Damaraland

Desert Rhino Camp

Overview

Community and conservation in Namibia's wilderness

Sat inside an enormous community-owned concession larger than Rhode Island, Desert Rhino Camp is remote even by Namibian standards.

The Palmwag Concession’s 450,000 hectares are an alluringly wild and rugged place. Rocky mountains and semi-desert grasslands stretch to the horizon, scattered with surreal welwitschia, euphorbia and islands of trees around springs. Yet it is in this arid landscape that you’ll play a role in one of Africa’s most successful conservation comebacks.

Over the last three decades, Save the Rhino has worked with the local community to protect the rare desert adapted black rhino so that today the concession is home to the largest free roaming population of black rhino in Africa. Desert Rhino Camp works closely with SRT, allowing you to join trained local trackers on foot for a unique safari experience and support their work through your stay.

The camp itself is simple but comfortable, with just eight canvas tents perched on raised decks making for a tranquil experience of the enveloping valley’s wilderness. From the open sided lounge and dining area, watch wildlife come to drink at a waterhole, while the fire pit is a great spot to gather under incredibly clear nights skies after a day out on safari.

Facts

At a glance

  • Eight Meru-style tents

  • Lounge and dining area

  • Fire pit

  • Swimming pool

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Experiences

  • Desert Rhino Camp Namibia 14

    Rhino tracking

    Set out in a vehicle to meet local trackers from Save the Rhino who monitor and safeguard the vast concession’s rarest residents. After what may be a long drive with plenty of other wildlife to be seen along the way, step out to approach desert adapted black rhino on foot with your guide, a privileged and unforgettable encounter.

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    Game drives

    The Palmwag Concession is home to a fascinating mix of wildlife that you can observe on guided game drives. As well as black rhino, you may spot other desert specialists such as Hartmann’s mountain zebra, giraffe and elephant. Predators, while rare, include lions, cheetah, leopard and brown hyena.

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    Guided nature walks

    Join a guide on foot to discover about some of the region’s lesser-known flora and fauna, seeing how they have adapted to survive in this arid landscape.

Community & Culture

Desert Rhino Camp works in partnership with the locally communities of the Palmwag Concession with a percentage of turnover and an annual fee paid into three community-owned conservancies.

The camp has also partnered with non-profit organization Pack for a Purpose. If you’d like to help a little more, you can find up to date information about requested supplies for community projects that you can bring with you here.

Conservation

NGO Save the Rhino Trust Namibia has spent over three decades almost single-handedly safeguarding the critically endangered desert-adapted black rhino that roam this remote corner of Namibia and have overseen an incredible quintupling of their population. One of the primary ways they have achieved this is through training local trackers to patrol the concession and monitor the rhinos. You’ll get to meet some of them on during your safari and a portion of revenue from every guest stay at Desert Rhino Camp helps fund their work.

Footprint

The camp currently runs on a hybrid power system using a diesel-powered generator for eight hours a day to charge a bank of batteries. Each guest tent at Desert Rhino Camp has a small solar panel and solar powered geyser to provide hot water. Being in such a dry area, water is a precious resource, so water efficient devices are fitted throughout camp and reverse osmosis filtration done on site to provide drinking water in reusable bottles. Additionally, the tents themselves are built on raised wooden decks which minimizes their physical footprint on the environment.

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What makes us different

Why Niarra

Niarra Travel is a forward-thinking travel company headquartered in London born out of a passion to do things differently.

In Swahili, a Bantu language spoken by millions in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, the name Niara means "with utmost purpose" and our team are united by a passion for exploration and a belief that the right kind of travel can make the world a better place.

Our Travel Researchers are here to create incredible trips with a positive impact for you.

  • Unforgettable experiences

    Creating your trip is entirely collaborative and our Travel Researchers are here for every step.

  • Positive impact

    Curated sustainable experiences and accommodation that maximize the benefits to local people and place.

  • Fairness and transparency

    An open, competitive pricing structure that ensures more money goes to where it's needed in the destination.

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