At Desert Rhino Lodge, the thing that makes the biggest impression is the vastness of the landscape that surrounds you. Because Namibia’s Damaraland, where the lodge is situated, is a fascinating place for up-close-and-personal wildlife experiences and intense stargazing, too. Situated in the expansive Palmwag Concession, the lodge consists of eight Meru canvas tents, each an exercise in unexpected luxury despite the arid surrounds. Think faded Persian rugs, worn leather sofas, copper basins in the bathrooms and crisp white linen to sink into at night – there’s even a swimming pool to wash off the heat and dust of the day.
Days here are spent rising with the sun to watch the unspoilt surrounds come alive. A guided nature walk is a must – discover how so many living things, from the ancient welwitschia plant to the local elephant, giraffe and rhino have adapted to survive the desertlike conditions. If you’re lucky you’ll be blessed with a sighting of the desert-adapted black rhino that live here – these critically endangered animals are the camp’s undeniable treasure, and tracking them on foot or in a game-viewing vehicle is a humbling and heart-racing experience. Other animals, like zebra and a variety of game, have also adapted to their surrounds and you’ll enjoy spotting them on your daily drives or walks. For keen birders, the diverse surrounds play host to some notable species, including the elusive Verreaux’s eagle.
After a fascinating day spent game spotting or relaxing in the lodge’s main area, the night sky comes alive with stars. Alfresco drinks and dinner in the bush or back at the lodge are a highlight – even more so when you consider the level of luxury despite your distance from ‘civilisation’. Beautifully dressed tables beckon, local villagers’ singing fills the air and a procession of elegant food and wine is brought to each table. Conversation around conservation is a given – Desert Rhino Lodge is an active participant in local conservation and endangered-species protection projects. Knowing that your visit plays a significant role in protecting some of earth’s most precious species makes it all the more special.
Things to do
• Rhino tracking
• Game & wildlife viewing
• Guided nature walks
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