Anyone stayed at Palmwag Rhino Camp?

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Jan 1st, 2006, 11:58 AM
  #1
Lin
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Anyone stayed at Palmwag Rhino Camp?

Looking for visitors to this relatively new camp in Damaraland. Thanks for any information about game and environment!
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Jan 1st, 2006, 02:42 PM
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http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34717010

Only thread I found. This place interests me too.
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Jan 1st, 2006, 03:56 PM
  #3
Lin
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Hi Lynn,
Thanks for the link, I posted there and asked Johan for info. I will be staying there in June but I can't seem to get much info besides that from Wilderness.
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Jan 2nd, 2006, 01:53 AM
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HI Lin
I stayed at Rhino Camp toward the end of 2004, as a travel consultant. We only spent a single night at the camp, but I really, REALLY liked it. The drive from the airstrip is/was fairly long (2 hours) over rough road, but if my memory serves me, Wilderness were planning to cut a new road to make the trip shorter. The tents were extremely comfortable, similar to the Bots-style tents. It should be a fly camp, so there is no plumbing and bucket showers are used, but there are flush loos and it's all very comfrotable. We didn't get to track rhinos, but clients we subsequently sent to the camp all raved about the tracking experience. At the time, the camp manager was Chris Bakkes and he was AMAZING - his knowledge and passion for the area was astounding. We saw the most incredible wildlife ont he way back from the camp to the airstrip. You don't mention how long you will be staying at the camp, but I would recommend 2 or 3 nights. You won't be disappointed!! Have a good trip.
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Jan 2nd, 2006, 07:25 AM
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Afrojunkie,

You said you did not get to the rhinos. Was that because you were there such a short time or is tracking them successfully actually a rarity and not to be expected? Thanks.

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Jan 2nd, 2006, 09:15 AM
  #6
Lin
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Afrojunkie,
Oh thank you for the good review of this camp. Can you tell me anything about the concession, geographically speaking? Grassland, hills, desert?? Also, are we able to track rhino on foot because there are fewer predators, thus the rhinos are more at ease and behave more like (wild) cattle? I have seen both cases, where the presence or lack of fear/survival instincts cause a big difference in approachability, etc. I'm just curious - I'd love to do the tracking at any rate. I only have 2 nights there.
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Jan 2nd, 2006, 11:13 AM
  #7
johan_belgium
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Lin,

I stayed at Palmwag Rhino Camp for three nights in June 2005 and will be there again in August 2006.

Afrojunkie told you pretty much what to expect from the camp itself. I can only add two things: unless like in the classic Wilderness camps, you'll have to pay for your drinks separately. And sitting around the campfire with Chris, is something special. But that you have to find out by yourself.

Like you know, this camp is situated in Northern Damaraland, an area dominated by flat-topped mountains (formed by sheets of molten lava). The desert landscapes are definitely stunning (and of course completely different from the desert area around Sossusvlei.(rocky terrain)

Mammals to see (almost guaranteed): kudu/giraffe/springbok/mountain zebra/black rhino/oryx/springbok

Mammals to see (if you are lucky): lion/leopard/cheetah/jackal/elephant/hyena (I saw lion and elephant) - actually my best lion shots ever where made there (newsletter June 2005 - Wilderness safaris)

Some information about the rhino tracking:

Actually this is done by the team of "Save the rhino trust" (they monitor those rhinos daily). Once they found one, they'll call the guides of Palmwag Rhino Camp. You'll drive as close as you can and dependent from where the rhino is, you'll have to walk between +/- 10 minutes and 1 hour (rocky terrain/steep hills). We were able to approach one rhino by 150 meters and the other by 60 meters. They are pretty wild, so you'll have to follow the guide's instructions rigorously. I think it's possible to go on path with the guides of "save the rhino trust" to really track those animals (should ask for that to your travel agent)

About the airstrip, they were plans to have one close to the camp but actually it's not there yet and for me the long drive to the camp (+/- 2,5 - 3 hours) is actually an excellent start of your safari there.

Palmwag rhino camp is in my eyes a top safari destination (not a classic one) for the following reasons:

- superb guiding by Chris Bakkes;
- chance to see free-roaming rhinos; (they are not in a national park there)
- stunning landscapes.

Greetings,

Johan
 
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Jan 2nd, 2006, 11:26 AM
  #8
Lin
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Thanks Johan, that's exactly the type of information I need! I sure hope Chris is still at camp. He sounds like one of those wonderful and knowledgeable people who make our trips so special. And thanks for the heads-up about the drinks, although I don't think that will stop us from indulging ourselves! I'm glad to hear the rhino in the area are still very wild - not yet habituated to the 'trackers'.
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Jan 2nd, 2006, 03:52 PM
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Great info, Johan. Thank you.
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Jan 5th, 2006, 11:16 PM
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Hi All
Thank you Johan for covering it all! We were only there overnight on an educational trip, so we didn't get a chance to go out at all. However, on the way back to the airstrip in the morning, we saw hyena, a large herd of kudu, elephant, jackal and gemsbok - it was almost as if they were waiting for us at the side of the road. The Rhino Camp newsletter of Oct 2005 was written by Chris, so I would assume he's still there. Ask him about his adventure with a croc!
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