Reviews of Dolomite Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Dolomite - the 'new' Etosha government camp i
Up the sides and on top of a hill, this camp provides stunning views over the game-filled plains, and the opportunity to sit with binoculars and observe. The downside of the position is that the distance and incline between restaurant/pool/bar etc and the individual chalets is difficult. Whilst there is a buggy that provides a degree of transport, this is not 'door to door' within the camp, is not always readily available and makes life even more difficult for anyone walking on the pathway, which is not wide enough for the buggy and a pedestrian to pass! The camp is certainly not suited to anyone with impaired mobility.
The accommodation itself is on the small side, and for a newish camp somewhat disappointing. It was also not altogether clean, and the level of maintenance (light bulbs, cracked glass etc) seemed low, making us think that the camp could deteriorate quite quickly. This is probably caused through the apparent staffing situation, as whilst all the staff we encountered were friendly and helpful, there just did not seem enough of them to service the camp efficiently or fully. This lead to poor service in the restaurant and bar, with the sight of staff doubling up on reception/waiting/bar and even maintenance work! Having said that, when food in the restaurant did arrive, it was good.
We preferred to go on our own game drives rather than those offered, and there were plenty of waterholes, and game within a very short distance of the camp, so there was no disappointment with this aspect.
We were a little surprised to encounter a family with a 1 year old baby which understandably made its lack of appreciation of the heat and its surroundings loudly heard. In our opinion this camp is really unsuited for young children in respect of its position, the fact that it is unfenced etc.and its overall facilities
An interesting place to stay
This camp has an amazing location on a ridge overlooking the plain below. Our chalet was very well appointed but, like all the rooms, it was a long winding trek from the public areas. You have to be fit to stay here - you leave your car at at the foot of the ridge, and then have a long uphill walk to get to the facilities, and then even further to reach your room.
A golf cart can be called to transport you - but you may have to wait a while for it to arrive (over 10/15 mins). The restaurant staff were delightful and tried their very best. We went on one organised game drive from the lodge and our guide, Gabriel, got us to the Klippan waterhole at exactly the right time to see 3 different black rhinos come for their evening drink, one after the other - fantastic !
Dolomite Camp enjoys an outstanding location
Dolomite Camp is set in an outstanding location with great views over Etosha. The game viewing was quite excellent. We would certainly return to Dolomite on a future visit to Etosha.
Couple of points regarding service:-
(1) Service at mealtimes is unacceptably slow due to insufficient numbers of staff, particularly given the distance of the kitchen from the dining room. The staff are doing the best they can - they simply need more people.
(2) It would be useful if they could have an information board in reception advising the water holes that are open / closed in this part of Etosha - this would save wasting time driving to closed water holes. Just a suggestion.
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