Reviews of Dolomite Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
fabulous position but watch out for oryx!
A fairly long drive to the western end of the Park with some stop-offs along the way brought us to Dolomite. Situated in a pass it has a dramatic position. The deal is that you leave your vehicle in a car park with covered bays, at the foot of a rocky ridge and are ferried up to reception. Because of bookings, we were only able to stay one night here and would suggest that future visitors should try to get at least two nights.
We also ended up in a hut at the far end of the ridge, away from the reception/bar/pool etc. This had a small 'plunge' pool on the deck but more importantly for us, it over-looked a water hole and as we were looking out over the bush about 5 minutes after arrival, a herd of around a dozen elephants crossed below us, on the way to water. As always the staff were great but there was a slightly confusing set-up, with two huts where meals were served, for no reason other than fitting everyone in as far as we could tell. But possibly because of a shortage of staff in the quiet season, there was some delay in getting served and getting a drink - nothing serious but given the status of Dolomite as a jewel in the crown camp, it needs looking at.
When we got a buggy down to the car park the next morning, there was some excitement and when when we got to our car we found that some roaming oryx had wandered through the car park overnight, and seemingly attracted by reflections from moonlight on the cars, had butted them. We had just one dent, but a large 4x4 from South Africa had some serious dents along one side. We took photos and gathered names etc for possible insurance claims. Then we set off to leave Etosha by the Galton Gate. Strictly speaking we had exceeded our time in the park by a few hours but the gate staff assured us that this was not a problem.
This is not a very well run camp. The receptionist and lad who collected our bags were great but it was downhill after that.
We noted 3 staff relaxing in the residents lounge who were not very happy when we looked in, so we didn't feel welcome there.
The chalets were very hot and airless when we arrived at 4 p.m. when they were in full sun. We were advised not to leave the chalets after dark and to summon a guide by phone to take us to dinner. The telephones in Rooms 3 and 4 (where my sister and her husband were) did not work so we were stranded when we wanted to go to dinner and we had to risk going on our own. No one seemed concerned!
Dinner was a very slow affair with a sullen waitress who didn't smile. When dinner arrived an hour and quarter later, Jen's was embelished with beetles and their larvae which meant she had no main course that night and it put the rest of us off our food!
We only stayed here to gain admittance to the western end of Etosha but the only waterhole worth visiting was the one nearest the camp, all the other waterholes we visited were dry. We wished we had just stayed 2 nights at Okaukuejo.
Dolomite Camp review
We have only rated Dolomite as good, as it is in such a stunning location.
It would appear that there are management problems here, or should I say lack of management. The staff mostly appeared to have little idea of service and did as little as possible.
Under good management, this camp would be superb.
It was a smashing idea to let us drive the whole way across Etosha and the Dolomite Camp was a fundamental part of that.
The views across the plain were excellent, but the camp suffered from its design. The tents were much too hot in the afternoon and the little golf buggy which plied regularly was noisy. The pool area was lovely and provided much needed shade when we arrived in the afternoon.
We weren't offered any trips on arrival, but it didn't matter too much as it was only an overnight stop and our own drive through the Park to the camp was a trip in itself.
Dolomite Camp review
A disappointment - this did not live up to our expectations. As the newest camp in the NWR we expected more but it seems to be treated as the poor relation and a remote outpost, not the flagship.
Staff here seem to have been relocated from Okaukuejo and not knowledgeable about the area, there were no maps left and the shop was virtually empty. At checkout there seemed to be random allocation of drinks to room bills which took a while to sort out. N.B. Expert Africa voucher had this as DB whereas it was DBB as standard with only drinks being extra. Service was very slow one night and the food disappointing (convinced we had watered down tomato ketchup soup one evening!).
Wi-fi was stated as available but was very, very slow and didn't work on Apple devices at all.
The room was fine and had great views.
One issue the camp has is that it is built on several levels with extended walkways. Transport is by buggy - don't forget anything or leave anything in your car as it will take you 40 minutes there and back. One of the drivers was obviously practising for F1 racing!!
The location was fine, and it is well worth while visiting the western part of Etosha for the wildlife and putting up with the camp's shortcomings, but there are far fewer waterholes accessible than they state.
Dolomite Camp review
Setting for this is wonderful and system of golf carts worked well. However this was ruined by unacceptable food. This ranged from no butter for rolls, to no jam for toast at breakfast on one morning and no sign of marmalade ever. On one evening there were several nationalities and about 18 people. NOT ONE PERSON finished the main course regardless of what they'd ordered. Most food was inedible and undercooked and even veggies were hard. Service was VERY slow. Veggie evening meal consisted of a little shredded cabbage as a starter. Main meal was 2 slices courgette, v small beetroot, rock hard piece of broccoli which couldn't be cut, and a little potato. On requesting some cheese, I was given another small dollop of potato with some melted cheese on top.
A great pity as this spectacular setting has the potential to do better
We were disappointed that we still are unable to access some roads and found it hard to cope with a lack of toilets-- only one between the gate and large area of western region
We had chalet 13 and it was WONDERFUL. Even had leopard drinking from our plunge pool one evening
Dolomite Camp review
We were disappointed on arrival to have to hike up the steep hill to reception in the heat of the afternoon but once there we were greeted with cool drinks, cold towels and cheery helpful staff. We knew in advance that we would have to change rooms due to NWR having made errors with our booking; the reception staff assured us that they would get our luggage moved for us the next day and, indeed, as we set off for breakfast the next morning the porter/buggy driver confirmed that he would sort the transfer. We were allocated a waterhole view room for the first night and then moved to the best room in the camp (13) for the second night. The views from both rooms were great with the second having the bonus of a large deck from which we could watch the waterhole in the early morning. The surrounding rocks were home to a large group of dassies whose antics were highly amusing. They seemed as fascinated with us as we were with them!
Both rooms were well equipped (even a hairdryer) though the first was a little small. Food was very good though sauces lacked imagination (3 meats all came with the same sauce served on the side). It might be helpful to tell guests which dining room their room was allocated on check in – you do not have a free choice of which to use. There was a reasonable wine list but virtually none was in stock.
Throughout our stay we couldn’t fault the friendly, helpful staff (the buggy driver even ran to fetch our key from reception to save us having to go up and down the steps). This was in marked contrast to our previous stays at NWR camps.
Dolomite would be very difficult for anyone with walking difficulties as even the closest room to the main facilities is up a steep and uneven slope. To get to the furthest rooms took a good 10 to 15 minutes which, in the heat of the afternoon, along uneven, undulating paths was something of a pain.
There was good game at the waterholes both morning and afternoon though it is a shame that so many of the waterholes at this end of Etosha are still closed off. If these were opened up we would very happily stay for three nights next time and hope for room 13 despite the hike to get there!
In fact we might well simply spend the day on the deck watching the waterhole - wonder if the buggy driver could be persuaded to deliver drinks and lunch????
Dolomite Camp review
A stunning and wonderful camp. Wish we had stayed longer than one night.
Great service, helpful staff and a more intimate atmosphere than Doro Nawas.
Views from small verandha across the savannah was amazing. Seeing elephants and zebra wandering around just metres below us was unbeatable.
Food very good and they supplied a great packed lunch at a very reasonable cost when we left to travel to next camp.
Adventurous ...the uniqueness helps to cover the little inconveniences.
Now that the west part is open to public...not necessary unless you want the experience.
Very special design and atmosphere.
Dolomite Camp review
This camp is in a wonderful location and we were lucky enough to stay in room 13, one of only two rooms with direct views over the waterhole 200 m away. We were lucky enough to see lions playing around the waterhole at 5.30 am.
The rooms are amazing - wood, glass, thatch and canvas structures on stilts clinging to the side of the hill. We had a plunge pool on the deck, a separate balcony with views across the plain, a very comfortable bed and clean shower / toilet areas. The walk up the hill to the camp and to the rooms is hard going though - so guests with limited mobility will need to rely on the availability of the electric carts (these were not offered to us on arrival or on departure). The food was again very good - limited menu but very good quality.
The reason we have only rated this as 'good' is that the staff service was appalling. Very friendly and pleasant, but they were invisible at times and pretty ineffective the rest of the time. The person who escorted us to our room in the dark did not provide any light for us to get down the steps to the room, they literally just dropped us and left; on check out there were no reception staff - one poor staff member trying to take guests out on a game drive ended up taking our money for our bill and telling us he would sort it out..... At the same time as trying to get 8 waiver forms signed and get on his way for the game drive.
There are also a few minor maintenance issues that need to be addressed before they get worse (big gaps under all of the doors in the rooms letting big drafts in on all sides, the start of wood rot on some of the shower fittings, sliding doors that come off of their runners). This is a shame as it could - and should- be the jewel in the crown in the park. We would not have missed it and would go back, it is good, just have limited expectations of the staff!