Reviews of Doro Nawas
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Doro !Nawas - In the wilderness
We stayed end July 2015 for 2 nights.
We travelled from Etosha down to Doro !Nawas and stopped off at the Petrified Forest on the way which is well worth a visit. You approach down a long track and first see the main building in the distance which looks rather dark and foreboding! However when you arrive, greeted with a welcome song and drink, you find a relaxing area with fantastic panoramic views including a wide balcony with seating. It was a bit windy so sitting outside you needed to wrap up to watch the sun setting. Before sunset we went out for a walk to the sandstone ridge and across the plain - well worth it.
The lodges were a short walk away (ours were quite close) and beautifully done. Thatched roof, stone floors and canvas walls which did make it a bit chilly at night, but hot water bottles and warm blankets were provided. The vista from the villas was delightful across the plain to mountains in the distance. However the novelty, very much enjoyed by the boys was to be able to roll the beds out of the room and onto the veranda area.
The dinner menu was announced by our waiter in the local Damara 'tongue' which was very interesting. If you don't already know, you will find out what the "!" means in !Nawas. The food was excellent and then we were entertained by the staff singing to us. They really were excellent, the best on our trip, and we found that they had won competitions.
We took Expert Africa's advice and took ourselves around local attractions - rock carvings (v good), organ pipes and burnt mountain (OK but not great), living (Damara) village (interesting to see how they live). We decided not to do the trip to see the elephants which I think was expensive having seen lots in Etosha. We found 'Wilderness Safari' trips to be more expensive than others.
Previous comments mention a telescope to see the stars but it wasn't there, and it would be great to have this given the roof area and no light pollution.
Overall we had a great time at Doro !Nawas and would recommend it.
Doro Nawas review
Doro Nawas is a good base for visiting many of the attractions of Damarland. We visiting the petrified forest on our way there, and the next day we visited Twyfelfontein, the 'organ pipes' and the 'burnt mountain'.
The rooms at Doro Nawas are amazing in themselves, as well as having a great view of the stunning landscape. They can be a bit dim insides, but their shadiness helps to keep them cool. We didn't sleep outdoors, but we did use the outdoor shower - fun! It was nice to hang about near the pool when it was hot, though it was never quite hot enough to make swimming endurable!
It is really good that Doro Nawas provides water bottles and unlimited water for refills. We also liked that we could take some tea and coffee all day, with cake in the afternoon. The breakfasts were also very good.
We found the dinner arrangements here to be a bit confusing - we were not clear when/how it would be served, and one evening when we asked (at about 7.30) we were told that "dinner will be served at 7pm and we will tell you when that is". One evening we had a bbq on the roof, which whilst fun, took a while. The vegetarian meals were a bit vegetably- i.e. cooked vegetables served with the vegetables that accompany the meat options - this was possibly just a coincidence as we only stayed there a couple of nights - but more use of beans/other sources of protein would have been nice.
We booked a walking activity (on the sandstone trail) with a guide. This was okay but our guide wasn't local - we were a bit surprised by this because this is jointly run with a community conservancy. It was also a bit shorter than we expected from the activity description that we had in our room.
Customer Service Top Class
After the rather laid back or couldn't care less attitude of some of the staff in Etosha the service and care at Doro Nawas was like a breath of fresh air - we felt well looked after and as if the pe0ple really cared that we had a good stay with them.
The rooms had amazing views although we were bitten one night and thought mosquito nets could be a welcome addition.
The game drives excellent with knowledgable guide and driver - our sghiting of desert elephant amazing - we have tried to see them for years.
However the best thing was the singing at night - firstly a song to hope you enjoyed your meal and then all the staff joining together from manager to kitchen staff to sing a few local songs at the end of the meal.
We also met here one of the most inspirational women I have ever met - a Damara lady and area manger - whose name i did not write in my diary and wish I had - although I wrote her story in my book.
Most of the lodges were great but if I had to choose the top lodge this would be it.
The setting was gorgeous. The huts were wonderful, so large and open. Great views of the mountains in the setting sun, The staff were super.
We enjoyed waking around the area and especially the safari to see the desert elephants. We spent more quality time with the elephants than on any other safari and we've been on many safaris over the years.
Location, location, location
We loved this place. The location is simply spectacular and the landscape all around is breathtaking. The welcome from everybody was extremely warm and friendly.
We arrived a bit late but they made a real effort and still offered us a choice of evening drives when everybody else had already gone out, so we had a vehicle all to ourselves and saw exactly what we wanted to see. Our only gripe is that the food was a bit average: it could have been better, but it didn't spoil our appreciation of the place and the staff in the dining room were great fun so it didn't really matter.
Great base to explore Damaraland
We had an unfortunate arrival - we got to within 20 km only to find a river burst its banks blocking our road - resulting in 3 hour detour... So we missed afternoon activities, but were offered a warm reception and cold beer, just what we needed!
Beautiful location, and loved sleeping under the spectacular Namibian night sky on the terrace of our lodges. Food good, and we enjoyed the small pool as well to cool down.
Doro Nawas review
Probably one of the favourites for our kids. We were there during Easter holidays and we got Bunny chocolates in the evenings (both days). Our kids were incredibly happy!! It was extremely kind from the hotel and I also appreciated that before placing the surprises on our children`s beds they checked with us if we agree.
However the real highlight was the hotel staff, who were very unique (I do not really know what is the proper word for it) - so they tried to show us a little bit about their culture. They showed us their language, the specialty of which is that they peak with clicks which is very interesting - it was the first time we heard such a way of speaking (as it sounds completely different from other - European, Asian languages). And they also sang us their songs in the evenings that we also enjoyed very much.
It was a very unique experience! Thank you very much!!!
Unusual, in a positive way. Stunning setting
Staff were proud of their culture and wanted to share it.
Brilliant elephant safari. Unusual lodge resembling a fortress in great scenery.
Very spacious chalets. Good food - sensible portions!
Doro Nawas review
Good location for one night to visit rock etchings and petrified forest. Not many animals in rainy season.
Very friendly staff.
Lightning at Doro Nawas
We chose a strange time to visit Doro Nawas. We arrived in torrential rain. As we were checking in, lightning struck the lodge and the thatch in one of the chalets caught fire. The way the staff reacted to the drama was most impressive.
It was the birthday of one of the guests and all the staff sang a number of songs. They provided a cake which they shared with all the guests. The staff made it a wonderful evening.
The rain was the first for 2/3 years.
One improvement would be to provide mosquito nets. Although it is a low risk malaria area there were lots of creepy crawlies and nets would have helped in ensuring a good night's sleep.