Reviews of Dolomite Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Rhino watching at Dolomite
Dolomite camp is perched high on a hill so the perfect vantage point to survey the plains below.
Tea relaxing in the warm afternoon sunshine on the chalet balcony was accompanied by the sight of a rhino making its way through the thorn bush below. There is a water hole here but I doubt of any chalet or the public areas can see it so why was it not dug in a more prominent position?
We had read that game was sparse on the western side of the park - well if seeing a black rhino at a watering hole in broad daylight along with a few elephant plus the usual springbok, zebra, oryx, etc is sparse then whoever wrote that must have had their eyes shut. Yes perhaps not so prolific as the Eastern end but well worth a days' detour. Also staying at least a night at Dolomite enables you to spend time visiting all the park's waterholes without having to rush back to base before nightfall.
Check out with a credit card posed no problems although we had been told it is better to pay cash it can take some time. The staff were friendly and the food up to a very high standard.
In general a lovely place to stay. They insist that you use the golf cart after dark as it is leopard country but there is no point in doing so during the day. After sitting in a car all day the exercise is a relief.
Dolomite Camp review
A nice camp set on a dolomite ridge - 20 cabins set on either side of the top. Views from the cabins over the plains are superb with giraffe, zebra (most likely mountain) and antelope often visible. However, due to it's setting and design with the cabins strung out along the ridge and the facilities at one, end moving around can be difficult as the paths are steep and irregular. There is a motorised buggy which will transport you from cabin to restaurant and back Necessarry after dark as the camp is not fenced. Not really a good place for the elderly or infirm.
The rooms are resonably appointed with fridge and comfortable with a balcony overlooking the plains. Mosquito netting is provided.
Food was good and the service 'ok' but we felt they were a little bit overwhelmed by numbers.
Accessibility to water holes is good. There is one just below one end of the camp and the others, all permanent and close by, are well patronised by good game including rhino and lion.
Watch out upon entering the park and paying the park fee. The rangers won't take 200 Rand notes as they say there are a lot of fake ones in circulation. They don't take cards. (At Okakuejo there is a warning about N$100 notes!)
Dolomite has a fantastic setting
The location of Dolomite camp in western Etosha is fantastic, with great long views from the rooms which are dotted around a rock outcrop.
We really enjoyed our time in the western part of the park, and (in October when we were there) saw plenty of wildlife (including Hartebeest which we didn't see anywhere else on our stay).
The rooms are beautifully designed, although possibly a bit overfilled with furniture and fittings! We got some close views of birds in the trees around our room.
There seemed to be a large number of trainees getting experience on the staff - so service wasn't slick, but it was always friendly.
At the moment there is no fence around the park, so after dark you need to ring for a golf buggy to pick you up to go to dinner etc. The service works really well - but we couldn't help feeling it was a bit like a Disney ride as we chugged up and down the pathways in the buggy!
Impressive new camp in Western Etosha
This new camp is in a beautiful location. Our chalet, no.6, was very good with views from the balcony over the plain looking west. We could see the animals moving to and from the camp water-hole.
The arrival procedure took some time as 4 or 5 vehicles arrived at about the same time and the "golf buggy" system become overloaded so we had quite a long wait, 50 minutes, with our lugggage in the car parking area. We were told that the problem was that they only had one operational buggy. However, the delay was compensated by the warmth and enthusiasm of the staff who were trying really hard to make things work. We felt that the system needed at least one more member of staff. This was also apparent in the "escorting" procedure for getting to and from the dining area after dark. We had a long wait on our first night before we were escorted from our chalet to the dining room simply because there was only one member of staff looking after 20 chalets. We avoided the problem on the next two evenings by making sure that we were in the dining room area before dark. Once in the dining room the food was very good.
We drove ourselves around the area making long game drives in the mornings and shorter ones later in the afternoon. Etosha is still suffering badly from the effects of bush fires and large areas are charred and devoid of wildlife. Several of the water-holes were closed but at those water-holes in areas that had escaped the flames we did see large numbers of animals, particularly at Renosterviel, Rateldraf and Klippan. We had several good sightings of lions, elephants, black rhino as well as the usual zebras (both species), giraffes, warthogs and a range of antelopes, including eland. Game watching was particularly enjoyable in this area of the park as we were usually the only vehicle at the water-hole- very rarely did we see another car on our drives.
The lack of a fuel station at Dolomite was not an issue after filling up at Kamanjab- see notes about Nissan X-Trail later.
The drive from Dolomite to Okaukuejo is quite long, not made more exciting by the destruction caused by the fires and was generally uneventful.
However, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at this camp and will stay there again.
Dolomite Camp - away from it all!
Dolomite camp and the rooms were lovely, the food was good and the team from the local community worked hard to help make their guests happy, especially Douglas behind the bar.
There are only two rooms here which overlook the waterhole though the views in general were stunning.
There are however issues with the camp design in this wild and desolate area of Etosha, I refer in particular to the wooden walkways and paved areas to the rooms. The walkways are poorly lit at night and resulted in my partner suffering an extremely heavy fall from a step down onto the rocks which could have been very serious indeed, I was pleased that she was able to get to her feet without serious injury, she has though suffered badly grazed and swollen knees and she still suffers some pain from this. Her back was also bruised but thankfully there is no recurent pain here.
You cannot believe my relief when I found my partner was ok after the fall, my vision of her at the time sprawled amonst jagged rocks and crying out in pain was that she had suffered a broken back.
For safety reasons it would be helpful if each of the wooden steps had a visible edge as all the steps simply merge into one, this may help prevent future accidents of this nature.
Another issue at this camp is that staff insist that guests are transported back to their rooms after dinner using a golf buggy, stating that it is safe from animals but strangely we were told on two occasions to walk down to breakfast at 6:30am even though it was still almost dark...that walk from our room was at least 800m up/down really steep pathways.....we are both retired and though we consider ourselves quite fit this was too much, so I had to insist that a buggy be provided.
This place is definitely not for those less able.
Expert Africa comments
Some of the issues raised about the camp by this feedback were obviously very serious. We're currently in the process of discussing these with Namibia Wildlife Resorts, who run Dolomite Camp - to see how we might be able to resolve them for future travellers.
Dolomite Camp review
What a privilege to stay here. Lion Ele etc what a place. Very professional staff, however the surrounding water holes were a bit sparse. Loved it though, and had close encounters with Lion!!!!Read more about the whole safari
Excellent stay at Dolomite
Best shower in Namibia! Lodge / tent excellent, well stocked fridge with tea making facilities. Great watching game go to and fro to waterhole from stoep of lodge.
Good meals with a good choice for dinner and great breakfast. Service a little slow but as meals are prepared freshly. it made for a relaxed experience and well stocked bar for nightcap. Staff friendly and efficient.
Only downside is walk to lodge if not great at walking uphill. Buggy available but can involve a wait if busy elewhere. Dolomite is a great place to stay and wouldn't have missed it. Will return
Interesting new camp
Spectacular site on the side of the Dolomite mountains, with a view that goes on for ever . Accommodation very pleasant and comfortable, with balcony overlooking the plains.
Cars are left at the base and you are ferried up the mountain by golf buggy. Tents are up steep walkways and the buggy is necessary , which I found very difficult. Food good and staff very pleasant , helpful and proud of their new facility.
We took a drive but could have done it ourselves as it is restricted to the public roads. However we came across a small herd of elephants with young crossing the road and the guide gave us an excellent example of how to avoid confrontation by deliberately blocking the road to impatient and aggressive drivers. A valuable experience.
Dolomite Camp review
Friendly welcoming staff. Food and accommodation good.
Camp very spread out on top of a hill so potentially a lot of walking to and from bar, restaurant etc but the camp provided a buggy service to ferry people about to offset this problem for the less fit visitor.
Stopover in Etosha, with a difference
The lodge is laid out along the top of a hump-backed ridge, running North-South. The main buildings are at the southern end, with guest chalets arranged in a double line along the spine of the ridge so that each has a spectacular view over the plain, either to the East or the West. There is a nearby waterhole, but, because it is located about 500m Northeast of the ridge, only 2 or 3 chalets have a clear view of it.
The climate-controlled chalets are cleverly designed, partly on stilts (to counter the slope of the ridge). The main bed area of our chalet looked out over the plain through panoramic windows, across a narrow verandah with seating. It was modern, comfortable and well-equipped (for example with telephone to the main lodge, fridge, kettle, tea/coffee facilities and luxuriously (or wastefully) large shower-heads in the ensuite wash-room at the back).
We were lucky to be allocated a chalet at the Northeastern end of the ridge, with a decent view of activities at the waterhole. It was fun to sup wine on the verandah, watch the waterhole and to locate animals elsewhere on the plain through binoculars. Facing East as we were, there was a spectacular dawn in the morning, watched in the company of dassies (rock-hyrax) on the boulders behind the chalet.
Our chalet location also resulted in a fairly long trek along the central walkway, up the hump of the ridge, then down, to reach the restaurant and bar area. Because there is no perimeter fence to keep out animals, guests wishing to use the walkway after sunset are requested to telephone for a shuttle (also used to chug guests and luggage to and from the car park at the Southwestern foot of the ridge).
For dining, we were directed to one of the two restaurants (we never learned whether there was any distinction of food or style). Most of the seating here was concentrated around a communal dining table, where we enjoyed a reasonable dinner (from a three course set menu, with choice from 3 or 4 main courses), attentive waiter service and conversations with the cheerful, younger, multilingual Swiss and German fellow-guests around us.
We were able to settle our food and drink bill by credit card - but only on the fourth attempt. The guest in front of us had given up, in impatience, and paid with cash. As the service-maid charmingly put it to us: "Our telephone line is unwell today!"
Overall, our stopover at Dolomite (en route from Galton gate, towards Etosha East) was very pleasant. It enabled us to experience Etosha West, which provided some excellent chance encounters, both on the road and at some of the waterholes, visited as we drove towards the lodge (there was, by the way, no petrol station at the lodge or at Galton Gate, so travelers coming from the South and going our way should consider topping up at Kamanjab). However, we found the game-viewing experience, generally, to be less intense than that in Etosha East - and the viewing at the lodge is limited by the positioning of the waterhole and the absence of floodlights thereon. The contrast was well worth the experience, but we were content with just a one night stay.