Desert Rhino Camp

Reviews of Desert Rhino Camp

Excellent(95%) From 42 travellers
Excellent
34
Good
7
Average
0
Poor
1
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 42 of our travellers who have visited Desert Rhino Camp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mr and Mrs O - Somerset
Arrived on: 11-Sep-2009 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Average
Average

Rhino Tracking for the Faint Hearted

Another terrific Wilderness Safaris experience. We went specifically to see black rhino and saw them in spades - a male and female in our first track, a male, female and juvenile on our second and an 'extra' sighting of another male quite close to camp. The siting and landscape are breathtaking with huge mountains leaping straight up out of the veldt. In between there are startlingly green and lush river valleys still with water in September although the last rain was in May.

The camp organisation was not quite as slick here with some rather ordinary food. We had Room 1 which like all the others was refurbished in 2008. The bucket showers have gone, in theory, having been replaced by a solar heated water system. However, ours heater was sited out of the sight line of the main lodge meaning that it was in the shade of two trees. When the other rooms had piping hot water after a partly cloudy day ours was tepid at best and a second cloudy day meant that we had to ask for a bucket of hot water on our last morning. This needs fixing as a a matter of urgency.

Our guide Aloysius was outstanding and seemed the only member of staff to appreciate our hot water issue. A specialised camp that delivers exactly what it says on the tin.

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Mrs & Mr P - Essex
Arrived on: 12-Aug-2009 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Desert Rhino Camp review

The refurbishment has been done very well, adding to the comfort while still retaining much of the old camp feel.

It was a great bonus to find that there is a new airstrip only 45 minutes from camp.

As a result of the relocation of some of the rhinos, it is necessary to travel a bit further afield to find rhinos at the moment. It is perhaps worth being aware that this may mean 12-13 hours out on a 4/4 over the very rocky desert tracks.

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Ms DM & MR VO - Belgium
Arrived on: 23-Jul-2009 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Desert Rhino Camp review

It was wonderful to have so much dedicated and enthusiastic staff around, not only the guide or one of the management but everyone!

Not only the lodge itself is professionally run but also the wildlife viewing: it's clear they did some thinking about the way they organise the rhino walks and very reassuring they think not only of the guests but also of the wildlife. The most special of course is the chance to meest the rhinos in the wild.

A little bit of a pity that the time in the vehicle was very long compared to the time out, but I guess there's not much to do about that.

One negative thing is the red house wine is unfortunately rather bad.

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Mr C & Ms S - Colorado, US
Arrived on: 22-Jul-2009 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Poor
Poor
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Terrible
Terrible
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Desert Rhino Camp review

This was the only place we were really disappointed with and mostly because our main guide was bad. The location and lodging were excellent, the food excellent, but on the one day we had to go out to look for rhino, we had a guide who must have been really out of sorts or something. He kept lecturing us about how this was the "real nature" when it because obvious we weren't going to be lucky enough to see a rhino and seemed almost sullen actually. Since we live in Colorado surrounded by wilderness areas I thought this was quite arrogant of him to assume that as tourists we would all be from a city. Besides, I'm a birder. I know animals don't show up when you want them to. I would have loved to learn tons more about the area, but the guide was only focused on rhino.

Although the topography and ecosystem were amazing, we heard nothing about it and mostly spent a very long day being driven at breakneck speeds though rough terrain, with the guide occassionally (and grudgingly it seemed) stopping for us to take a bathroom break, or even to snap a photo. When we did see a critter, he'd tell us the name, but that was all and then zoom on. Since we had been traveling in Africa by then for several weeks, his behavior was in stark contrast to all the other excellent guides we had had up to then. By contrast, another staff guide who drove us into and out of the Rhino Camp location was a GREAT guide (we saw cheetah and lions with him coming and going from the camp). Stopping to hunt for birds, setting up photo shots for my husband, frequently asking how we were doing and whether we were comfortable, etc. He was very considerate and seemed to really enjoy what he was doing.

I don't want to bash the whole place just because of one guide, but for all the hooplah Wilderness Safaris makes about its environmental ethic in its literature, I didn't hear anything about that from our main guide and by the end we were just ready to get out of there.

The road to the Rhino Camp from Vingerlkip was terrible--and took a long time to travel it. I would recommend only a 4 wheel drive vehicle on it, not our low clearance little Ford. (Leaving towards Etosha the road was much better).

So, considering that this was probably the most expensive of the lodges we were at in Namibia, and that once we finally made it over the road and got there only to have a crummy experience, makes me think we won't be returning to the Rhino Camp. I don't think it's worth it especially because of the several days it took to get there (overnight at Vingerklip made it a three night venture), feels like we wasted time there when we could have spent it somewhere else in Namibia. I think the Rhino Camp was our idea, actually, but please caution others who might get sucked into their advertising, that it's more of an iffy venture--and more expensive-- then other places.

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Expert Africa comments

Expert Africa and Desert Rhino Camp were very sorry to hear that these guests did not enjoy aspects of their stay at the camp. Desert Rhino Camp prides themselves in knowledgeable and personal guides. They have taken this feedback very seriously and addressed the points made immediately.

At Expert Africa, we have taken on board the comments about suitable vehicles on the road leading to Desert Rhino Camp and will be sure to advise all future travellers accordingly.

Mr & Mrs W - California
Arrived on: 9-Jun-2009 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Desert Rhino Camp review

Once again, "camp" is a misnomer. Our accomodation was more like a small house with canvas sides than a tent. We overlooked an open field, rimmed by mountains, which turned a reddish purple when the sun set. We also really enjoyed the nightly campfire, overlooking beautiful desert scenery. Probably the most fun, however, was at the communal dinner where we were joined by an Italian film crew making a National Geographic movie for television. The food was great but the company was fascinating.

I also loved going out for a full day tracking the rhinos with a picnic lunch which we ate in the bush. Since we were the only guests tracking rhinos that day, all four of the trackers rode in our landrover and we found it fascinating to watch them try to follow the rhino tracks. Although we didn't see any rhinos that day, we did see about seven cheetahs, which was pretty amazing. The next morning, when we did see not one, but two, rhinos we felt like we had earned the right to see them!

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Mr & Mrs S - Leicestershire
Arrived on: 31-May-2009 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Desert Rhino Camp review

This was undoubtedly one of the highlights of our trip. The game-drives both in and out of the camp were memorable with sightings of a young giraffe, lots of zebra and, at a distance, a pair of cheetah sat in the shade of a bush. Our driver/guide Ally was extremely knowedgeable and enthusiastic and made many stops to point out various birds, fauna and flora which he illustrated to us with field guide books that he carried (at his own expense he later told us, likewise the guides have to provide their own binoculars, or do without).

The camp itself was wonderful in all respects and its utter remoteness only served to emphasise its beauty and tranquility. On our only full day there we were the only guests so we had Ally and three trackers all to ourselves! However, try as hard as they most certailny did (and we were out from 6.30a.m. to 5.30p.m. with light fading fast) not a rhino was to be found. It mattered little though since we saw lots of other game, zebra, ostrich, vultures, eagles, a chameleon and the largest herd of springbok we saw on the whole of our trip (250-300 we'd estimate).

We also had a lovely lunch in the shade of a large acacia tree accompanied by a cool beer. Magical! Also worth mentioning that the staff here (all black Namibians during our stop) seemed to make much more genuine effort to engage with us than at some of the other 'up-market' lodges. Our schedule involved rather a lot of driving so we only had an evening and the one full day and we would recommend having at least two full days 'cos it would have been nice to do some guided walks as well as the rhino-tracking drives.

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Ms S & Mr L - Lancashire
Arrived on: 24-May-2009 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Desert Rhino Camp review

We didn't expect to have our own personal guide for the 3 night stay at the camp; it felt quite extravagant being chauffeured around in the Land Rover.

The two hour transfer to the camp from Palmwag seemed to take no time at all, thanks to our guide who had eyes like a hawk & was constantly pointing out the wildlife to us.

We were lucky enough to find a rhino on each of our outings & enjoyed the little walks we had to & from the rhino viewing spots.
Considering the camp was miles from anywhere, we found the accommodation excellent; lovely and spacious. Although we had early morning calls (not expected), our guide softened the blow by bringing us tea! this was a lovely touch & very well received.

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Honeymooners from Surrey
Arrived on: 14-May-2009 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Our favourite camp on our trip

We really felt like we were in Africa (not just a nice hotel) Eating with all the other guests was great and our hosts and guide (Ali) were fabulous fun.

Surprisingly luxurious rooms considering that it's in the middle of nowhere - we were very impressed.

The best sunset I've seen. Rhino spotting - what a rush

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Mr A & Ms G - Ireland, honeymoon
Arrived on: 11-May-2009 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Desert Rhino Camp review

We were not sure what to expect at the Rhino Camp as we were collected from Palmwag lodge which felt more like back packers place than a lodge and knew that Rhino was more about the rhinos than the accommodation. We had also braced ourselves for the 2 hour off road ride to the camp from Palmwag. We knew this Desert Rhino was in the middle of no where and were expecting basic accommodation with the bucket showers, that we had read about before leaving for Namibia.

The drive to the camp was fantastic and we saw a lot of game a long the way and arrived at the lodge just in time for sundowners. We were greeted by Helen the camp manager who was lovely and then taken to our room and someone followed shortly after with our G&T's! We were amazed and blown away but he luxury of the tents in the middle of no where. Hot showers and fabulous accommodation. watching the sunset was great as you could hear only the animals and the wind whistling through the grass.

There were pre dinner drinks around the camp fire and we enjoyed tales of the day's rhino trekking and a tale or 2 from Chris Baaker the area manager for Wildnerness Safaris. What a character and some stories! Dinner was great and we ate with Helen, the guests and the guides. It was a great experience.

We went tracking Rhinos early the next morning. the trackers were positive that we would see a rhino early on as they had seen fresh tracks,however, we were not lucky. We had lunch out in the bush and then split up and went tracking for rhinos. We were so lucky that we saw one. We had a rather treacherous journey aross country/rivers/mountains to get to the rhino, but it was worth the roller coaster ride. our drive was such a fantastic off roader. We saw the rhino from one side of the mountain and drove around the other side of the mountain to get down wind of her so that we could trek up to her on foot.

Wow, it was an amazing experience and worth the long wait. We got to within 100metres of her. She was such a large animal and beautiful.

On the journey back to the camp, we were fortunate enough to see 2 cheetahs getting up from their afternoon rest and walk past us!

Rhino Camp is certainly worth the effort to go to and a very special place that puts you in the middle of nature. we loved this place too and it was probably our 2nd favourite place after Wolwedans.

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Mr J. & Mr H - Dublin
Arrived on: 8-May-2009 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Desert Rhino Camp review

what an amazing experice! the best place we visited in namibia!

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