Skip to main content

a desert-based economy

The Desert Based Economy (DBE) is an economic catalyst concept under The AridEden Project that coordinates trade and enterprise development at and around Wolwedans. This includes economic activities under what we refer to as the “primary” desert-based economy (the core, commercial hospitality offering at Wolwedans), as well as the “secondary” desert-based economy (the supply chain that ‘feeds’ the demand of our primary economy). 

As the commercial engine that keeps the Wolwedans primary economy going, we must keep the Wolwedans Collection offering polished, dynamic, and authentically Wolwedans in style. Ensuring maximum occupancies to drive our primary economy depends on the quality of the experience our guests have with us – from the very moment they view our website, make a reservation inquiry, are warmly greeted on arrival and professionally hosted during their stay, the ambience and comfort level, quality of food and beverages, diversity and uniqueness of our activities, to the time of their departure, when we can be confident that they leave rejuvenated and inspired.

Being able to provide this quintessential Wolwedans desert experience requires that a diverse, high quality range of goods and services be available for us to purchase. This includes everything from food and beverages that we cannot produce on site, to maintenance services, production, manufacturing, and more. The AridEden Project will unpack this big parcel of needs from the “secondary” desert-based economy, creating micro / small goods and service provision enterprises that flourish independently and can meet local market demands in addition to our own.

Adopting a broad perspective is necessary to identify the existing options in the region and along current supply runs, as well as the gaps. Existing options can be engaged to build relationships and discuss how to overcome market access challenges, while identifying gaps provides entrepreneurial and business development opportunities. 

Some of the opportunities anticipated and / or being explored are shown below.

Production (requires equipment & facilities)

  • Vegetable, fruit & herbs
  • Meat products
  • Bakery: bread, rolls & cakes
  • Cheese making (requires cows or goats)
  • Poultry for eggs & meat
  • Steel furniture, outdoor
  • Wooden furniture, in/ outdoor
  • Solar cookers
  • Upholstery for bags, covers, etc.
  • Arts & Crafts: woodwork, art, pottery, beading, needlework, leatherwork, etc.
  • Jewelry, beaded

Activities/ Experiences (requires trained personnel)

  • Heart & Home Tour
  • E-Bike tours 
  • Horseback riding
  • Bushman Walk
  • Massages 
  • Scenic flights
  • Hot Air Ballooning
  • Scenic drives (themed)
  • Day safaris/ journeys
  • Horticulture course
  • Pottery (basic)
  • Leathercraft (basic)
  • Art courses (basic)
  • NakedEye – StarSafari


  • Laundry and housekeeping (basic needs)
  • Farm/ Tuck shop selling daily essentials
  • Village Bar (open daily 19h – 21h00, except Sunday)
  • Village Takeaway (open daily from 15h – 21h00)
  • Village Restaurant serving lunch and dinner to guests & staff
  • Village Canteen run by Foundation and Commercial Cookery trainees
  • Hairdresser & beauty parlour
  • Transfer services