Reviews of Desert Rhino Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Great safari at Desert Rhino Camp
This is a luxury safari camp in a remote, Monument Valley style semi-desert setting. The tone was set from the outset when the staff met us upon arrival to sing us a welcome and give us an arrival drink.
The main point is that it does what it says on the tin - you get to see desert rhinos! What an experience - 0500 wake up for 0530 breakfast and 0600 start. For us a 2 hour drive west to the fog belt through a remote, harsh, spectacular landscape to the sightings area. Then a search (no radio tracking here) and eventual 600m walk up to the first sighting - a fully horned mother and calf about 200m away in a natural amphitheatre setting. Later 2 sightings at much closer quarters of de-horned males. Fantastic! Then a 90 minute drive to a great picnic spot beneath a cliff in the shade. Finally another hour’s drive back to base.
- you don’t see nearly as much wildlife here as, for example, in Etosha or Okinjima but when you do the setting is much more amazing, e.g. a single large giraffe in a huge vegetation-less plain of brown boulders - what was it doing there?; and
- the 7+ hour safari was very bumpy, eventually very hot and exhausting for a 66 year old like me. Perhaps not a good choice for infirm or unfit pensioners. But what an experience.
The food was excellent, we loved the communal dining (outdoors on our first night) and drinks (excepting premium wines) were free and plentiful.
Great drive out and canyon picnic with Jeff, one of the friendly and informative guides.
Can only rate service as good because we got to the pick up point 1 minute before the deadline (didn’t realise only gravel roads for the last 125k!) to find the pick-up had left. It had to turn round to collect us, which delayed and rushed our arrival (as we wanted to go straight out on the 1630 afternoon game drive).
Negative: It is 1.5 to 2 hrs away from the parking to the place. A bit far for us! We stayed 3 nights but it seems 2 nights are enough.
Positive: Very caring, considerate and nice staff. Guides are all very knowledgeable, caring and experienced. Thanks our guide, Johann very much and all staff. They tried their best to make us feel easy and have a nice holiday even the location is remote and inconvenience.
Great game drive.
Our second camp and another three-night stay. Staff again welcoming and friendly. Tents very comfortable and clean. Focus very much on the tracking of black rhino and we are lucky to see them each time we go out with the trackers. On the second morning we were SO lucky to be the only guests going out and had unforgettable experiences getting close to a mum and teenager then an old boy napping under a tree. Millionaire moments. Can be difficult terrain but it is hugely varied, often dramatic, across the reserve. Zone four, for instance has lots of green in the dry river beds. Bush lunches with the trackers were good. However, the evening meals for vegetarians were poor. The bush dinner defied any description and was probably the worst food we have ever had in Africa.Read more about the whole safari
Absolutely wonderful with amazing staff.
We loved our stay at Desert Rhino. The staff was extremely attentive and addressed our dietary needs without having to be told in advance.
We were greeted upon arrival and departure with beautiful singing. At Desert Rhino, we learned first hand about the "clicks" spoken in the local languages. We especially liked the communal style dining where we got to meet other guests and which also included our guide and one of the managers. A special treat was the "bush" dinner. We also enjoyed the early morning rhino tracking.
One minor downside is the location which is 1-1/2 hours from where we had to leave our car.
A very special place!
We stayed here on a previous visit to Namibia two years earlier and revisited because it was the highlight of our previous tour of Namibia - so we had high expectations and we were not disappointed as it is as excellent as ever.
You have to leave your vehicle at a supervised shaded parking place at the entry point to the concession area about 30 miles from the camp and get picked up by one of the camp's 4x4s. The driver radios the camp when we are approaching and we were welcomed by the staff singing us a welcome song and offering us wet towels and refreshing drinks as we climbed out of the vehicle - that kind of sums up the exceptionally friendly and welcoming atmosphere at this camp. Nowhere else do you get a welcome like that!
The wooden framed safari tent was larger and better appointed than most (twin washbasins made of polished copper!) and food was always excellent - one night we had a bush supper illuminated with lanterns which is an experience to remember. The main reason for visiting is of course to track rhinos (the last part on foot) and we succeeded in tracking no less than five of the monstrous animals during our visit. The camp helps to subsidise the programme to protect and study the desert rhino.
The whole area has some of the most spectacular desert scenery in a country that is not short of spectacular scenery and we saw many other species which seem to do surprisingly well in the semi-desert conditions, especially giraffe (there are clumps of trees in water courses), elephant, many, many oryx, kudu, springbok, hyenas, etc., etc. Our guide (Jeff) and the various trackers were all experts on the wildlife, very capable and helpful.
A verdict of excellent is almost an understatement!
The best part of our trip
Desert Rhino Camp was by far the best part of our entire trip! There is absolutely nothing we could fault - from the welcoming of all the staff, led by the wonderful Elfreda, Simon, with particularly wonderful service from Elerie and other staff, to all the wonderful dinners, particularly the private "honeymoon" table that was set up for the two of us by the swimming pool.
All the singing, the dancing in the evenings, and the private and really moving farewell from staff, were something that we will not forget. We were made to feel so "at home", welcomed, felt like we were amongst old friends! We also met two great new friends, with whom we did all the activities, and that also made our time even better - not to mention the excellent service and sense of humour from our guide, Erwin.
When we were leaving we had absolutely nothing negative to feedback to Eflreda, and said afterwards that it will be very hard for any other place to be better.
Desert Rhino Camp review
We enjoyed the entire experience at Desert Rhino Camp. The staff were friendly, the tents comfortable and the views fascinating.
The rhino treking was amazing, the trackers and our guide did a fantastic job and ensured that our experience was the best it could be. Our sightings included numerous Rhino, lion, hyena and elephants along with more general game found in an area that on first sight looked as though nothing would live there. The hot buffet lunch was good in the park. The lodge staff were really helpful and friendly offering excellent service.
Just to highlight how excellent the service was, on the full day game drive our video camera fell from the vehicle approximately a 2 hour drive from the camp. One of the trackers and our guide went back out into the park and somehow managed to locate it for which we were extremely grateful. Especially after the footage we had taken during the day of the rhinos.
We travelled to / from camp by small plane which allowed us to see the landscape from the air and offered a different perspective from the views we had seen from the ground.
Desert Rhino Camp review
A perfect small,camp with wonderful staff who couldn't so enough for you.
The guiding was excellent and the day tracking Rhino was fantastic with the trackers doing a wonderful job. We saw several rhino, and managed to get relatively close to an adult and young calf.. The scenery in this area is extraordinary so red and rocky. We saw elephant, mountain zebra and hyena among others.
The evening bush dinner and the farewell singing from all the camp staff really enhanced the stay.
Desert Rhino Camp review
All you would expect of a Wilderness Safari Camp. Our tracking of rhino was successful, as it seems it usually is.
As I was on my own, its policy of all guests sitting down together for dinner was especially attractive. But had I been with my wife I'm sure we'd have counted that a plus. All-in-all excellent service.
Desert Rhino Camp review
Wonderfully happy camp.
We thought everything might be downhill after the Skeleton Coast but no, desert rhino camp ticked all the right boxes. The singing by the staff was a real joy and the rhino tracking was wonderful. Our guide Johann was excellent - knowledgeable and sensitive to our needs.
He quickly picked up that we were quite experienced safari travellers and didn't point out the obvious but enjoyed finding things that we wanted to see, particularly birds.