Damaraland is one of the most scenic areas in Namibia, a huge, untamed, ruggedly beautiful region that offers the more traveller a more adventurous challenge. Here there are prehistoric water courses with open plains and grassland, massive granite koppies and deep gorges. Towards the west, the geography changes dramatically with endless sandy wastes, that incredibly are able to sustain small, but wide-ranging, populations of desert-adapted elephant, black rhino, giraffe, ostrich and springbok. These animals have adapted their lifestyles to survive the harshness of the sun-blistered, almost waterless desert spaces. Elephant move through euphorbia bush country, and can travel up to 70km in a day in search of food and water and unusually, do not destroy trees in their quest for food. Follow black rhino cow and her calf in typical Damaraland ‘melkbos’ terrain. Together, Damaraland and Kaokoland are known as the Kaokoveld.
Damaraland is the old apartheid name given to the region south of Kaokoland and north of the main road to Swakopmund. It extends 200km inland from the desolate Skeleton Coast and 600km southwards from Kaokoland. The name Damaraland is derived from the fact that the Damara people live in this area (they were relocated here as a result of the Odendaal Plan in the 1960’s). The name Damaraland is still commonly used in tourism circles, although the entire region has now been renamed; the southern section now lies in the Erongo region while the north forms part of the Kunene region.
Highlights of the area include:
• The Brandberg – Namibia’s highest mountain and home to the famous ‘White Lady’ Bushman Painting.
• Twyfelfontein – a wonderful rocky outcrop with thousands of Bushman engravings.
• Spitzkoppe – a typical pointed inselberg, and a place of great mystery to the ancient San people
• The Petrified Forest – which is millions of years old.
• The Vingerklip (finger rock) – a towering finger of limestone that rises 35m above its base.
The Brandberg ‘the fire mountain’ is named after the effect created by the setting of the sun on its western face, which causes the granite massif to resemble a burning slag heap glowing red. The Brandberg (and the Spitzkoppe) is a favourite place for climbers in Namibia, and both mountains contain a high density of San (Bushman) art. The main attraction at Twyfelfontein (doubtful spring) is its large gallery of rock art, one of the most extensive in Africa.
Two other well-known geological features close to Twyfelfontein are the Organ Pipes and the Burnt Mountain. The Organ Pipes are a distinctive series of dolerite pillars that have been exposed by erosion and can be viewed in the small gorge on the left hand side of the road leading to the Burnt Mountain. This flat-topped mountain derives its name from the piles of blackened limestone at its base.
The Spitzkoppe (sharp head) is one of Namibia’s most recognizable landmarks. It’s shape has inspired its nickname, The Matterhorn of Africa,’ but the similarities begin and end with its sharp peak. It is actually the remnant of an ancient volcano, formed in the same way as the Brandberg and Erongo massifs. It was first climbed in 1946 and is now a popular climbing destination with local and foreign mountaineers alike, with plenty of technical climbs available.
In the caves and ravines of the area many prehistoric rock paintings have been found and none more famous than the ‘White Lady’ of the Brandberg. First discovered in 1917 by the German surveyor Dr. Reinhard Maack on a descent from KÃ¶nigstein, the painting remained relatively unknown until 1948, when the French archaeologist AbbÃ© Henri Breuil copied it and brought the painting to light. Initially it was speculated that the ‘White Lady’ was a painting of a European woman, although the painting pre-dates the arrival of Europeans in the area by centuries – recently the sex of the ‘White Lady’ has been bought into questions and it is considered likely that she is in fact a bloke! (Perhaps the earliest recorded case of cross-dressing?) The figure stands about 40cm high and in one hand carries what appears to be a wine glass and in the other, a bow and several arrows. Its hair is straight and light-coloured, distinctly un-African – and the body is painted white from the chest downwards. It is believed to be a central figure in a bizarre hunting procession which includes several women, one of which has skewered an antelope with gemsbok horns and striped legs.
The trees of the Petrified Forest were uprooted some 200 million years ago and were swept along by rivers in flood, covered by sediments and then subsequently uncovered by erosion. Your local community guides will provide more of an insight into the area, whilst ensuring that pieces of petrified wood are not removed.
The 35m-high Vingerklip (finger rock) is also known as Kalk-Kegel (limestone pillar) and rises above the Bertram farm. It is an erosional remnant of a limestone plateau and was formed over 15 million years ago. The large cave in it’s base, surrounded by rubble, gives the impression it will topple over any minute. It was first climbed in 1970 by the American Tom Choate.
A new addition to tourism in the area is the exciting addition of Rhino and Elephant tracking safaris. Proceeds from these safaris go towards the preservation of these animals and there are numerous guided safaris to Damaraland and these offer an informative way of visiting the area.
The area has a wide variety of accommodation ranging from campsites to up market lodges, a few of the highlights include one of Namibia’s best camp sites can be found near Twyfelfontein. The community run, Aba-Huab camp is well worth a visit for those interested in camping. The Namib Desert Elephants often visit the campsite in search of water, the elephants have been known to destroy the reed shower blocks in extremely dry seasons. Other recommended places to stay in Damaraland South include Bambatsi Holiday Ranch, Brandberg Rest Camp, Brandberg White Lady Lodge, Camp Kipwe, Damaraland Camp, Doro Nawas Camp, !Gowati Lodge, Mowani Mountain Camp, Twyfelfontein Lodge and Vingerklip Lodge.
Doro Nawas Camp is a striking lodge set in a stunning Damaraland location. The elevated site supplies endless and spectacular views of the beautiful Etendeka Mountains and red sandstone cliffs of Twyfelfontein. Self-drive tourists in Namibia can plan their own trips to local tourist attractions or hop on a guided tour. Expect attentive service, excellent food and knowledgeable guides.
The camp has built up a good reputation for itself due mainly to the close working relationship between them and the local community who partly own it. All of the staff at the lodge come from the surrounding villages and have been specially trained to fill specific roles and positions.
Lovingly prepared wholesome meals are served in either the indoor or outdoor rooftop dining areas. There is also a pool area, and bar and full laundry service. The curio shop and small gallery, lead to a picturesque courtyard and staircase to the roof, a tranquil and cracking site for a sundowner, nightcap, or spot of stargazing. It is not uncommon, for the lodge manager to join you on the roof, giving you the benefit of his knowledge of various constellations and galaxies with his laser pointer!
Guests will be accommodated in one of the camp’s 16 chalets. They have all been built from a combination of a stone base and canvas walls, supported on wooden posts, which also prop up the thatched roof. Each chalet is of an open-plan design, with a large bedroom, a double bed, a couple of comfortable, padded wicker chairs, and a ceiling fan.
Sectioned off from the bedroom is the flush toilet, shower, and twin washbasins, each with it’s own large mirror. The luxury amenities continue with complementary shampoo, body lotion and hand cream are provided, not to mention a couple of big towels. There is a large set of sliding glass doors, that open out onto a veranda. Guests can take an outdoor shower, and then relax and unwind on the deck, whilst admiring the terrific views of the magnificent environment.
The spacious chalets are lovely and cool during those hot summer days. It is also possible on the warmer evenings, to wheel the beds out of the rooms, and enjoy a night under the stars. Power is supplied to the lodge from a generator.
Activities revolve around the game found in and around the Haub River Valley, that occasionally fill with floodwater in the rainy season; a favourite being a guided 4×4 trip to track desert-adapted elephants. Many of their guests also head out on a fascinating expedition to the local rock art site at nearby Twyfelfontein, with some of the most renowned San art engravings in Namibia, which usually calls in at the Petrified Forest. There is also a walking trail in the vicinity of the lodge, which can be done with or without a guide.
Doro Nawas Camp. A luxury safari experience, whilst creating a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the economic empowerment of the local community.
Etendeka Mountain Camp is a small, friendly and relaxed rustic camp set on the edge of the rocky Namib Desert. Owner-run for over 2 decades the location in a area of 50 000 ha is beautifully nestled in the foothills of the Grootberg Massif.
Guests who wish for excellent home-cooked food combined with superb scenery, peace and quiet and enjoyable walking trails should head here, ideally for a stay of at least 2 or 3 nights. The area also boasts a fine assortment of Namibian wildlife, often visible from the camp or on a walk. The actual concession is part of the old Damaraland region where the wildlife, living alongside nomadic pastoralists, is truly wild and free to roam uninhibited. The ancient basalt has been eroded into a dramatic landscape of flat-topped hills, and plains strewn with weathered boulders.
Etendeka Mountain Camp strives to be at one with the environment, bringing you as close to nature as possible without compromising on safety or comfort. Solar heating and electricity do not disturb the silence, whilst all the plants and animals found around the camp are indigenous to the area. The newly built communal area was constructed using local rocks held together by a wire mesh, the wall has only been constructed to face the prevailing wind and the rest has been left open to frame the views. The lodge blends perfectly into the surrounding environment. All meals and drinks are served in this area which offers a magnificent view of the Etendeka Mountains.
Each of the 10 walk-in, shaded tents are furnished with twin beds, linen, towels wash basin, a bush shower (a bucket on a rope) with hot and cold water, a flush toilet, small table/lamp and luggage racks. Water is of high quality, but in short supply so laundry is not done at the camp.
While Etendeka is a very comfortable camp it is best described as rustic and close to nature, those looking for luxury should look elsewhere. Those wanting a genuine, warm hearted Namibian experience, and who are not afraid of a few bugs and the thought of ‘comfortable camping’ will be rewarded with a remarkable experience that few other lodges in Namibia come close to matching.
The sighting of Hartman’s Mountain Zebra, oryx, springbok, giraffe or perhaps even the desert adapted elephant or black rhino may add an exciting bonus to your stay. Evidence of these animals, however, is often seen, along with less conspicuous inhabitants – reptiles, small mammals, insects and other arthropods.
Many of Namibia’s endemic birds can be found here, such as Herero Chat, Monteiro’s Hornbill, Rüppell’s Korhaan and Rockrunner. An average annual rainfall of around 100mm supports scattered and often thick-stemmed desert-adapted trees, shrubs and varying grass cover. Here you will meet the “Etendeka Big Five” trees.
Etendeka Mountain Camp is an excellent place for walking in the cool of the morning, an afternoon game drive and possibly a short hike up one of the local mountains
Access to the camp from the public road is by 4×4 vehicle through rugged terrain. Guests are met at the transfer point at 16h00 in the summer or 15h30 in the winter. The transfer, which takes one and a half hours, gives guests a good introduction to the area – so have camera and binoculars ready!
Etendeka Mountain Camp offers a unique, pristine wilderness experience which will appeal to photographer, naturalist, astronomer and geologist alike, as well as lovers of peace, quiet and open space. To get the most of your experience you will need to spend at least two nights here. With a maximum of 16 guests, everyone is assured personal attention in a relaxed atmosphere.
A private air strip is only twenty minutes drive from the camp.
If you’re looking for a truly amazing experience in a beautiful and remote area of Namibia then Etendeka Camp is the place for you!
Grootberg Lodge is perched on the rim of a plateau and stands sentinel over the Klip River Valley. They offer a warm welcome, high-standard of professional service, extremely good food, well-trained guides and exceptionally good local management in great surroundings. Many of their guests stay here for at least a couple of nights on a self-drive safari from Etosha Natonal Park or Damarland.
Grootberg Lodge is a landmark in Namibia’s tourism industry. It is the first middle-market establishment in the country that is 100% owned by the conservancy. The European Union funded the project, through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism’s Development Programme. At the same time, the private sector has been called in to supply the training and management skills, while the community becomes self-sustainable. Some 12 000 hectares have been set aside by the Khoadi / Hoas community for conservation and tourism, and it is through this pristine wilderness that you meander either on foot or by vehicle to encounter the inhabitants of this remote biosphere. The local community benefits greatly, thanks to the revenues generated by the Lodge.
The main thatched lodge has a restaurant, lounge and bar. Guests can charge electrical goods here. A set menu is available for all meals. The swimming pool is close to the main building.
Grootberg Llodge has 16 rock and thatch chalets.
• Double Chalets: 14 Double Chalets have an en-suite bathroom or a shower (with large viewing window) and toilet, twin beds, wall paintings and lights. Mosquito nets are fitted to the doors and windows. There is a tea/coffee station; ask for a flask of hot water. Step outside through sliding doors to a small, private deck. Every room has a wonderful view over Klip Valley Vlei, where Black Eagles hunt just below the level of your private deck.
• Family Chalets: 2 Family Chalets can sleep up to 5 and have similar facilities, furnishings and views as the Double Chalets.
Desert elephant, black rhino and lion are some of the more impressive mammals to be found. But you will also find a myriad of smaller mammals, birds, reptiles, insects and plants.
Guests can take advantage of rhino and elephant tracking trips in the valley. Morning and afternoon scenic drives on the plateau at Grootberg Lodge offer an alternative pursuit.
For travellers making the journey between Etosha and Swakopmund, this lodge provides the ideal midway stopover, whilst allowing guests to experience the true wilderness that is Damaraland.
Palmwag Lodge is a paradise located on the Uniab River in north-western Namibia, Damaraland just a few kilometers north of the junction of the C4 and /C39 roads. Nestled in a spectacular landscape with waving palms whispering in the wind, Palmwag Lodge is one of Namibia’s oldest and most popular tourist destinations.
In the concession area around Palmwag Lodge there are large populations of Hartman’s Mountain Zebra, giraffe, oryx, springbok and kudu. The predator population is the largest outside of the Etosha National Park, with over 100 lions, cheetah, leopard, brown and spotted hyena. Bird life is prolific and diverse with most of Namibia’s endemics present. This concession supports a healthy population of desert adapted black rhino and elephants, under the management of the Save the Rhino Trust.
Wine and dine in the licensed restaurant and order dinner from the ‘a la carte’ menu. Relax at the swimming pool under shady palm trees and unwind with refreshments at the cozy pool-bar and lapa.
Accommodation is in either Double Rooms or Safari Tents:
• Rooms: Twin beds with mosquito nets, en-suite bathroom with shower, wicker chair seating area.
• Safari Tents: Twin or double beds with fitted mosquito nets, en-suite bathroom with shower, bedside tables/lamps, luggage rack, cupboard, private veranda with director style chairs and table.
Take the initiative to explore the carefully laid out walking trails and enjoy nature at its best. Their guided game drives and day trips offer you the unique opportunity to discover and observe the diverse species of Namibia’s free-roaming game.
A half or full-day’s rhino tracking excursion can be organized at Palmwag Lodge. You will be accompanied by a qualified guide stationed at the lodge and an experienced and knowledgeable tracker courtesy of the Rhino Rangers / Save The Rhino Trust. This is a joint venture with the Torra, Anabeb and Sesfontein Conservancies. Part of the income generated from rhino tracking is paid to the communities from these 3 conservancies.
Participants must wear proper hiking shoes/boots. Neutral coloured clothing (not white, yellow or red) helps you blend into the environment, offering a decent opportunity to approach rhino closer (quietly) on foot without disturbing them. Rhinos have a keen sense of smell so do not spray perfume or deodorant on your body before your excursion. Take a hat and sunscreen for your own protection from the sun and bring your camera’s and bino’s to enjoy your time during and after your rhino adventure.
The Damaraland Wildlife Excursions depart after breakfast. Enjoy this tour in open 4×4 game-viewing vehicle, that takes you right into the lodge’s concession area. Enjoy a picnic lunch en-route and look forward to a late afternoon sundowner on return.
3-5 hour guided walks can be taken into the concession area, with the lodges very own, well-trained, experienced guides.
If you are really interested in the rhino population of this area, there is the superb Palmwag Rhino Camp, which is a mobile camp allowing you to experience the Palmwag rhinos in their natural desert environment.
As Khowarib Lodge is set on the limits of Kaokoland, a stay here provides ‘the perfect jumping-off point’ to explore the remote and rugged territories of north-west Namibia. The lodge nestles perfectly on the banks of the ephemeral Hoanib River, a feature which runs through the dramatic Khowarib Gorge.
It is along this dry river bed that expeditions to track desert-adapted elephant and black rhino are often conducted. As there are many Himba settlements within easy reach of the lodge, the cultural aspects of these fascinating nomadic people can be experienced as well. Explore the region in your own 4×4 self-drive vehicle or on a lodge activity.
A large rock kopje(hill) provides an attractive backdrop to the large main area at Khowarib lodge. A viewing platform sits centre stage flanked on either side by the dining areas and the comfortable guest lounge. Meals can be ordered from a set menu, but a buffet-style system is introduced for larger groups or when the lodge is fully-booked. Enjoy a glass of wine in the bar whilst admiring local artwork.
Take a dip in the pool and relax and unwind on sun loungers afterwards. Browse through the small library or around the curio shop. There is a laundry service, secure parking and wireless internet is available in the main lapa.
Take a short walk from the lodge to the river bank and your accommodation. There are both double & family rooms available at Khowarib Lodge:
• Double Chalets. There are 14 double Canvas Chalets elevated on stilts. Twin/double beds, spacious en-suite bathrooms, tall floor fans, tea/coffee station, an in-room safe and mosquito netting on the windows and doors are standard. Enjoy gorge vistas from your front-facing viewing platform, shaded by Mopane trees.
• Family Units: The family units are slightly larger than the double rooms and are fitted with an extra bed. The facilities are the same as th e double rooms. Children of all ages are welcome at Khowarib Lodge.
There is an interesting array of Namibian wildlife in the area, the most striking of which are the Desert-adapted elephant and rhino. Other animals include oryx, zebra, giraffe, kudu, black-backed jackal, springbok, klipspringer, small spotted genet, steenbok, meerkats and ground squirrels. Birding is also popular in the area around the Khowarib River and one can expect to see Tawny eagle, lanner falcon, greater kestrel, Burchell’s courser, Namaqua sandgrouse, bokmakierie, rock martin, Cape sparrow, larks, dusky sunbird, tractrac chat, pale-winged starling and Orange River francolins.
Damara Mopane Lodge often accommodates large groups, although they are known for making every guest feel very welcome. The lodge is surrounded by beautiful gardens and makes for an excellent base for exploring many of the main tourist attractions in Damaraland. In particular many head to the Petrified Forest, Vingerklip and the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein. Game drives to search for desert-adapted elephants can be arranged here.
Mopane Lodge is situated east of the town of Khorixas and is an ideal stopover between Namibia’s premier coastal town of Swakopmund, Etosha or the remote Kaokoland area.
The main building and chalets of the lodge have been designed similar to that of an African village, and are built in a wattle and daub style under the shade of mopane trees. Damara Mopane Lodge has several unique features one of which is that the walls of the buildings and chalets are adorned by copies of the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein another are the creative scarecrows that inhabit the vegetable plots that surround the bungalows, keep an eye open for the scuba diving scarecrow – a personal favourite!
The reception, restaurant and chalets are all connected by a ‘labyrinth of paths’, enabling guests to follow the shortest route from the main facilities to and from their accommodation without getting lost. Dinner will consist of a hot starter with diners able to choose a personal platter for a light, but tasty meal. A selection of meats and vegetables are available and many of the fresh ingredients will be taken from the gardens around the chalets.
The swimming pool is situated alongside large, ancient mopane trees, an ideal setting to chill and relax after a dusty day’s drive or excursion. There is a viewing deck is only 300m away from the camp, situated half way up a hill. It overlooks the camp and plains beyond and is a perfect venue for photographing magnificent, colourful sunsets and to admire the wonderful Namibian starry night skies.
Accommodation is in 60 double chalets. Air-conditioning and mosquito nets are standard as is a personal veranda. Each plot has its own vegetable and herb garden enclosed by a low wall. Lettuce, radishes, melons, pumpkins and tomatoes are grown alongside the more traditional African staple food such as maize and mahangu, adding to the illusion of spending the night in an African village.
Khorixas Restcamp is an ideal base to visit the Burnt Mountain, Brandberg Mountain, Organ Pipes and Twyfelfontein. Self-drive tourists to Namibia can stopover here when travelling between Etosha, the Kunene region and Skeleton Coast Park as well.
The camp is nestled in the hills of Damaraland and provides a relaxing environment for travellers after a day’s exploration or long drive. Rare and unusual stone formations, ancient rock engravings and strange geological wonders have for decades tempted geologists, tourists and the curious to the region.
Khorixas Rest Camp has the feeling of a camp that had it’s heyday sometime in the 1980’s – but still offers functional accommodation and good rates. Meals can be ordered from the ‘a la carte’ restaurant. The bar is equipped with satellite DSTV which offers the perfect opportunity to catch up on world news or the latest major sporting events. Locally made arts and crafts can be purchased from the curio shop. Valuables can be secured in the safe. Secure parking next to your accommodation provides the opportunity to unload and repack for your onward journey. Relax and unwind around the swimming pool, which offers respite from the hot afternoon sunshine.
Accommodation is in a total of 38 rooms. Some of the rooms are non-smoking.
• Single Rooms: 10 rooms with a single bed, air-conditioning, en-suite bathroom with shower, table/mirror, built in cupboards and a tea/coffee station
• Bush Chalets: 26 chalets with 2 x beds in each unit, en-suite bathroom with shower and air-conditioning. Most of the chalets are large and spacious with braai facilities. Others are smaller in size with a shared braai facility.
• Family Chalets: Both of the Family Chalets have 2 bedrooms and a self-catering kitchen. They also have an en-suite bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, built-in cupboards, TV’s with DSTV hotel package.
The small town of Khorixas is named after the Khori bush (Salvadora persica). Although Khorixas Rest Camp is not luxurious, it is clean, inexpensive and unpretentious.
As Damaraland Camp is situated in the Huab River Valley, tracking desert-adapted elephant & rhino rate highly on most of their guests wish list. In addition to this very worthwhile pursuit, the camp has proved to be a model of how community-based tourism can flourish. Over the years they have integrated the local community to care for the environment and wildlife on a sustainable basis.
Many visitors comment on the bubbly atmosphere that the friendly and happy staff create who constantly go out of their way to make your stay memorable and enjoyable. In return Damaraland Camp have swept the board with an impressive collection of honours, including a WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Conservation Award.
The camp offers sensational views over the surrounding plains, valleys and of the Brandberg Mountain. Subsequently a 4×4 vehicle is required to reach Damaraland Camp. Drivers of 2×4 vehicles must wait at the Fonteine Post pick-up point at 2pm or 5pm, to be taken to the camp. Any other arrival time must be pre-arranged.
Many residents of Damaraland are of mixed heritage, including Herero and the displaced Riemvasmakers of South Africa. The Damara name is derived from the Nama word ‘Dama’, meaning ‘who walked here’. This is because the Damara were known to the Nama people, by the footprints they left around water holes.
The restaurant and bar, complete with fireplace can be found in the main tent/thatched area. Braai type evening meals are served in an open area, close to the camp, lit by a large number of small lanterns. The swimming pool is conveniently sited next to the bar, and the campfire and outdoor ‘boma’ sites, are ideal spots to exchange safari and travel stories with other guests.
There are 10 raised, adobe-styled, thatched units. They have all been recently re-furbished and each tent has an en-suite shower, toilet and a fan. Mosquito repellent is provided. There is a walk-in dressing area, and a large deck with great views of the immediate environment.
Activities include guided nature drives and walks and mountain biking, revolving around morning and afternoon scenic tours into the Haub river system. The drives to search for desert-adapted elephant are a great favourite and gemsbok, greater kudu, springbok, and occasionally lion, cheetah and black rhino can be spotted.
Interesting flora such as euphorbias and shepherd’s trees, can be pointed out on the way. Trips to some of Africa’s best known rock engravings, including the famous Twyfelfontein etchings, can be organized from Damaraland Camp.
Sundowner drives to a scenic look out point, are also popular.
Fort Sesfontein Lodge is situated in the centre of Sesfontein in the old German fort that was abandoned in 1914. It is now restored as a lodge from where visitors can explore an ephemeral river bed, recently discovered rock engravings and the nomadic Himba people.
A gap in the mountains gives access to the valley basin of Sesfontein, (six fountains) where green gardens give the landscape its special character. In 1896 the government of what was then German South-West Africa, built the Fort of Sesfontein as a control point for keeping in check cattle disease, arms smuggling and illegal hunting.
Today, more than 100 years after the original establishment of the Sesfontein Station, the Fort has acquired a second lease of life after being tastefully restored as a tourist lodge. Use of building materials, characteristic for the region, such as clay walls, stone floors and reed linings, convey a very special and original atmosphere.
The former officers mess has been refurbished as a restaurant with integrated lounge and bar. The large swimming-pool offers their guests the opportunity to cool off from the hot midday sun or have a relaxing work-out.
The fort offers accommodation in the following units:
• Rooms: Comfortable, double bed rooms arranged around the historic courtyard with a lush garden of old palm trees. Each room has an en-suite, solar heated bath or shower, with a bidet and toilet, mosquito nets fitted onto the four-poster beds with a bedside table/lamp, built in wardrobe and ceiling fans. Relax in a whicker chair and table seating area.
• Family Room: Ideal accommodation for 2 adults and 2 children. The facilities and setting are similar to the Double Rooms.
Fort Sesfontein is ideally placed to discover the southern regions of Kaokoland. From here you can explore Himba villages, and with some luck spot desert elephant wandering down the nearby river valleys.
Fort Sesfontein offers guided day trips in 4×4 vehicles and local guides are on hand for those with their own 4×4 transport
Desert Rhino Camp, previously called Palmwag Rhino Camp, is a mobile camp run in conjunction with the ‘Save the Rhino Trust’. (SRT.) It is located in the private Palmwag Concession area, (also known as the Palmwag Reserve), in northern Damaraland, which covers about 5,000km² between Etosha National Park and the Skeleton Coast.
The camp offers a brilliant insight into the ecology and conservation of this incredible area. At the same time, it contributes directly to the Trust and ultimately the sustainability of this vulnerable area and its wildlife. This is a luxury tented mobile camp, that can be easily moved if local game movements deem it necessary, accommodating a maximum of 12 guests.
The tented restaurant/lounge area is raised on a wooden deck. It is open plan and has partially open sides, which offer great views across the surrounding desert and mountains. One half of the area has a large leather sofa and two soft, comfortable cream chairs, with a big wooden chest in front, supporting an array of interesting books on Namibia. The other half has a generously-sized wooden table and directors chairs; appropriate for the sociable group meal. In the evenings, guests gather around the fire pit, in front of the ‘Lapa’ (the open-sided dining area), to relax and discuss the day’s events and activities.
The camp has 8 large tents with simple en-suite facilities, (hot water on request.) These large walk-in Meru style tents are raised on wooden decks, and have a front verandah where you can relax on a directors chair. The beds are made up with crisp, white linen and have two dark wood bedside tables with wicker reading lamps.
Each room has an electronic combination safe, a loud ‘hooter’ for emergencies, insect spray and mosquito repellent. On opening the tent flaps, guests will discover mesh on the doors and windows, which lets the breeze through – but not the insects. As it can get very cold here at night, extra duvets are available. Complementary shampoo, soap, tissues and towels are provided. Local wood has been used throughout the bathroom, for the slatted wooden floor, the towel rails and the shower upright.
Considering the proximity of the concession to the Skeleton Coast Park and true Namib Desert, this area is home to a surprisingly high variety and density of wildlife. The Concession area supports the largest free roaming population of Black Rhino in Africa, as well as a healthy number of desert adapted Elephants. Bird life is diverse and prolific, with most of Namibia’s endemics present. There are large populations of Hartman’s Mountain Zebra, giraffe, oryx, springbok and kudu. The predator population is the largest outside of the Etosha National Park with over 100 lions, cheetah, leopard, brown and spotted hyena.
Some of the camp activities on offer are rhino tracking on foot or by vehicle, night drives and full day outings (with a picnic lunch) on the concession.
Rhino Tracking begins early in the morning. Trackers from the SRT are in radio contact with your guide, and when they find Rhino, they inform the guide of their location. Generally you will be driven to within a kilometre of the Rhino’s location and then approach on foot close enough for a good view, without disturbing the animals.
Nature Drives & Night Drives give guests the opportunities to learn about the fauna and flora of the area.
The Save The Rhino Trust has been solely responsible for helping to ensure that the rare, desert-adapted black rhino (members of the Diceros bicornis bicornis sub-species) survived the slaughter that went on in the 80s and 90s. Today this population of black rhino is growing in numbers and the Palmwag Concession boasts the largest concentration of black rhino anywhere outside of a national park.
Sorris Sorris is a luxury designer lodge, well hidden lodge in a more modern style, lots of glass and wood with a designer view on the Brandberg Mountain in the eponymous community conservancy of central Damaraland. While deeply entrenched in the community’s conservation policies it is many worlds, away in every other respect.
The accommodation has nine avant garde Ikea-inspired blocks of wood, stone and compacted earth litter a granite outcrop in stealth mode among boulders piled up like a giant’s cairn. Inside your cuboid room is all naked wood and long straight lines with levels up and down and a semi-open-plan bathroom (the toilet is mercifully closed in). A high level of comfort pervades from the seriously soft linen and magnetically comfortable bed to the Nespresso machine, bath robes and a quietly humming mini-bar you’ll simply maul after your hour-long bump and grind transfer through that crazy scenery.
The viewing deck is poised above the rocky terrain with a central fire pit and a view in every direction – including upwards for a star-filled night-time extravaganza.
Brandberg Restcamp offers a good stopover for self-drive tourists who wish to explore the Brandberg Mountains and beyond to Damaraland. Visiting the San rock paintings rate highly on many a traveller’s itinerary. Their affordable rooms and flats are set in beautiful natural surroundings in the village of Uis, an unspoilt rural area in Namibia.
There is plenty to do and see in the area in the company of one of Namibia’s most charismatic guides. Conveniently situated en-route between Etosha National Park, Henties Bay, and Swakopmund, the gravel roads to Uis are usually in an excellent condition and the rest camp can be reached by any sedan vehicle.
The Brandberg is the highest mountain in Namibia, standing at 2573m above sea level, and as it’s on the flat Namib gravel plains, it can be seen from a great distance on a clear day.
There is a grocery store with basic food stuff, bottle store, filling station, curio shop and Internet cafe in the village.
The restaurant and bar, overlook the large swimming pool. (Bring your own towels!) The guest lounge has a satellite TV system, and there is a communal braai facility, Internet Wi-Fi connection, laundry service and secure (undercover) parking. There is also a conference hall/facilities.
Breakfast, light lunches and snacks are served throughout the day, and a 3 course set dinner meal, including fish, game steaks and chicken, can be ordered in the evening.
Accommodation is in a combination of double and self-catering rooms.
• Poolside double rooms: 4 double rooms set poolside each with en-suite bathrooms, fan, mosquito nets and tea/coffee station & air-condtioning
• Standard double rooms: 5 standard rooms with 2 beds and similar facilities to the luxury double rooms.
• Self-catering rooms: 5 self-catering rooms with 4 beds in each room. The facilities are similar to the luxury double rooms. There is a fully equipped kitchenette, including microwave, stove, cutlery and plates etc. The standard double rooms are connected to the self-catering rooms and can be opened to accommodate a maximum of 6 guests if required.
There are many things to see and do in the area, including quad bike routes, swimming in a nearby lake, sundowner (and geological) trips to the Uis Tin Mine, where guests can watch the sun set, sat on a white dune.
There is a variety of half, full day, or self-drive tours to the White Lady Bushman Paintings, Petrified Forest, Twyfelfontein, Valley of the Organ Pipes, Spitzkoppe, and Doros and Messum Craters.
Guided Desert Elephant tours can be organized, where giraffe and rhino can also be spotted. Another guided geological tour, is to the small miners, digging for Quartz and Amethyst. The world famous Brandberg Crystals, can be bought directly from these miners.
A stay at Brandberg White Lady Lodge puts visitors within easy reach of the ‘White Lady’, the most famous of the region’s rock paintings. The Brandberg Mountain also features many other fascinating artworks, drawn hundreds of years ago by the San Bushmen. The scenery surrounding the lodge is amongst the most stunningly beautiful in Namibia, especially around sunrise and sunset.
The main area at the Brandberg White Lady Lodge has a fully licensed, well-stocked bar, with a comfortable lounge area for their guests to relax and unwind. The restaurant serves fine cuisine, and the large swimming pool, is the place to go to cool off from the hot, afternoon sun. The accommodation here is best described as rustic, and those looking for any form of luxury would be best advised to look elsewhere – but due to a pretty location and lack of alternatives in the area the lodge plays an important role on many Namibian self drive itineraries.
Accommodation is shielded from the elements by large, shady trees set in the Ugab river valley. En-suite bathrooms, mosquito net, tea/coffee station, electric lights, ceiling fans and a private verandah with braai facilities are standard. There are:
• Double rooms: 15 double rooms including 4 poolside.
• Family room: The Family Room is a double room converted for 2 adults/1child or for 2 adults/2 children.
• Chalets: 8 individual, rustic chalets interspersed in the river valley for additional privacy.
• Tents: 6 furnished canvas tents with private braai area.
Despite the arid conditions, Damaraland hosts a wide variety of wildlife. The famous desert elephant, the rare black rhino, springbok, oryx, zebra & ostrich can also be seen on guided hiking or 4×4 vehicle tours, in the most of the region.
Much of the landscape was formed by ancient lave flows, which add to the beauty of the surrounding countryside. It’s many unusual rock formations and rare flora, including the endemic Welwitschia mirabilis at the Petrified Forest, make it a perfect area for hiking and photography alike. The region is also renowned for its geology, as well as the World Heritage Site of rock engravings at Twyfelfontein.
Activities in and around the area include hiking and guided 4×4 trails into the Ugab River valley, home to a wide variety of game, birdlife, reptiles and insects, the Brandberg Mountain itself, and Damaraland, with the Doros and Messum Crater.
Children of all ages are welcome at the Brandberg White Lady Lodge.
Xaragu Camp is situated 2 km away from the C39 road, hidden in a valley with a river, you can enjoy the peace and incredible and remarkable landscape. The sites are well chosen to give you the utmost space to enjoy and relax and feel the unspoilt wilderness surrounding you. At the mainbuiding you will find a bar, curio shop where we also offer all day necessities like wood, washing powder, lighters, cigarettes etc Swimming pool, fish pond and many more.
Camp Xaragu Accommodation
The camp consist of 10 Camp sites, 10 en-suite Safari Tents and 5 standard Tents (sharing the ablution facilities).
Camp Xaragu Facilities
· Swimming Pool
· Licensed Bar
· Braai area
– Rock garden
iGowati Lodge offers a decent base to explore the wonders of Damaraland. The main attractions are Twyfelfontein, the Petrified Forest, the Organ Pipes, Vingerklip and The White Lady rock painting at the Brandberg Mountain. In the Damara language, iGowati means ‘desert dunes.’ The lodge is situated in the small, slightly run down, town of Khorixas (named after the Khori bush, Salvadora persica).
The thatched lodge been decorated in the colours of the Namib Desert. The restaurant and bar (with satellite TV) are located inside. Breakfast, lunch and dinner can be ordered from the ‘a la carte’ menu. Buffet style meals are served for groups of 10 or more. The swimming pool offers a welcome respite from those hot, Namibian afternoons.
Other facilities include a curio shop and an internet facility. A safe is available in the office to lock up valuables. There is secure parking and 24hr gate security. Children of all ages are welcome are iGowati Lodge.
On some nights the Aba’s Khab traditional dance group are in house to entertain their guests. Mr. Michael Doeseb a local cultural historian is at hand on most evenings to share some interesting facts about the Damara people and their traditions.
Accommodation is in 29 en-suite rooms, with a combination of baths or showers. They are all equipped with a fan, telephone, tea/coffee station, mini-bar and a fridge. Some of the rooms have mosquito nets. Due to a very central location the lodge can get a bit noisy, especially on the weekend, when the surrounding bars and clubs start to pump – this can be excellent for those wanting to experience a bit of local entertainment flavour, but not ideal for those looking to get some rest.
Activities revolve around self-drive trips to all of the main attractions of Damaraland. Although the does not offer guided activities, general information is freely and readily available, and lunch packs and soft drinks can be provided on request.
A slightly more unusual and fun day is a (per-booked) donkey cart trip through the town of Khorixas, just as the Damara people used to travel. (And some still do!) The journey stops at a local shebeen for a drink or two and a taste of some of the local delicacies, such as Mopane worm. There is a strong emphasis on interacting with the Damara people, before returning to iGowati Lodge for perhaps a more familiar tipple!
Camp Kipwe is situated within the Twyfelfontein Conservancy in the Damaraland area of Namibia. The entire region is renowned for its geology and unusual rock formations. So it is no surprise that the camp is built amongst large granite boulders, which are cleverly incorporated in the overall design and layout of the lodge. Rock paintings and rare desert-adapted flora and fauna can also be viewed on organized trips from the camp. A sister lodge, Mowani Mountain Camp is a mere 4km away.
An advantage of the small size of the Camp Kipwe is the relaxed and tranquil environment. The lounge in the main lodge is an ideal meeting place to discuss travel and safari experiences with other guests. Wine and dine in the bar and restaurant. The views from here take in the mountains and Aba-Huab River. Stunning sunsets complement the outstanding scenery. Other facilities include a curio shop and reception area. Many guests make a beeline to the swimming pool, which offers a welcome respite from the hot Namibian sunshine.
The rooms are built from natural materials including mopane branches and the local red basalt stones, giving a natural and organic feel. Hot water is heated by an old fashioned wood burning ‘donkey’. Guests stay in:
• strong>Bungalows: There are 9 bungalows with twin/double beds. Air-conditioning, en-suite facilities (outdoor shower and ablutions) are standard. A private verandah overlooks the rugged Damaraland scenery
• Suite: The luxury thatched suite has a lounge equipped with air-conditioning, satellite television, a double room with en-suite bathroom, laundry service and a mini-bar.
As the lodge is situated close to the Aba-Huab River Activities from Camp Kipwe include elephant nature drives, These guided trips include exploring the surrounding area in a 4×4 vehicle, in search of Namibia’s remaining 600 desert dwelling elephant.
The Twyfelfontein excursions last for around 2 ½ hrs, starting in the afternoon. The drive includes visits to the Burnt Mountain, the Organ Pipes, as well as to the fascinating Bushman Engravings.
There are a number of guided nature walks that will cover trails in and around Camp Kipwe, the durations will depend on the guests.
Children are accepted at Camp Kipwe, and special meals can be arranged on request. Meals at Camp Kipwe have fixed timings and are served in the dining room.
• Breakfast is served at 07h00 and lunch at 13h00 daily.
• In the winter months of April-September, afternoon tea is served at 16h00 and dinner at 19h00.
• In the summer months of September-April, afternoon tea is served at 16h30 and dinner at 20h00.
Parents are advised to watch their children closely at all times, as the area is known for snakes and scorpions. Camp Kipwe is also surrounded by boulders, which can get quite slippery and dangerous at times. Parents should also make ensure their kids do not disturb other guests.
The closest airstrip is at Twyfelfontein, which is approximately 15kms from Camp Kipwe.
Mowani Mountain Camp is one of the finest in the Damaraland region of Namibia. The setting is amongst a vast and unspoilt wilderness, between the Ugab and Huab Rivers. This allows for game drives to search for desert-adapted elephants, to the backdrop of outstanding desert scenery. Fascinating geological formations and archaeological sites peppered with an impressive variety of desert flora and fauna complement any safari. Self-drive tourists can roam around the area in their own vehicles or be driven by one of the camp’s guides.
The camp is distinguished by thatched dome-shaped structures which represent an almost mirror-image of the granite boulders amongst which they are built. Mowani is taken from the word M’Wane, meaning ‘Place of God’, indicating a high level of peace and tranquility.
The main complex consists of a reception, bar, dining room and a lounge that overlooks the waterhole. Mowani pride themselves on the services and attention their staff will give to it’s guests.
The luxury tented accommodation is built inconspicuously, nestled amongst the natural surroundings to ensure minimum impact on the natural environment. A tea/coffee station, in-room safe and mosquito nets draped over the bed are standard in all rooms and suites, as is a private veranda where you can sit and admire the environment. There are:
• Superior View Rooms: (room 1,2,3,4) have the most superior view.
• View Rooms: (room 5,6,7) have an elevated view over the valley, not quite as good, but still exceptional.
• Standard View Rooms: (room 8,9,10, 11 and 12) look onto boulders and are lower down in the valley.
• Luxury Room: a wall separates it from the boma area, adding privacy. One double-bedded, thatched room with partly canvas walls, air-conditioning, en-suite facilities and a mini bar (drinks excluded). The room is west facing with its own private deck overlooking the valley. It is situated close to the lodge and is ideal for guests who are not too mobile.
• Mini Suite: A luxury, thatched suite with a lounge equipped with air-conditioning, a satellite television, a double room with en-suite bathroom, a laundry service and mini bar (drinks included). This suite is cocooned in the rocks with granite boulder views. Special long-stay offer available for stays of 4 nights or more!
• Mountain Suite: A luxury thatched suite with spectacular wrap-around views. The lounge is equipped with air-conditioning, a satellite television and CD music centre, private dining and bar facilities, a double room with en-suite bathroom as well as a bush bath and shower with a view and mini bar (drinks included).
It’s also the southernmost roaming ground for the rare black rhino and desert elephant. This is where you will find the Twyfelfontein Conservancy and the Mowani Mountain Camp.
Activities from the lodge include excursions to the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein, an archaeological site that offers more than 2,500 engravings, as well as various paintings. Historians and visitors alike, consider it be one of the finest examples of rock engravings in Southern Africa. A morning’s nature drive with the possibility of seeing the elusive desert-adapted elephantand rare black rhino is another favourite here.
The more adventurous might prefer one of the walking trails, between the boulders and mopane trees in the valley below the lodge. It takes hikers to a small waterhole, and a viewpoint. Not to be missed, however, is the spectacular sunsets from the camp sundowner point. Situated close by are other main attractions of the area, including the Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes, all within easy driving distance.
Mowani Mountain Lodge. Exclusive, luxurious and irresistible.
Aabadi Mountain Camp is located in the unspoiled Damaraland area, just about 20 kilometres away from Twyfelfontein. Aabadi Mountain Camp is the perfect stopover between the Skeleton Coast and Etosha, or on the road to Kaokoveld. The rest camp is regularly visited by the famous desert elephant, which passes by for a drink or bath in our permanent waterhole. From the sundowner terrace you have a great view over the dry riverbed and you’ll notice the elephants from kilometres away. While enjoying a cool drink, just sit back and relax in this beautiful area!
Madisa Camp is situated in Damaraland and comes highly recommended for those who wish for rustic peacefulness. Many travellers use the well-travelled route between the small towns of Uis and Khorixas and the camp provides the perfect stopover to visit the world famous rock art at Twyfelfontein.
An additional drawcard is that the camp lies within the habitats of desert-adapted elephants. Other nearby attractions include The Organ Pipes, Burnt Mountain, the Petrified Forest and Brandberg Mountain. Madisa is easily accessible by both sedan cars and 4×4 vehicles.
Some of Namibia’s most stunning desert landscapes can be found in Damaraland, one of the country’s most sought after holiday destinations. There is much to see and do which lures tourists here and back again and again. Elephant and rhino tracking, birding, hiking, mountain biking and climbing plus cultural trips to local tribal settlements.
Excellent camping facilities and the close vicinity to some of Namibia’s most visited tourist attractions make Madisa an ideal base for the outdoor enthusiast looking for a budget option. This includes individuals, families, self-drive travellers and large overland trucks. The ephemeral Gauntegab River setting adds to the beauty of the location.
Relax and unwind at the bar and communal braai area set at the foot of a granite koppie (mountain). No meals are available at the camp, and guests are required to be fully self sufficient – however wood is on sale. Cool off after a day’s activities or a long, dusty drive in the swimming pool. Bear in mind that the elephants have taken to enjoy a dip in the pool at times as well! Electricity is available from sunset till 21h00 hours and you are required to set your own fire to boil shower water.
Guests can stay in Madisa’s eco-friendly self-catering tents built around ancient boulder formations. Each tent affords outstanding Namib Desert views. Open-air en-suite rock bathrooms with a shower, wash basin, toilet, double/twin beds and linen are standard. Cook your dinner on the outside braai (bring your own equipment). Solar heated hot water is available at night and you can find your way around in the dark courtesy of paraffin/solar lighting in the tent and bathroom areas.
There are 9 private shaded campsites suitable for individual travellers, families and small groups. Each campsite has a great view of the river bed and nearby rock formations and are surrounded by a low rock wall. Individual ablution facilities uniquely sited on stilts hidden in tree tops. The braai facilities double up as your hot water heating system (donkey geyser) at every open-air shower. The 5 overland truck sites are equipped with a large circle braai area with seating, water taps and a wash-up basin and communal ablution block. Site lighting throughout is presently powered by a generator.
The large Twyfelfontein Country Lodge enjoys a mountainous backdrop. It offers a value for money stopover for those interested in viewing rock engravings close by, as the UNESCO World Heritage Site is only 4kms away. The location and picturesque setting is in an area that boasts some of the best examples of bushman engravings in Southern Africa. Other attractions of Damaraland can be viewed on day trips from the lodge.
The lodge is a joint venture with the Twyfelfontein-Uibasen Conservancy, an undertaking with the local community, who benefit from tourism in the area. At the same time, they become more accustomed and aware of the importance of protecting both wildlife and the immediate environment.
The deliberate use of thatch for the rooms, natural stone and paint colours, that blend in with the surrounding rock formations, minimize the visual impact on the setting. It has been built right into the rocks. Although quite a large camp, it still manages to exude a certain amount of rustic charm and charisma.
The central thatched building houses a reception, restaurant, dining room, bar, curio shop and lounge, a decent choice of areas for guests to relax and unwind in. A buffet breakfast and dinner are served in the elevated dining area, with some amazing views of the immediate scenery. It is not uncommon for some after-dinner entertainment either, provided by the staff, still in uniform, who perform local songs. The swimming pool offers a welcome relief from the hot Namibian sun, and the shaded, rocky areas, are ideal for a spot of relaxation.
Accommodation are either double rooms or a suite. They are all painted outside in a similar reddish-brown colour of the surrounding boulders. The walls of the interiors are painted white. Rooms are in blocks of 8, with 4 front and 4 rear facing.
• Double rooms: There are 56 x rooms with twin beds, en-suite bathrooms and a shower, wooden furniture, wall or ceiling fans and a tea/coffee station. Some of the double rooms have inter-leading doors and are ideal for families.
• VIP Suite: The VIP Suite is located further away from the main building for additional privacy. It has 2 x bathrooms (one with a bath, the only one in the lodge), private pool and bar, spacious bedroom and a kitchen. Boulders have been integrated into the suite and there is also a TV and exercise bike.
Guided tours to search and view the desert adapted elephant, rhinoceros, giraffe, springbok, and ostrich, can be organized here. These animals can be found living in total harmony with the community and it’s communal farming activities.
Activities at Twyfelfontein Lodge include a walk to Seven Plates, named for the surfaces where engravings are located, and a visit to the impressive engravings at Twyfelfontein. Other interesting rock formations and the remains of prehistoric volcanic action, can be seen in the Organ Pipes, Burnt Mountain, Doros Crater and the Petrified Forest. The fauna and flora near the lodge include the Welwitschia, Moringa and a variety of the Commiphora species.
There is gravel airstrip, where transfers to and from the lodge for it’s guests, can be arranged.
Vingerklip Lodge nestles in a valley and offers a prime location to visit the Finger of Stone. Vingerklip (Finger Rock) is a 35m high pillar of sedimentary rock and is one of the most dramatic rock formations in the country and stands proudly above the Ugab terraces. The lodge is also an excellent stopover to explore other attractions of Damaraland, a vast beautiful wilderness in north-west Namibia, including Etosha National Park and Swakopmund.
The lodge has been built with traditional African materials such as wood, stone and thatch. Wine and dine in the restaurant/bar or coffee bar. Gourmet cuisine complemented by fine wines and locally brewed beer are served at indoor or outdoor dining areas. Enjoy a drink on the sundowner deck before moving on to the open fireplace later. Relax and unwind in the jacuzzi or challenge a fellow traveller to a game of pool. Locally made arts and crafts make lovely souvenirs or gifts and can be purchased from the small curio shop. Take dip in the plunge pool and chill on a sun-lounger afterwards.
Guests at Vingerklip have the option of exchanging their evening meal at the lodge for dinner at Eagles Nest Restaurant. The atmosphere and views from here are simply breathtaking. Traditional African cuisine is served on the Ugab Terrace, a 10min walk away. Booking is essential as places are set at a maximum of 20. The path up is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties and remember to have your night-cap in the bar below!
Power is supplied from a generator throughout the day. During silent hours batteries offer a limited amount of energy for lights etc.
Accommodation at Vingerklip Lodge is in well-appointed, thatched bungalows, spread out along a hillside:
• Bungalows: 20 bungalows are equipped with en-suite bathrooms, a fan, mosquito nets and an in-room safe. A sheltered sundowner veranda has breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, the ideal setting to watch the magnificent Namibian sun set.
• Family bungalows: 5 of the bungalows are suitable for family-style holidays. The loft in each unit is suitable accommodation for 2 children.
• Luxury units: There are 2 luxury units with similar facilities to the bungalows with the addition of small kitchen.
• Heaven’s Gate Suite: This exclusive and secluded hideaway is set on top of the Ugab Terraces. It is only accessible via a short mountain walkway, followed by a 25m climb up a metal staircase. (Guests with no head for heights or serious walking difficulties should take note.) The Eagles Nest Restaurant is nearby on the same terrace. Breakfast and dinner are delivered and a peaceful night’s sleep is guaranteed. The spectacular landscape provides the ideal setting to ‘get away from it all.’
There is plenty of game and bird species in the area. Attractions include the Petrified Forest, where antediluvian flood, deposited giant tree trunks and Twyfelfontein, with it’s renowned San art engravings. Nature drives, guided walks, sundowner trips and day trips to an authentic Himba village, can also be arranged.
Vingerklip Lodge. A pleasant and relaxed atmosphere, to explore Damaraland
Bambatsi’s hosts pride themselves on taking really good care of their guests who enjoy the informal atmosphere here. The lodge is ideal for hiking and game viewing, as well as a base to visit the sites of Damaraland.
Bambatsi was one of the first guest farms established in Namibia and is a two hour drive away from Etosha National Park. Because it is set on a 1150m high plateau, not only does it have a spectacular view of the surrounding mopane landscape, but it also has a very pleasant annual temperature and climate.
There is a bar in the main building, and breakfast and dinner are served in either indoor or outdoor dining areas, depending on the weather. Lunch can be provided on request. Coffee/tea and cake are served in the afternoon.
Guests can enjoy a refreshing drink, whilst relaxing and unwinding by the swimming pool. Sipping a sundowner, whilst savouring a beautiful, Namibian sunset, is also a favourite here.
Accommodation is in 8 rooms.
• Double rooms: 5 rooms that sleep 1 or 2 persons only. En-suite bathrooms, mosquito nets, international sockets and an in-room safe are standard.
• Triple room: 1 room with 3 single beds and facilities similar to the double rooms.
• Quad room: 2 rooms with 4 single beds with similar facilities similar to the other rooms.
Guests might like to stretch their legs on a walking trail through the mountains or in the mopane forest. There is a variety of animals and bird life to spot on route and on the farm, including kudu, oryx, zebra, eland and giraffe. Scenic farm drives can also be organized. Game can also be observed drinking and grazing, at the spotlit waterhole, from either the ranch’s verandah or from the nearby hide.
Self-drive day trips to Vingerklip, Twyfelfontein and the Petrified Forest make Bambatsi an ideal base. Twyfelfontein has one of the most extensive displays of rock art in Africa. The carvings represent rhinoceros, elephant, ostrich and giraffe, as well as depictions of human and animal footprints.
After each tour, guests can look forward to a cup of afternoon tea or coffee, plus a slice of mouthwatering cake, in their return!
Bambatsi Holiday Ranch. Accommodation for the more budget conscious holiday in Namibia
Ugab Terrace Lodge enjoys a fantastic setting, nestled on the top of a plateau with superb views. Expect friendly and helpful staff combined with homely and comfortable accommodation.
The lodge is situated in the heart of many of Namibia’s tourist attractions in the Damaraland Region. It works well as a stopover when visiting Vingerklip, Brandberg Mountain, Twyfelfontein or the Petrified Forest. Travellers can then head off to Etosha Park or Swakopmund, depending on their itinerary.
The lodge pride themselves on their attention to detail, personalized service and exquisite cuisine. Their chefs prepare delicious meals with fresh vegetables and salads, seasoned with aromatic ingredients from the herb garden. Meals and drinks can be ordered from a set menu in the restaurant and bar, including light lunches of sandwiches or pasta, and a selection of starters, game meats and a dessert for dinner. The lounge is a great spot to sip a sundowner as the sun sets, chat to other guests and there is also a fireplace and open-fire to ward off that winter chill.
An unusual feature at the lodge is the swimming pool, constructed in the rocks at the top of the mountain. It has some great views and guests can take a dip, sunbathe or just unwind and read a book on a sun-lounger. Local artifacts can be bought from the Ugab Terrace Lodge curio shop and there is a laundry service, 24hr security and parking, and 2 of the bungalows have disabled access. Power is supplied from either a generator or batteries/inverter, providing 24hr electricity to charge cell-phones and cameras.
Accommodation is in 16 well-appointed furnished bungalows, all with an en-suite bathroom with shower and a toilet/washbasin and ceiling fans. The private verandah affords breathtaking views of the Ugab Terraces.
Activities include bird-watching, exploring the local area on hiking trails and mountain bikes.
The Hoada Campsite is owned and operated by the local Damara community in conjunction with the nearby Grootberg Lodge. The campsite is located 75km from the town of Kamanjab in the Damaraland region of Namibia, the area around the campsites offers a chance to spot desert adapted elephants.
The campsite has recently been completely redesigned by a well known Namibian builder, who specialises in lodge design, and amongst other amenities boast a splash pool.The staff are on hand to help you in every possible way, and if required will help you erect tents & build your fire (your stay includes one bag of wood and additional wood is on sale if required)
The three private campsites are nested amongst large granite boulders & mopane trees, each site has a private bathroom including a shower and flush toilet. An interesting touch here is that the braai (barbeque) area is linked to the hot water system, so while cooking your dinner on an open fire you are effectively heating your shower water.
Each of the campsites at Hoada Camp can accommodate 4 people and has ample space for both ground and roof-top tents.
Hoada Tented Camp was established to cater for the guests that want to stay between the feeling pf camping as well as being in a lodge. Currently there are only 4 tented chalets at Hoada. Guests staying at Hoada Tented Camp will have to use the same swimming pool facilities as the campers as they can not use the Grootberg Lodge facilities. The toilet and bathroom are outside next to each tent. Each tent can only take 2 guests and all the tents have twin beds in them. Braai areas are also available for each tent outside so guests can prepare their meals there during their stay at Hoada Tented Camp. Guests staying at Hoada Tented Camp may not pre book their activities however can partake in the activities should there be space upon their arrival.
The award-winning Huab Lodge offers an hearty welcome, excellent accommodation and tasty meals. Although a bit of the normal tourist route around Namibia they pride themselves on their interesting nature drives and walks. It serves as a great base to explore the reserve where you will be accompanied by one of the countries top guides.
Huab Lodge began as an idea to generate funds to save the desert-dwelling elephant from being harassed and shot. The original farmland was in a small area called Monte Carlo, which boasts stunning views, bisected by the mostly dry Huab River. The Huab Conservation Trust was set up to protect the habitat of the desert elephant and other animals originally found in the area, from ever-expanding human activities. The Trust is actively bringing back the wildlife, which belongs on the banks of the river.
The lodge was erected on a special site just down river from the old rest camp, where the colonial Germans built the so-called German Bath in the late 1800’s. Despite its size, the unique main building blends well into its surroundings. The irregular thatch roof mirrors a mountain on the opposite bank. The stone and thatch bungalows spread along the elevated north bank of the river, ensuring a private and magnificent view – even from the shower!
The main building at Huab Lodge has an enormous thatch roof with open sides, giving their guests the impression of being on the outside, but well in the shade! There is a cozy seating arrangement, with a well-assorted reference library, not to mention a photographic collection of Haub Lodge’s guests. A permanent coffee and tea bar is laid out here.
The long dining table and some other tables and chairs are made of heavy Rhodesian Teak sleepers. The easy chairs have colourful handmade cushions. Natural rock islands protrude into this area and have been decorated with somewhat rather curious details. A small curio shop and the bar fill up the remaining space.
Meals are enjoyed with the hosts at the family table, an ideal situation to make friends and exchange opinions and stories. In true Huab Lodge tradition, a variety of some less well-known South Africa wines are presented ceremoniously each evening for guests to appreciate and enjoy.
Accommodation is in 8 spacious, stone and thatch bungalows, sleeping a maximum of 16 guests. They all have a large private patio, and include a separate en-suite toilet, two hand-wash basins with mirrors. Even the shower has a view! Each room has two king size beds, and large windows enable an abundance of natural light to stream inside. The view across to the Huab River from here is wonderful. Tea and coffee making facilities are set out. Mosquito nets, a ceiling fan, and a torch are also on hand, as well as biologically degradable soaps and shampoo.
The 24hr, 220v power supply comes from the silent solar energy plant concealed on the hill. The chemically untreated water has a neutral pH value.
Use of the swimming pool with its decorative island is recommended, and you can also enjoy a wallow in the thermal spring, which contains soothing and healing minerals.. The temperature fluctuates around 37 to 39 degrees Centigrade, and the pool is shaded by an attractive thatch roof. There is a cool plunge-pool next to the thermal spring. A secluded bird-bath makes this a prime spot for birders.
Huab Lodge has an aromatherapist who offers reflexology and aromatherapy massages in the privacy of the bungalow or at the thermal spring. These treatments have proved extremely popular with their guests since its inclusion.
Activities include morning and afternoon game drives and early morning guided walks.
There is an airstrip near the lodge.
This is a small, friendly guest house located directly in Kamanjab, and is the only establishment actually in that town. It is the perfect base for Himba tours, and is also an ideal location before heading on up to Epupa Falls.
Facilities at Oase Garni Guest House include a restaurant and bar, lounge, swimming pool and Internet connection. There is a TV in the sitting room.
Accommodation is in a combination of:
• Single Rooms: 10 Single Rooms are equipped with en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, a fan, a tea/coffee station and an in-room safe. Although there are no mosquito nets, insect sprays and repellents are provided.
• Double Rooms: Double Rooms have twin beds and similar facilities to the Single Rooms.
• Family Room: The Family Room has bed space for 2 adults and 2 children with similar facilities to the Single/Double Rooms.
Activities centre around a trip to a Himba village, situated some 20kms outside of the town. This has to be done by self-drive means, (a map will be provided) and trips will be met by Jaco, who lives in the village. These guided tours give an in-depth insight into the life and ways of the last traditional tribe in Namibia, the Ova-Himba.
Visitors will experience a milking ceremony, smoke bath, as well as receive information on the beliefs concerning holy fire, their ancestors and herbal medicine. Not public knowledge is that items of jewelery and hairstyles, indicate the status of each tribe member. Learn about their close relationship with nature, cattle and their family cultures and traditions. It is an amazing photographic opportunity.
Income generated from these excursions, supports the day to day existence of the tribe. It helps pay for food, general supplies, medicine, and taking care of the children adopted by owner Jaco from various families who are unable to support them. Books and clothing & uniforms for school, that many people take for granted in their own countries, are provided for these children, by this extra money.
Jaco asks that guests respect the lives and ways of the Himba in their environment, as they would of others. Visitors are helping preserve the culture and traditions of the tribe.
Other areas of interest include a sundowner trip, game drives and a visit to some rock engravings.
Oppi Koppi Restcamp is located in Kamanjab, a small settlement in the Kunene Region (also called Damaraland) of north-west Namibia. The name of the lodge means ‘On a small hill’ in the Afrikaans language, so it should come as no surprise to find this establishment perched on the side of a small koppie. Self-drive tourists often choose to stop in Kamanjab to re-fuel and rest before continuing on towards Damaraland, Kaokoland, Epupa Falls or the Skeleton Coast.
Although only a very small settlement (mostly comprised of school, petrol station a basic supermarket and several bottle stores) recently Kamanjab has become a more popular overnight destination due to the opening of Galton’s Gate, the most western entrance to Etosha National Park. Only visitors with previously booked accommodation for Dolomite Camp can use this new gate into the park and Kamanjab is the nearest town. Some of the largest gatherings of animals in Etosha occur here, numbers unheard of in other sections of the park.
At Oppi Koppi cold beers and cool drinks are served at the very friendly bar while breakfast, lunch and dinners can be ordered from the restaurant. Lunch packs are available for day trippers and set menu’s for a minimum of 10 diners can be arranged. Next to the main building is the swimming pool. There is safe parking and night security.
Accommodation is in 9 rooms or chalets. Overnight in:
• Rooms: En-suite bathroom with shower and bath, or shower only. Tea/coffee station, a fan, mosquito repellent and an individual braai area are standard.
• Chalets: Set outside of the main building, they are larger than the Double Rooms with similar facilities. Some of the chalets have a fridge and an in-room safe.
Languages spoken at Oppi Koppi include English, Afrikaans, German, Dutch and French.
Otjitotongwe Cheetah Farm is situated in north-eastern Namibia, 24kms east of Kamanjab on the north side of the road. It is home to a non-profit organization, aimed at conserving cheetahs in a natural environment. The 7,000ha farm, has both tame and wild cheetahs, many bought from farmers to prevent them from being killed.
The restaurant and bar are in the main thatched building. It has an all day tea and coffee station. Relax on the lawn by the swimming pool.
There are 5 double bungalows and 2 family rooms. 1 of the family rooms has a double bed. Each has its own en-suite toilet, shower and private verandah.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served as a set buffet. There is no mains electricity supply on this farm.
The cheetah originally occupied most of Africa except for the equatorial forest and the true desert, (Sahara & Namib) as well as much of the Middle East and India, where it became extinct in the early 1950’s. It is now extremely rare in the rest of Asia and Africa, north of the equator.
It is estimated that there are less than 7,500 cheetah left in the world, and about 6,000 of these are found in Southern Africa. According to a 1970 study, the numbers of cheetah in Namibia had improved, due apparently to the removal of lion and hyena, by farmers. In some cases, it was because of the re-introduction of various antelope species, favoured by these fleet-footed cats.
More recent surveys have shown that Namibia has 2000-2500 cheetah, of which 95% are on private (game of cattle) farms. Unfortunately, some farmers have continued to shoot cheetah because of their tendency to raid stock, particularly where their natural prey species are scarce, or absent. Whilst the current figures do not make the cheetah endangered in the absolute sense of the word, the extraordinary degree of genetic uniformity that these cats have been shown to exhibit, raises the possibility that a disease could devastate wild populations. Otjitotongwe is dedicated to the preservation of the cheetah species.
The farm offers superb photographic opportunities at scheduled cheetah feedings, and also offers guided game drives to view wild cheetah. There are also a number of unguided nature walks.
Gelbingen is situated in the middle of the Kaoko-Etosha Conservancy on the Southwestern border of the Etosha National Park. It is the ideal stop over for guests traveling to Opuwo or the Epupa Falls. Guests staying at Gelbingen can do game drives, guided walks or a sundowner drive. Your hosts Andrea and Volker offer one-day excursion to the Himbas at Opuwo, or a two-day excursion to the Himbas at Epupa
• Single, Double and Triple Rooms
• Beautiful Garden
Toko Lodge is situated in northwest Namibia, some 22km north east of Kamanjab on the D2695. The lodge is situated on 6000ha of private farm land. It is an ideal base for tours to the Etosha National Park, the Epupa Falls on the Kunene River and to visit one of the indigenous peoples of Namibia, the Himba.
The wide variety of bird species found on the farm, give Toko Lodge its name. Not only is this an idyllic place for bird viewers, but its striking fauna & flora make Rustig Toko Lodge an attractive and popular holiday destination.
The restaurant and bar can be found in the main lodge building at Toko. There is also a small lounge to relax in and have a drink. All meals are from a set menu, but larger groups will be served a buffet.
Toko Lodge has 14 individual rooms. All rooms, are en-suite with mosquito nets and and in-room safe. They all have a stunning view from the verandah, over the surrounding savanna and lush gardens.
After a long, hot day, indulge yourself with a refreshing swim in the pool. Observe the small variety of animals that visit the floodlit waterhole, or just enjoy the magical ambiance created by the vast natural backdrop of the landscape. Join a sundowner around the fire, followed by typical African cuisine for dinner accompanied, by some of the finest South-African wines.
There are morning, afternoon and night game drives. Giraffe, springbok, kudu, eland, oryx, warthog, ground squirrels and zebra can be observed. Night drives are a very popular excursion in the hours of darkness. Sightings are never guaranteed but chances abound to sight the ‘shy 5’. Aardvark, aardwolf, porcupine, African wild cat and the bat-eared fox. Guided or unguided, early morning or late afternoon walking trails along the dolomite hills can be taken. The Damara dik-dik, rock dassies and over 200 bird species can be spotted around this area, including 3 types of hornbill, the endemic Monteiro’s Hornbill and the rare Hartlaub’s Francolin.
The rock engravings at the Peet Albert’s Koppie are a magical sight. It offers you a wide spectrum of impressive rock engravings. 200 000 years ago the San people documented daily occurrences with endemic wildlife onto one of the oldest and hardest rock formations, the Kamanjab Granite. This granite formation is the only one of its kind in the surroundings.
Toko Lodge have established the Katenda Himba Village tour nearby to the lodge. This short Himba excursion gives you a basic insight to the cultures and lifestyles of the Himba Tribe.
Omburo-East is located in the Ugab valley between Outjo and Khorixas. The guest farm is situated directly at a dry river with a breathtaking view of numerous Table Mountains and Plateaus. Omburo-East offers comfortable guest rooms with bathrooms in an African cottage style.
Owner Hendrik Reit runs the guestfarm on a very personal level. He knows a lot about rock art, the farm animals as well as wild animals is always willing to share his knowledge.