Himba settlements. Desert-adapted black rhino, elephant and lions. Fierce 4x4 routes. Austere desert landscapes. And your gateway to all of this is Palmwag campsite, an oasis in Kunene, Namibia.
You’ll find Palmwag Campsite about 80km west of Kamanjab, over the Grootberg Pass through the Etendeka mountains. The volcanic Grootberg (or big mountain) stands 1540m above sea level and forms a U-shaped plateau. Spread out below you is a winding green ribbon that hints at a river bed. Down the pass to the other side and you’ll arrive at the Palmwag Lodge and Campsite on the Uniab River.
Read more about Palmwag Lodge here
After setting up camp on the hot sand, we were sizzling, tired and hungry. So instead of making our own lunch, we treated ourselves to crumbed chicken, chips and salad at the pool bar next to the campsite – a great place to take refuge in the heat of the day.
Some youngsters were cooling off in the pool and two older guys were trying to impress four giggly teenage girls at the bar with stories of their travels and macho exploits. Not much changes, no matter how far from ‘civilisation’ you travel.
We’ve camped at two different sites at Palmwag. Campsite 5 overlooked the reeds in the riverbed and although there was a pergola to sit under, the car and trailer sat all day in the sun until late afternoon brought relief in the form of a puddle of shade.
Each campsite has its own power point, braai, tap and sink with cold water and drying grid/work top. The ablutions are good, with hot water showers and flush toilets.
1. Sign up at reception for a nature walk with a guide, to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding landscape and the chance to meet some of its wildlife.
2. If you don’t feel energetic, choose a guided game drive instead, with a chance to see zebra, kudu, gemsbok, springbok, ostrich, jackal, hyena, and maybe even black rhino and elephant.
3. You can also go on a half- or full-day excursion to track desert-adapted rhino on the Palmwag Concession. A guide from the lodge and a tracker from Save the Rhino Trust Namibia will lead your outing.
4. Take your binos and look for birds such as Herero chat, Rüppell’s korhaan, Rüppell’s parrot, Benguela longbilled lark, white-tailed shrike, Hartlaub’s spurfowl, bare-cheeked babbler, rockrunner and violet woodhoopoe.
Did you enjoy the article? Pin this image!
Damara Mopane Lodge near Khorixas, Namibia
Places to visit and things to do in Namibia: the north
Copyright © Roxanne Reid - No words or photographs on this site may be used without permission from roxannereid.co.za