Reviews of Camp Kipwe
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Camp Kipwe review
A very imaginative lodge in a quirky location. Our guide, Taffy, was excellent. However, there was no apparent effective management and it showed. We arrive mid afternoon and were offered no lunch. We were then asked to pay for the lunch we had prior to departure. We declined. (This was tried first, on Mr Kelly and then on me!) Management improvement is definitely needed here.
Food was OK, save for our last evening meal, which was specially laid on in the boma and was delicious. The kudu steak was the best meat we had in the whole of our trip, including in Cape Town.
Great Location to Explore Damaraland
Very nice lodge conveniently located near the top destinations in Damaraland. We were welcome by Andrew and he made us feel right at home. The staff was very pleasant and accommodating. They even had some staff in training which were also top notch. The room was extremely comfortable. They have outdoor bathrooms which makes the whole experience even better. Taking a shower while watching the stars is an experience that everyone should have. The food was excellent!
We took a desert elephant safari and our guide was very knowledgeable and thorough. He knew where to go to find the desert elephants. We not only saw one herd of elephants but three. Altogether there must have been about 40 to 50 elephants. It was quite an experience. We also went to Twyfelfontein and enjoyed it a lot. On our way to Windhoek we stopped at the petrified forest; it is worth it.
My only criticism of the area surrounding Camp Kipwe was the amount of garbage on the trails. You see dozens of bottles of beer, cardboard boxes, tin cans and plastic bags all over. It would be great if Camp Kipwe would work with the community to clean up the surrounding area.
Elephant spotting at Camp Kipwe
The location and design of Camp Kipwe lives up to all the expectations from the brochure and website. The rooms built into the rocks blend in very well and the outdoor bathrooms are large, very private and a joy to use - ours (no. 7) had a huge boulder for a roof and was certainly a loo with a view. Rooms are quite dark as a result of the design and also tend to get rather warm, but all have a shady terrace with great views over the surrounding landscape.
Staff are friendly and welcoming, but service levels whilst still good, were slightly below that of other places we stayed. Although we were asked for dietary requirements on arrival these did not appear have been properly noted as they were overlooked on two occasions, but rectified immediately without any argument. Meals were 3 course with a choice of main courses. Food was good but was not quite up to the same standard as some other lodges. Sundowners on top of the Kopjie behind the lodge were superb - a great view with very little climbing effort with drinks and snacks brought up by the staff.
We took the trip to track the desert elephants and were fortunate enough to find them and get an excellent view. The guide was excellent, informative and entertaining and the trip also showcased the beautiful and diverse landscapes of this area. We believe this trip was also very good value for money as it is not something you would be able to do on your own.
The public areas of the camp are stylish and inviting and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay here.
Luxury at Camp Kipwe
Camp Kipwe was another stopover because the distance between places we wished to go to we're too far to be driven in a day. However It was worth the stop as Camp Kipwe was the nicest place we stayed at. Having experienced showering and toilet in the open air at Tok Tokkie we were not worried that the wash basin, shower and toilet were all outside covered by just a few sticks. How you went to the loo in a rain storm, should that event ever happen, is anyone's guess. No need to worry about privacy though as rock and vegetative screens block the view from outside your quarters.
The camp is set amongst boulders so blends into the environment as is the small plunge pool where I was able to cool off after another long drive. We watched the sun go down from a spot high above the camp with drinks and canapés brought to us by the attentive staff in the company of two honeymoon couples.
Dinner was on an open terrace where we both had delicious Oryx steak.
Again we were sorry we only spent one night here as we could have spent a whole day exploring the area instead of making do with a short visit to the Twyfelfontein rock engravings on he way to our next destination.
Camp Kipwe review
Very pleasant reception and dining area,with very attentive and helpful and informative staff.Good selection of food for dinner,and a nice wine list. They have the best selection in their souvenir shop that we found anywhere.
The room was large and a lovely outside bathroom. Must say we prefer lodges like Dorset homestead or DoroNawas where there is a large window to take in the astounding views,seems a shame to be in an igloo with very small windows.Nice pool,but quite tiny.
The elephant drive was very well led by the best guide we had on the trip,he was knowlegable and was on a real mission to find the elephants for us,even though they were a long way away,the trip was much longer than their commitment,and done very cheerfully.
Another member of staff thought one of our tyres looked a bit flat,so he pumped it up for us,and kept an eye on it the next day too!
Really good service here.
Camp Kipwe review
Camp Kipwe could be excellent with proper management. The site is marvelous and the architecture interestingly adapted to the environment.
But, to give an example of the poor oversight, the daily 'service' of our room left the wastebaskets un-emptied, the dirty glasses untouched -- i.e., nothing was done but make the beds (when we told the manager, whose office was usually empty, he did send someone back). Also, I had to insist by showing our vouchers that we were entitled to two excursions per day, including a return visit to Twyfelfontein, for which they wanted me to pay the entrance (but relented).
Worse, this was the only place with many flies, probably caused by all of the animal droppings (cattle?) behind the hotel's hill, where the staff lives and makes an inexcusable mess of the area (all kinds of trash strewn about, which simply should not be allowed but the management seemingly doesn't care).
Camp Kipwe review
Superb small lodge of individual cabins built around a boulder strewn hill. The outside bathroom would be cold in winter and the evenings did get cold. The views are again spectacular. The cabins are comfortable and spacious but slightly spartan inside.
The service was really good the food and wine also. Their game and rockart drives are good the game drive especially so. The guide seems very knowlegeable.
The clean your car for you but it's dirty within five minutes of leaving as the only access is via gravel roads. The scenery is spectacular though.
Mowani Mountain Camp
We stayed at Mowani Mountain Camp, NOT Camp Kipwe as stated here.
A wonderful location; excellent accommodation; helpful staff. The food was probably near the bottom end of what we had while in Namibia: not a disaster but somewhat disappointing - tough and chewy meat on both nights. Very slow breakfast service too.
Otherwise a wonderful place, and we had a very enjoyable and successful trip to look at desert adapted elephants.
Camp Kipwe review
We were "upgraded" to Mowani Mountain Camp 5km away along with other guests, because of a fire at Camp Kipwe a few weeks before our visit. As a result, we had expected Mowani to be busy but it was not full by any means. Our thatched "tent" was brand new and very comfortable and well equipped with a gorgeous view. Dining was a pleasure, even if we needed blankets over our knees for dinner as the temperature dropped close to zero at night.
We tracked desert-adapted elephants for hours in a wet mist until the sun broke through and we found around 30 animals in two groups - a wonderful experience. The situation of the camp is extraordinary and a great place to stay in Damaraland.
We organised a morning game drive searching for desert adapted elephants for these travellers. They commented:
From the Camp, we could see that the valley of the Huab river was shrouded by thick mist. Once we reached the river, visibility was only a few yards and we wondered if our guide would be able to find anything! However, once the sun broke through it was a glorious day and we eventually found two groups of elephants, totalling around 30 animals, which we were able to observe from close quarters.
Much of the journey was along dry and bumpy river bed, and might not be appropriate for guests with back problems. It was also extremely cold for the first hour or so, and good insulating layers are recommended (June)"
Camp Kipwe review
We were changed to the sister camp Mowani as camp Kipwe had suffered form a fire. Superb location and rooms.
Service was over the top for us. Valet parking for a couple of backpackers at heart! We went desert elephant tracking with an excellent guide.
The highlight of the trip however was when we had a puncture under the gaze of an interested elephant. No problem ? - ah - no wheel brace. Limped back to the guides home village for assistance which turned out to be another highlight.