Mundulea Reserve

Reviews of Mundulea Reserve

Excellent(99%) From 68 travellers
Excellent
65
Good
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Average
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Poor
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Terrible
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Below are independent comments from 68 of our travellers who have visited Mundulea Reserve, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr & Mrs J from London
Arrived on: 24-May-2019 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Back to the wild at Mundulea

Let's start with a paradox - the priority at Mundulea is absolutely not the comfort or interests of its visitors; this is what makes it such a wonderful place to say. I don't mean by that that it's uncomfortable or uninteresting (it's definitely neither) but that if there's ever a conflict between the interests of the environment and the interests of the tourist, the environment wins every time. If you come here expecting or needing conventional "service", or if your priority from a wildlife experience is taking photos of big game with a big lens, you will find Mundulea is not for you - and think very seriously before including it in your itinerary. If what you want to do is learn about the bush, about Africa, and come away with a renewed respect for the wild and our place in it, you'll find Mundulea a thoroughly rewarding experience.

Mundulea is the vision and passion of Bruno Nebe, a project that he has invested his life in in more ways than one. He's aiming to bring what was cattle farming land - over grazed and denuded of most of its wildlife - back to its original state. He's a pioneer, who has spent the last 20 years working out how this can be done - with a bit of trial and error. He's had a quite astonishing life - you'll have to go there to get his stories, I couldn't do them justice - which you'll gradually learn about in your time at Mundulea, as you walk through the bush, drink a much-needed beer by the fire or enjoy the food. This is cooked in a bush kitchen and as far as possible from the resources of the property (warning: you may be eating what you've been looking at, but trust me, spicy wildebeest stir-fry and home-cured eland salami are delicious). The bread is baked in an oven fashioned from an old fire extinguisher!

Anything that isn't done by Bruno is done by Tommy, the only member of staff - the feeling you get is very much that you're joining them at their bush camp, rather than staying as guests in any conventional sense. Although it's called a bush camp there's plenty of hot running water and good solar lighting at your tent; the camp is next to a water hole with hides so you can see who's out there. At night, prepare to be absolutely gobsmacked by the stars - the Milky Way in full view - which you can appreciate from your open-air shower after the afternoon walk!

We reckon we were probably walking around 10k per day - mostly with lots of stops to look at things, but in some cases requiring a reasonable level of fitness. I think he would adjust this according to the guests but you do need to be comfortable being on your feet and walking for 3 or 4 hours. I would not recommend this as a first safari - you are unlikely to see, for instance, the big predators (and you might not want to as all activities are on foot!) - but if you've got an interest in getting a little further under Africa's skin than you might do on other safaris, this place is ideal.

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Mr & Mrs S from CT USA
Arrived on: 2-Apr-2019 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Mundulea was a special place

Expert Africa recommended Mundulea to me after I mentioned that one of the things we did not like about safaris was the amount of time spent driving, and that we would not consider the vacation a bust if we did not see the big five (and I had previously mentioned how much I love to walk). We stayed for 3 nights, and we were the only guests so it was truly a private walking safari.

The directions were clear. When we got to the gate it was about a 25 minute drive up to the main farmhouse on the property. I'm not sure what I expected -- but we left our car and immediately had our bags loaded into Bruno's open air safari vehicle for the 20+ minute drive in to the bush camp. I had given no prior thought to the fact that we would be both incommunicado and without power, so my one regret was that I had forgotten to text my kids to tell them we'd be unreachable for the next few days. And I had not thought to bring a spare camera battery -- but luckily had charged it fully the night before, and Bruno was able to charge my iPhone in his vehicle using my USB cord -- so that was my 2nd camera which I used in airplane mode to preserve the battery. So it all worked out despite my lack of prior thinking.

What a magical place Bruno has created! The camp itself is nestled into the bush with all kinds of wonderful details -- chairs made out of the leadwood fence posts he removed from the cattle ranching days, a beautiful dining table made from a tree from the property. Even the fire pit was made from recycled iron bars. I loved our tent -- a very spacious tent with a comfortable bed, an outdoor patio area and an outdoor bathroom with hot and cold running water and flush toilet. What luxury!

After a brief rest upon arrival, we met for coffee in the "kitchen" and then set out on our first walk. The days fell into a very comfortable rhythm. We would meet at 7:15AM for breakfast. Then head out in a new direction around 8:00AM and walk until around noon. After lunch we would rest and/or hang out in the hide to watch animals come to the watering hole and salt lick. Then we would meet for late afternoon coffee and head out for a late afternoon/evening walk -- coming back almost in the dark. This would be followed by a nice cold beer around the fire and dinner, before heading off to bed. We slept more soundly here than anywhere else -- including home!

THE WALKS. Bruno has created an amazing habitat and is a wealth of knowledge about every aspect of it. I loved learning a little bit of everything. Starting with the animals, he showed us all the different tracks -- and could discern not just the difference between all the different antelope tracks, but what they may be doing (such as one male wildebeest chasing another male out of his territory). He could even discern the tracks of different species of snakes. When you are walking you are more likely to scare off animals, or only see them from a distance, so we did not see a ton of animals on our walks. Our two most exciting sightings were 1) a giraffe, and 2) a honey badger we came across trying to get into a giant tortoise. We also saw a few antelope from a distance (a kudu, impala, wildebeest), and a very large male warthog. And a brief ostrich sighting. From the hides (both the camp hide and another, bigger one we visited on our walk) we were able to get much closer -- we enjoyed watching impala, red hartebeest, a tsessebe, tons of warthogs, a dik-dik, oryx and on our last day a herd of 15 kudu. We probably saw our greatest number of animals on our drive out near the farmhouse -- large herds of widlebeest, springbok and impala. But it was so much more than just animals. We learned about lots of different insects -- including the dung beetle, antlion, termite and others. Bruno indulged my interest in wildflowers and spent time at lunch looking through all his books to help me identify them. We learned about the trees -- fig, leadwood, marula, saringa. We learned about the rhino and aardvark from their holes and tracks -- even though we did not see any in the flesh. We did not move quickly, but we covered a lot of ground -- about 7.5 miles (12km) the first day and 9.5 miles (15km) the second day.

We loved our meals here too. His helper, Tommy, was a whiz cooking over the fire. The homemade bread was delicious. Breakfasts were granola, fruit and yogurt with bread. Lunch was a Nicoise style salad with bread. The dinners were the highlight. Kabeljou (fish) with rice and pumpkin; chicken tagine with pasta, and on the last night, eland strips with re-fried polenta and locally grown spinach.

I really didn't want to leave!

A note on clothing. Everything worked out fine -- but I may have done things differently if I had put more thought into it. First a word on shoes. My husband and I both wore trail shoes -- basically high quality sneakers. On day 2 Tom went to remove what he thought was a rock, and discovered it was a thorn that had gone through the sole and pierced the footbed. He then proceeded to pull about 20 thorns from the soles with a pair of pliers -- and I have about 3 or 4! I think a much thicker soled boot would have been a better choice. The same with clothes -- I wore capris and shorts, which worked out fine -- but I did get a few inevitable scratches so a wiser choice may have been long pants. I also was lucky -- due to the unfortunate drought situation the grass was neither thick nor high -- but if it had been a normal year it would have been unpleasant with shorts.

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Mrs A & Mr M from London
Arrived on: 18-Nov-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Absolutely fantastic

The only negative aspect during our three nights at Mundulea was the puncture by the gate - our second of our holiday and not the fault of Mundelea. After that it was all marvellous.

We were very lucky that Bruno was in residence and he led our walks. Apparently we were the last guests of the year before Bruno closed the camp until January. There was only one other guest so we were a small and quite intimate group. Bruno is fascinating and interesting company and we seemed to spend much time, without noticing the passage of time, discussing his ideas and ideals, world politics and matters of common interest at the communal dining area. Bruno led us on a series of walks from the camp through the bush and was so very informative on flora and fauna as well as landscape and geology. The walking seemed at times to be so tranquil and idyllic, especially in the evenings as the sun was setting.

At Mundulea, one does not see game in such close contact as in game parks where one is driven to waterholes and other such areas where game concentrate. We saw a lot of different antelope and giraffe through the bushes and we were shown signs of pangolin, aardvark, badger, hyena and ostrich as well as fresh tracks of rhino, cheetah, lynx and leopard. The walks were more about discovering the habitat and behaviour of animals and about the natural and not-so-natural vegetation and landscape.

After visits to Desert Rhino Camp and Etosha where one sees the game at close quarters, Mundulea offers a contrasting learning opportunity and we were very pleased that we visited after having been to Etosha. We gained so much of the context of the wildlife. A pair of binoculars is absolutely essential as from the top of some of the hills we climbed, Bruno could pick out animals way below.

All the meals at Mudulea were nutritious and delicious and many thanks to Tommy for producing it all by means of a camp fire and wood oven.

Our visit was another unforgettable highlight of our stay in Namibia.

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Mrs F. from Aylesbury
Arrived on: 3-Nov-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Really remote, Namibia in the raw

A wonderful, remote, no frills bush camp for the benefit of the wild animals almost more than the guests!

Comfortable tents, outside bathroom. Good hides to watch the waterhole. Because you are walking everywhere, there is less chance of seeing many animals as they are very nervous. We came very close to black rhino on several occasions, without actually seeing them. Their snorting and thundering feet were quite close enough.

A certain level of fitness is required for this camp as well as strong nerves. Bruno is enormously knowledgeable and enthusiastic about his reserve pointing out many tracks of animals, proving they were there, just not visible! Lion, leopard, hyena, black rhino all there, just not seen.

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K+R, J+P from Stirling
Arrived on: 11-Oct-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Highlight of our trip

Bruno was an excellent host, extraordinarily well informed about every aspect of the reserve so we really got to understand the ecology and ecosystem.

It was refreshing to get out of Toyota landcruisers and connect to the land through the walking trips. Each walk took us in a different direction, looking at a different aspect of the place. The hide a few paces from our tents provided excellent viewing of all the game and birds coming to the waterhole. This included some animals that we didn't see elsewhere including dik-dik, duiker, honey badger, banded mongoose and scrub hare

The camp was very different from anywhere else we stayed with nearly every item made from the natural resources of the place, or from recycled materials, without compromising comfort. The meals all cooked on the open fire were excellent and we all enjoyed the wide ranging conversation over mealtimes and round the fire with Bruno and the other 2 guests.

These days of our trip were so memorable as they were so different to the rest of the trip - we would not have missed it and would love to return.

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Mrs J from Somerset
Arrived on: 3-Sep-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Mundulea Reserve review

We had a fantastic experience at Mundulea. Bruno is a wonderful guide and knowledgeable about many subjects. No-one should be bored spending time with him! Tommy looked after us in camp and cooked delicious meals. This is a different experience to most other lodges I have stayed at. For us it was a highlight of our trip but it is not for everyone. It helps to be reasonably fit because all activities are based around walking. I understand that Bruno will adjust activities to suit his guests but if you can't walk at least 10km (I suggest) I think you would not get the most from this experience. Also, being on foot brings you into contact with fewer animals but the landscape, tracking and stories more than make up for any deficit on that score. Personally I loved the wildness of it and the sink holes and cave systems. I hope I will return one day.

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Mr G from Somerset
Arrived on: 3-Sep-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent

Mundulea Reserve review

This was a magnificent and true African experience
Our host Bruno Nebe was terrific, knowledgeable and clearly very experienced. His right hand man Tommy was most attentive too.
This really was a 'middle of nowhere' experience.
Wonderful walking and wildlife experiences - great birdlife.
Successfully tracking Pangolin, nighttime Lions roaring, and witnessing the release of a 12ft long python was a thrill.
The daily bees in the toilet bowl was not so much a thrill as a challenge - fortunately not unsurmountable!
This is not for the faint-hearted, but sitting under the stars around a campfire drinking beer and swapping stories with Burno will be remembered for a lifetime. Brilliant!
There are no facilities - apart for a couple of hides

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Wendy from Melbourne
Arrived on: 21-Aug-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Mundulea Reserve review

This was one of the highlights of the trip. Bruno's knowlege, and being able to walk, made this a wonderful experience.

We really appreciated the more low key accommodation and approach, after the luxury of the Botswana experience.

I can understand that this might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it was certainly ours.

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Samantha from London
Arrived on: 4-Aug-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

I loved it!

I found our three night stay to be the highlight of the holiday in many ways. It was absolutely fascinating to spend time with Bruno. We learned about geology, flora, fauna, the challenges of establishing and running a reserve, Namibian politics, history, bushcraft and so much more. I also loved being out walking in the bush as opposed to sitting in a jeep. Bruno has high ideals and has taken a very purist approach, yet he is also very honest about the downsides of that and a few mistakes he has made. We saw quite a large range of wildlife while we were there, and tracks of more. However, I don't feel that is really why you go there (Etosha is for ticking off the game). I felt it gave our family the most amazing introduction to the country and knowledge that gave us a really deep understanding and context into which to place everything we saw on the rest of our travels around Namibia.

We were the only guests at the time we stayed (2 adults, plus children aged 14, 11 and 7). We shared three tents, which were very comfortable and with nice touches like the hot water bottles Bruno's colleague Tommy put in for us each night. Solar power gave us plenty of hot water and enough light (though was dim at night so definitely paid to get organised with clothing and toiletries in daylight hours). There were some insects in the outside bathroom as you'd expect including bees which were mentioned in one tripadvisor report - I just sprayed round the loo with insect repellant and it really was not an issue as they were extremely benign. My daughter got a bee up her trouser leg. She calmly peeled them down and out it flew - none of us got any bites or stings while we were there.

The food was fantastic (though I would ditch the breakfast fruit yogurts if I were him in favour if a big bowl of plain yogurt to go with his delicious homemade granola). Again, Bruno takes a purist approach that everything is cooked over the campfire. We were particularly impressed by the bread from the metal bread oven he had built (he has built everything on the camp from beds to chairs to bread ovens), the homemade zebra salami, brisket of eland with polenta. My favourite food of the holiday with perfectly judged portions and always second helpings if wanted.

Bruno was patient with the kids and took a lot of time to explain things at an appropriate level, while also being firm when necessary and expecting them to respect their environment (eg delicate skulls and tools on display, sometimes needing to keep the noise down when out in the bush).

I cannot recommend it highly enough and it was definitely my highlight (and I say that even though we stayed at some uber luxurious places like Little Ongava and Damaraland Camp). I feel I learned a lot and, for me, that was a true luxury.

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Mr M from Edinburgh
Arrived on: 8-Apr-2018 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Amazing Mundulea

This is Bruno's home and he is an expert naturalist. His passion for wildlife conservation is inspiring.

Tommy his right hand man is a gem cooking on the open fire. The experience of walking in the bush is very different from being driven around and we have some special memories.

This is a place that grew on us and we were sad to leave.

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