the bathroom.
Bed isn't the right description either as it could be wheeled onto the huge veranda to sleep under the stars.
The evening meal was very good, but as with a previous lodge, was served very cool and a replacement was requested and brought without much delay.
At the end of the meal a guide came around with details of the following days actvities. As we needed to be away mid morning we chose a guided walk which we found to be very informative and our guide, Michael, told us about tracking and the uses that animals and local people make of the various trees/ bushes.
Doro Nawas was the first lodge with a crafts/ gift shop which had a good selection and reasonably priced therefore welcome and used.
All staff were friendly and welcoming and seemed genuinely pleased that you wre in Namibia... this was a common experience in all Namibian accommodations.
Doro Nawas review
Love the fact that the local people own part of this lodge.Read more about the whole safari