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Thembi Jan 16th, 2007 07:45 PM

Doro Nawas v's Palmwag/Damaarland camps
We are travelling through Namibia as part of our 2008 Southern African safari - in with our agent now. We have indicated Doro Nawas (WS) as our preffered lodging in Damaarland region - but wish to know from previously experienced travellers what it is like and whether we would be better off splitting the 4 days (or so) between Palmwag and Damaaraland (WS) camps. What are your thoughts?

Momliz Apr 8th, 2007 05:26 PM


tuckeg Apr 8th, 2007 08:50 PM

Hi Thembi,

I stayed two nights at Doro Nawas (DN) and visited but didn't stay at Damaraland Camp (DC) last year. As I recall, is visited by many self-drive tourists and is quite different than the other Wilderness. Camp drives are not included but offered for an additional charge (although there may be packages that include them). Game viewing was ok, we were very lucky and saw a cheetah (at some distance) a spent some time with the deset elephants. A rhino had been seen the week before, but that was a very rare sighting. The cheetah was only the second our guide had seen. DN had a telescope on the lodge roof and was doing evening sky shows. DC was more of a traditional camp. I only saw the rooms from the outside so I can't compare them. Any thing in particular I can add?


tuckeg Apr 8th, 2007 08:58 PM

By the way, I'll also be in Namibia from Late May to early August 2008.

PacoAhedo Apr 9th, 2007 02:29 AM

I have not been at Doro Nawas or Damaraland Camp so i cannot compare, but i can tell you my experience at Palmwag Rhino Camp in Kaokoland.

This camp covers and area of almost 1 million acres and with only six tents the wilderness is guarantied.
In the 2 days we where there we only crossed one other vehicle in six game drives and it was Save The Rhino trackers´vehicle.

Palmwag Rhino Camp is a mobile camp run in conjunction with the ‘Save the Rhino Trust’ in the private Palmwag area.This in not a luxury camp(depending what you call luxury,it was more than perfect to me ,everything under canvas,tents and main area) but the tents are perfect,with a bucket shower(on call) due to the lack of water and the camp has a great intimate atmosphere.

Who need luxury in a place like this!!
Amazing semi desert scenery,with incredible landscape and lots of desert adapted animals.In our stay we had plenty of Hartman’s mountain zebra, giraffe, oryx,black back jackal, springbok and kudu.We also got to see desert adapted elephants,meerkats and lion(not common).
But probably the biggest reason to visit the area is the more than reasonable chance to see the endanger desert adapted black rhino.
While you do your game drive ,the trackers from Save The Rhino tracks for rhino and we had the chance to see a mother black rhino with her baby.The sightseeings are very controled.You approaches them on foot for about 2 km and never get too close so rhinos are not disturbed.It is a different way to see this animals and learn what this organization is doing for them.

Great camp overall.To get there we had to leave our car(we where self driving) at Palmwag Lodge,got pick by Chris(amazing guide and manager? of the lodge) and transfer about 2 and half hours to camp,so the place is really out in the wild.
Due to this long transfer( it is a game drive more than a transfer) and the appeal of the place i would recommend a minimum of 3 nights.

We had a wonderful time in Namibia ,i hope you too.


Thembi Apr 9th, 2007 04:25 PM

howdy tuckeg and Paco - thank you so much for your replies! I was a bit stunned to find that this one which was out in the "namibia" thread had been resurected! maybe it was because it was Easter...

I had posted again into the General Africa Forum that same day in January and did receive some replies.

Really appreciate your time in answering my query. If money permitted we would love to add Palmwag - but we have (since the posting in January) settled on Doro Nawas - maybe the NEXT trip after the 2008 one will see us in a position to drop into Palmwag...

So much Africa - so little time!

Kavey Apr 10th, 2007 12:55 AM

Like the others, above, I have only been to one of the three camps you mention (WS' Damaraland Camp) so cannot compare but can give you my impressions and memories of it. I went in 2001 and my parents about a year and a half to two years before that.

Damaraland Camp is owned by the local Damara community and is currently run in partnership with Wilderness Safaris with an agreement to switch to fully Damara-run at a specific date (I forget). Even back when we went the majority of the staff were from the local community and at that time they had some non-Damara managers who had worked at other WS camps who were training the local staff who would become the managers in a short time. I believe the lady who was at that time Assistant Manager is now managing the camp.

What an incredibly warm and dedicated and friendly and efficient and wonderful team they have! Honestly, the dedication and professionalism and genuine warmth of the staff is what makes this place so special. Also, our guide (and presumably others too) had grown up in the area - infact we went to his village during a game drive and met his aunt and his son. It was the moment of a partial eclipse and WS had given out the special throwaway viewing glasses. When he'd told his family about this eclipse they hadn't believed him or that such things could be known or predicted so we went to the village and had his family and friends share our viewing glasses and oh my were they amazed. It was a really sweet moment.

We also saw 17 desert elephants in total, one from fairly close up on foot. There were only a few hundred in total at the time, dispersed in a VAST area so we were thrilled. And we learned so much about all the flora and fauna right down to the smallest bugs.

The tents are standard WS issue and perfectly fine for our needs. We were assigned a honeymoon tent with a double bed - we hadn't asked for it but were delighted. It was slightly further from the other tents and public areas. There is also a magical little pool area tucked into the rocks. When we were there it was too cold to swim so the birds had taken over and we loved sitting there watching them.

We only had two nights and were lucky to have such amazing sightings of the elephants - others who were also there two nights but one night ahead of us didn't have such luck and ended up doing some really serious walking only to glimpse just one or two eles from really far far far away. So it might be nice to have three nights here if possible. We didn't see any rhinos but I understand the best option for rhinos is to go on foot and I don't know that I'd be able to manage that.

Anyway, thoroughly recommend the camp.

Thembi Apr 12th, 2007 04:40 PM

Kavey - thank you so much for your "trip report" reply on Damaaraland camp - sounds absolutely magical and I am so envious of your extra-ordinary Ele-Luck!

As mentioned we have booked at
Doro!Nawas for this trip (Also a community owned and run WS operation) but Palmwag and Damaarland are high contenders for the trip after that. What I love about reports from community involved camps is the description of warmth and enthusiasm - which surely lends credence to the importance of local communitites managing and being involved in tourism in these areas.
great info - thanks

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