The classic old fort lines of Etosha's Namutoni Camp...
Namutoni Camp: Our full report
Namutoni Camp (formerly known as Namutoni Restcamp) stands at the eastern side of Etosha National Park, close to von Lindequist Gate and the picturesque Fisher's Pan. Here, great concentrations of water birds and breeding colonies of flamingos are frequently seen during the rainy season. Namutoni itself also overlooks the small King Nehale waterhole, where game animals can be spotted occasionally.
The camp is scattered around an amazingly white-washed, old German fort, which gives Namutoni its unique character. Built in 1899, the fort was originally used as an outpost for German troops, and almost completely destroyed by 500 Owambo warriors in the battle of Namutoni, on 28 January 1904. It was rebuilt two years later, and after restoration works declared a National Monument in 1950.
Namutoni rest camp officially opened for visitors in 1958, and was completely re-furbished in 2007 by the new management of Namibia Wildlife Resorts, after this para-statal organization took over Namutoni (as well as its sister camps Okaukuejo and Halali) from the Namibian government in 1999. Initially this seemed great and it was a real step-change for the better in the camp's accommodation. However, on our last visit in June 2014, we were less than impressed by what we found.
They are in the process of renovating again - and are in fact reversing many of the changes they made in 2007. The board walks and decking were in a terrible condition when we were there - very rickety and dangerous to walk along, and there just seemed a very tired look about the whole lodge. We're monitoring the ongoing refurbishments and hope that Namutoni will return to the higher standards it enjoyed immediately after it's last refurbishment. Until we're confident that the safety aspects have been addressed however, we can't currently recommend this Camp.
Namutoni Camp boasts a total of 44 rooms and 25 camping sites. The rooms come in two different types, but they all have en-suite bathrooms, and are equipped with fridges and tea stations. Despite the lacklustre appearance of the main areas of the camp - the rooms were actually in a relatively good state.
The 20 Bush Chalets are elegant and spacious, with double bedrooms, private relaxation areas in the front of the buildings, and outdoor showers adjacent to the en-suite bathrooms.
The 24 Double Rooms are interconnected through elevated wooden walkways. They are surprisingly nice, and comfortable, with private outside areas in front of the rooms, as well as in the back, accessible from the bathrooms.
Camping is also available at Namutoni, including ablution blocks with showers and toilets, well-equipped field kitchens, braai facilities, power points, as well as hot & cold water.
The main facilities at Namutoni Camp including a restaurant which they were in the process of refurbishing on our last visit in June 2014. They aim to have one large restaurant at the end. There's also a bar, a lounge area, a tourist shop selling basic food items, a bookshop, a museum and an outdoor swimming pool, plus a fuel station. The crafts boutique offers traditional handcrafted Namibian goods.
Whilst staying at Namutoni Camp, activities mainly consist of nature and wildlife. The fort area of the camp is for pedestrian access only, so no car will disturb the peace of the setting. King Nehale waterhole is flood-lit at night, and elevated decked walkways, including viewing benches, provide opportunities to encounter some shy, nocturnal game.
In addition to your own game drives around Etosha (which is why most people stay here), the park authorities have started running guided game drives in recent years, including night drives. At Namutoni, they leave in the morning (05:30 to 8:30), in the afternoon (14:30 to 17:30) and in the evening (19:00 to 22:00). There are also nature walks possible within the camp, or visits to the historic fort.
Our viewThe current concerns we have over certain safety aspects at Namutoni Camp mean that we aren't currently recommending it. However, we'll continue to monitor the situation here, and hope that the latest refurbishments will help to make it a good base again. Ask us for the latest.
Ideal length of stay: 2 - 3 nights
Directions: From Windhoek, take the B1 through Otjiwarongo and Tsumeb. Continue on the B1 for about 95 km, then turn left onto the C38 until you reach von Lindequist Gate. Namutoni is another 12 km from the eastern entrance of Etosha National Park.
Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Owner: Okaukuejo Camp is owned and managed by Namibia Wildlife Resorts.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: B&B
Food quality: Namutoni Camp has one restaurants, serving a breakfast buffet (5:30 to 10:00 in winter, 6:00 to 10:00 in summer), lunch (12:00 to 14:00), and dinner (17:30 to 21:00 in winter, 18:00 to 22:00 in summer).
Namutoni's camping sites are equipped with communal field kitchens and braai facilities, and basic food items can be bought at the tourist shop.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: No drinks are included.
Further dining info: No
Wildlife safaris: Namutoni overlooks the flood-lit King Nehale waterhole, giving visitors the opportunity to observe animals and birds at close range, but the camp's main attracting is as a base for your self-drive forays around the park. Namutoni stands near Fisher's Pan, which is often used as the breeding site for flamingoes.See more ideas for Wildlife safaris in Namibia
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Namutoni Camp.
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions at Namutoni Camp.
Generally recommended for children: Yes – and the flexibility of a self-drive trip often suits families very well. Note that dangerous animals do sometimes enter the camp area though, and so care still needs to be taken and parents must always supervise their children closely.
Notes: 6 to 12 year old children are charged at half price for the organized game drives, children under the age of 6 are not permitted on these game drives.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Power supply notes: There is a back up generator.
Communications: There are no telephones or internet access in any of the chalets and rooms.
TV & radio: There are no radios or TVs in any of the chalets and rooms.
Water supply: Mains
Water supply notes: The water here can't be drunk as it's too salty.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: There is a fisrt aid kit at Namutoni and some of the staff are first aid trained. The nearest doctor is in Tsumeb.
Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk
Security measures: There's a low stone wall in-between the flood-lit waterhole and the chalets, to reduce the chances of dangerous animals entering the camp.
Fire safety: All rooms have fire extinguishers.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: A laundry service is available for an extra charge.
Money: No currency exchange is available.
Accepted payment on location: Visa is accepted, but we would recommend using cash because the process of using a credit card can be rather slow.