Palmwag desert rhino camp

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.

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You will set out early on a game drive, enjoying the rugged scenery and taking in the wildlife. Trackers from the SRT are in radio contact with your guide and when they find Rhino 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 so as not to disturb the animals. Generally you will get within a few hundred meters of the Rhino (close enough for a good view, but not so close as to disturb them).

Nature Drives & Night Drives: Opportunities to learn about the fauna and flora of the area


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