Reviews of Nhoma Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
What a unique experience!
Our time with the bushmen was truly unforgetable. We really didn't know what to expect but we loved every minute.
Our host and guide, Arno, was a complete character (we thought he was great) and Estelle is extremely knowledgeable too. We felt like part of the family.
An unforgattable experience
The experiences we had whilst we stayed at Nhoma almost defy description. We certainly felt very privileged to be part of the village life for a few days. We were made to feel very welcome and encouraged to join in everything from their games, dancing and singing to hunting and making fire etc.
We stayed out over night on a platform in a tree and got an early start the following day with laying snares and hunting spring hare, kudu etc. We also found honey in the tress and were taught about the numerous plants and berries and their medicinal or culinary uses.
The night out was made more spectacular as we happened to experience an amazing electrical storm followed by extremely strong winds. The weather, therefore, proved more of a concern than the fact that leopard, hyena, lion and snakes were roaming around the area beneath us.
Learning about the bushmen culture and ways of thinking and behaving was very enlightening and the whole experience was well worth the long journey on unreliable roads to reach it.
A great bushman experience
This was one of the highlights of the trip once we got there. Long drive in but well worth it. Arno and Theo were very hospitable as well as the rest of the staff.
Going out with the Bushmen was a humbling experience and for both of us a huge learning curve. They brought the bush to life with demonstrations on hunting and making arrows and snares. Village life was experienced in the evenings with games and rope making. We finished off with a night camping under the stars by the waterhole - what more could we ask for. Can't wait to return with the grandkids.
Make sure you have plenty of petrol, we got back to Grootfontain on empty.
Nhoma Camp review
This was the highlight of our visit to Namibia.
An absolutely unforgettable and stunning experience!!!! A luxury camp would ruin that experience. The tented camp was excellent, but for those expecting standards and sophistication like Doro Nawas it does not compare. There was no continuous electricity, tents with shower [hot water from a wood burning boiler] and toilet outside the sleeping area [ still under cover] but we thoroughly enjoyed that aspect . The hot water bottles in the evenings and early morning call accompanied by coffee were greatly appreciated. If Arno and Estelle were to make it more sophisticated, it would spoil it in our opinion!
We found the tents comfortable, the evening meal was basic, but very good and plentiful, and wine included. Breakfast too was basic, cooked breakfast on one morning only.
We arrived at lunchtime and went out to set traps in the afternoon. The next day we went out hunting all day, and half of the third day we spent with the hunters collecting tree roots for quivers and just half a day in the village. We could have easily spent more time there.
We know we had a particularly lucky experience here as our day with the hunters was successful in hunting and killing porcupine,and so particularly special. No one expected us to be out beyond lunchtime, but we were out until 6pm! (we were given the option of returning but there was no way we wanted to do that.) If we had known there was a chance of being out all day, we would have carried more water and snacks, but the experience far outweighed any discomfort.
Arno was both a fascinating and knowledgeable character and evening drinks round the fire were special. The opportunity to watch the villagers' healing dances in the evening was also very special. Arno's nephew, Theo, was our guide, he was very friendly and enthusiastic. His skill and knowledge belied his youthfulness. he was excellent.
However the bushmen, especially the hunters, were the stars. It was a totally authentic experience with them doing whatever they wanted to do and we just tagged along. Although they had no English, they communicated with us and were so friendly, welcoming and wanted to share their incredible knowledge and skills with us.
We were concerned whether we would have enough fuel for the return journey and so bought a spare jerry can(£30). We did not need it and Arno would have topped us up with fuel for the return if we had been short. We would recommend Nhoma Camp 100%, and a stay of a minimum of 3 nights is a must,
Great experience. Arno was a fantastic host and we learned a great deal. The bushmen..and women were really friendly and we enjoyed every minute with them.
All the hunting, gathering etc....and yet amazingly relaxing.
ARE YOU AWARE THE CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBERS ARE NOT CORRECT... NO LONGER AT TSUMKWE...we finally called Wilderness from a garage to ask them to try and contact. .... Arno not concerned unless guests haven't arrived by 5pm.
Expert Africa comments
Arno and Estelle informed us of the change of telephone number during this travellers trip, but unfortuantely after they had visited Nhoma Camp. Unfortunately this was too late for these travellers, but all information was updated in December to show the new number for any future travellers.
Nhoma Camp review
LONG LONG drive, take Cd's and have some fun getting there like we did, great experience getting there and whist there.
Arno a great host and the villagers, well just a great experience. Scout tents, and I hope that some big wigs dont get hold of it and up grade everything, some how this is just perfect, would seem so wrong to be in 5 star accom when mixing with the Bushmen in their huts.
The hunting and gathering was fun, hot and fruitful, even managed after 4 hours to catch a spring hare!! The people are friendly and eager to show you their way of life. Long may they continue to LIVE.
Unique, fragile, complex, wonderful Nhoma
This really did what it says on the tin. Arno, and Estelle, are people with an affection and a vision that will maintain the San people and their culture, though changing, for a short while longer. Everything about Nhoma was exciting, informative and, insofar as that's possible, wholly natural.
We've seen such vanishing cultures elsewhere in the world; here, though the whole shifting environment and existence are undoubtedly evolving, the influence, if not the intervention, of Arno, goes some way to preserving what is right rather than something of a museum to be gawped at.
The opportunity to live with these people was a real privilege - tracking, hunting, making fire and weapons with them, sitting in on the elephant and giraffe dances, we were privileged to be part of their world. And Arno's huge knowledge, enthusiasm and commitment were a wonderful accompaniment. Equally, the comfort of the accommodation and the provision of excellent food and drink, rough, ready and delightful made for a wholly satisfying package. Wonderful!