Reviews of Mundulea Reserve
Wildlife sightings and reviews
78 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Mundulea Reserve and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Back to the wild at Mundulea"
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." See all these reviews: 9n in Namibia
"Mundulea was a special place"
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." See all these reviews: 11n in Namibia
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." See all these reviews: 17n in Namibia
"Really remote, Namibia in the raw"
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." See all these reviews: 14n in Namibia
"Highlight of our trip"
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." See all these reviews: 16n in Namibia
"Mundulea Reserve review"
"Mundulea Reserve review"
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" See all these reviews: 9n in Namibia
"Mundulea Reserve review"
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." See all these reviews: 26n in Namibia; 7n in Botswana
"I loved it!"
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." See all these reviews: 18n in Namibia
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." See all these reviews: 17n in Namibia
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