Reviews of Nhoma Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
meet the bushmen!
we phoned the night before to check on arrival etc. and to check the road (as directed by you). We notified them that we would leave at 7am and aim to arrive by 2pm having explained we were in a VW Polo saloon vehicle. I particularly asked that if we did not arrive that someone would come and look for us. As arranged, I sent a text telling them what time we had left Grootfontein (at 9.30am) It would therefore be very surprising if we had not arrived by 2pm.
At 1.45pm we got stuck in the sand on the side road about 20kms short of Nhoma. We stood under a small tree until 3.15pm when some other guests passed by. They eventually towed us out of the sand and we followed them to Nhoma. It should also be made clear that 2WD cars cannot drive up to the camp but need to park at the bottom. Without the other car we would not have known what to do as we had no idea how much further up the track we needed to go and whether we should walk or wait.
We arrived at the camp at 3.30pm to be told we were the first to get stuck in the sand. We later learnt that when the sand is at its hottest at early afternoon it makes it very difficult to drive through the sand. The next morning we had no problem
I received a text from Arno's wife at 5.45pm saying she was sorry she had heard we got stuck in the sand and that she had had a very stressful day. It became very obvious that no one was coming to look for us and that we had been extremely lucky to be rescued by the other guests. Not a great start to our visit.
Cold drinks were offered on arrival which were much appreciated. The tents were cool and well sited. Everything worked well. Cool water in thermos was always on offer and thermos cups by the bed.
The other guests had bought gifts for the children - hairclips and books for the girls, and a football for the boys so they had a great football game. It would have been nice to know a bit more about the village before we left.
We felt we got the most out of our visit because it was over the weekend and the children were about. We enjoyed collecting them on the way back to school and giving them lift with Arno. Without the children around the visit would have seemed much flatter in contrast.
Expert Africa comments
We are sorry that these travellers had setbacks on their journey to Nhoma. The Kalahari is very sandy and turning off the solid road, and onto the sand at the side, can cause problems. Drivers in Namibia need to be mindful of this as they choose their stopping places.
We do make clear that 2WD cars should not drive up to Nhoma Camp. We include this advice in a detailed written description of how to reach Nhoma Camp which we send to all of our travellers visiting Nhoma - it explains how guests in 2WD cars will be given a lift up to the camp from the parking area.
We’re sorry that these travellers somehow missed this advice that we sent to them.
A Special Place
Going out with Jonas, Hart, David and Kaece to see whatever they might find in the bush was a great experience. They were successful at finding and extracting honey from a tree, they dug up a water root and used its liquid to wash honey from their arms, and made string from a plant called mother-in-law's tongue. They laughed and talked and generously gave us an arrow after demonstrating how it was made.
Estelle and Arno made us feel at home at Nhoma. We were concerned that we might feel like intruders at the San people's camp next door to the lodge but instead found the people were very friendly and warm - the kids especially. Their lives are not easy and it is difficult for them to make a living that is not in conflict with their old ways. We hope that our visit helped at least a bit.
Nhoma Camp review
The highlight of the trip . A real adventure !.
Arno a most knowledgeable and interesting host. Relating to the bushmen was much easier than we had imagined it would be
We had lots of fun and learnt loads.
Nhoma Camp - our favourite
Nhoma Camp was fabulous, this was a trip favourite. Estelle and Arno are great hosts and really try to make your stay special.
It was great fun getting to join the bushmen in activities and really made the holiday for us. We loved going out on the hunt, and were really chuffed when they made an arrow and gifted this to us. We also really enjoyed the evening dance - incredible music and a very intense experience.
The location of the camp itself is spectacular - a very peaceful spot with beautiful bush and plains all around and wide open skies with epic starscapes. We did a day trip to Khadum National Park which was amazing - a proper wild experience with skittish animals and we were fortunate enough to see a wild dog while there.
Estelle is an excellent cook and we thought the food was imaginative and of a very high quality. Arno is the consumate host.
The tents were spacious with a comfortable double bed and single, and the bath was a nice touch.
We would highly recommend staying at Nhoma Camp with Estelle and Arno.
Nhoma Camp review
This was without any doubt the highlight of our one month trip to Namibia. To walk with the bushmen 4-5 hours a day and see the village during the afternoon and nights is an experience we will remember for the rest of our life. We hope to return. We were glad we stayed for no less than 3 nights.
Our children at 8-9 years often talk about how they made fire with stiks, made arrows, caught birds in traps, tried different berries, played with the children in the village, saw a snake, and saw bushmen shooting at a Kudu. Still, we could relaxe in our nice luxury camp next to the village and have a glass of wine before bedtime!
Nhoma Camp review
Interesting place and Arnos is an interesting character. Unfortunately there had been fires 2 days before we got there which I think had some bearing on the activities we were able to do and the activities felt a bit staged.
Loved the Bushmen people, they are very gentle, with a good sense of humour. It was a privilege to be able to spend time with them. Our guide Steve was excellent.
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,