When spotting The Big Five, the ever-elusive black rhino is often the one that escapes even the most dedicated of safari-goers. At Namibia’s Desert Rhino Camp, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The region is famous for its tranquil, minimalist beauty with the largest free-roaming desert-adapted black rhino population in Africa. With just eight canvas tents dotted around the camp, there really is no better place from which to get up close to the African wildlife.
Desert Rhino Camp lies amongst rolling, rocky hills of the 450,000 hectare Palmwag Concession in northern Damaraland, which covers about 5,000km² between Etosha and the Skeleton Coast. For air travellers, the camp is just a 15 minute drive from the nearest air strip. If you are arriving by road, you need to arrive before about 2.30pm, park your car at Palmwag Lodge and then take a further 3 hours nature drive to the camp; the perfect way to whet your appetite for the days ahead.
Desert Rhino Camp consists of eight raised Meru-style canvas tents with large verandas at the front, perfect for enjoying an evening cocktail while admiring the sweeping vistas of euphorbia and ancient welwitschia plants against the backdrop of the Etendeka Mountains. Dark local wood is used throughout the tent, making a dramatic contrast with the crisp white linen sheets of your sumptuous double bed. The tented dining and lounge areas are elevated and partially cut away at the sides to ensure you benefit from panoramic views all the time. An azure swimming pool provides a perfect respite from the midday sun, while evening meals are often taken around the fire pit under the starry skies.
Why We Like It
If we’re going to be mathematical about it, the camp provides exclusive access across eight countries to nearly 3 million hectares of Africa’s best wildlife areas. With only eight tents, this equates to about 3,000 hectares of private land per guest… Pretty amazing, no? Of course, our favourite was tracking black rhinos on foot, with wandering through the reserve with a picnic and scanning the skies for the mysterious Verreauxs’ eagle a close second.