Desert Rhino Camp

Reviews of Desert Rhino Camp

Excellent(96%) From 64 travellers
Excellent
54
Good
9
Average
0
Poor
1
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 64 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 A - Namibia 10 days Fly-in
Arrived on: 13-Sep-2015 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

Amazing location, fantastic experience.

Wonderful experience staying at this camp, the landscapes on the Etendeka plateau are amazing, the guides are knowledgeable and accommodating and the service at the camp is excellent.

Finally, the trekkers found and got us as close as possible to the black rhino.

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Mr J - family trip to Namibia
Arrived on: 22-Aug-2015 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

The most wonderful place to stay

Fabulous welcome at Desert Rhino Camp, singing, personalised notes on the bed, nothing was too much trouble - laundry, packed lunches, hot water bottles, information. Wonderful scenario, made very special by the staff there.

This was one of my favourite lodges.

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Mr M & Ms T from London
Arrived on: 4-Aug-2015 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent

Great fun rhino tracking!

We enjoyed rhino tracking with our guide and Save the Rhino Trust trackers. It's an amazing experience to see the rhino on foot, and from a relatively short distance (say 100-200m). The trackers made sure everyone have an opportunity to take good photos, and also positioned the group such that we had a nice angle.

Afterwards the trackers would tell us stories about the specific rhinos we saw, which we found very interesting. We would note that some rhinos have been de-horned already (part of the Namibian government's efforts to de-horn all the rhinos in the country for their safety).

Overall we found more wildlife here than in our other camp in Damaraland - elephants, girafffe, zebra, etc.

The camp was very well-run, and the staff was welcoming.

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Ms K. from Alberta
Arrived on: 26-May-2015 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Desert Rhino Camp review

This is a very special place. We really liked the fact that the lodge had partnered so effectively with the Rhino Trust to use tourism to help support rhino conservation and research.

The staff was delightful. We were greeted with a song and there was more singing and dancing one night at dinner. It was also the site of the longest game drive - ever! So much enthusiasm and a small number of guests resulted in a delightful stay.

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Mr and Mrs M from Colchester
Arrived on: 22-May-2015 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Unique

We were met at the drop-off point and driven the scenic route to the camp. Luxurious tents on stilts and the feeling that we really were in the desert.

Highlights included the singing staff (to greet us on arrival and to wave us off at the end); Kevin the jackal who was neither tame nor wild and wandered around as if he owned the place; the 2 hyenas who came almost too close for comfort after dark; foot trekking to view the desert rhinos was very "real" and we found on both days; the "Scorpion" dinner, under the stars, entertained by singing and dancing staff. This was the hottest time on our trip - it must be almost unbearable in the summer.

There is other game to spot, but not as abundant as later in the trip. This is for rhino afficianados. Probably the most friendly staff we came across - they describe themselves as "family" and all are dedicated to the work of the Save the Rhino Trust.

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Mr MW and Mr M from France
Arrived on: 23-Apr-2015 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Well worth the effort

This was probably our favourite place on the whole trip and I'm so glad we went there. It's not easy (unless you fly in) to get to but definitely worth the effort. We loved the whole landscape of Damaraland. It takes your breath away at every turn. The scale is epic and everywhere you are reminded that nothing much has changed here for tens of millions of years.

I say it every time because it's true that the staff are the highlight of the trip. They are always so friendly, warm, welcoming and fun. Here in particular they make an effort to learn your name and use it. And this was the only place on this trip that had communal dining. I am extremely shy so it is something that initially I find difficult but I also have to say that those places where we've experienced it have very often been the most pleasant stays.

If we had one gripe - and again, it's only a small one - it's that the food could have been better. Some of it was just fine but some was not so good. It was a real shame because, as it's such a small team, you meet the food and beverage manager as well as the rest of the staff and she was a lovely person and you don't want this to be a personal criticism.

The management overall was excellent and you got the impression that although this is a very small team, a team it is, and everyone went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable. Such lovely people.

We would recommend this place to anyone and would go back here at the drop of a hat, if only it weren't so far away.

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Dr L from London
Arrived on: 19-Dec-2014 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Desert Rhino Camp - the highlight of our stay

We went here to trek black Rhino, but this camp offers much more than just that. The camp is expertly managed by Elfrieda, this is reflected in every detail, from room service to restaurant and kitchen staff. Our guide Johann stood out as well, as did the guided tours.

We were surprised about the abundant wildlife with plenty desert adapted elephant, hundreds of mountain zebra galloping over rocky plains between Arizona-like table mountains, and all the antelopes, several hyenas and jackals, and roaring lions at night, making it an unexpected complete safari. It is so pitch black and clear at night that we could even distinguish 2 distant galaxies among the stars.

We stayed here three nights, and recommend this as a minimum as every walk and drive was different. A unique experience and one of the highlights of out stay.

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Mr and Mrs H - Essex
Arrived on: 1-Nov-2014 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Outstanding - highlight of the trip

From start to finish all the staff worked as a team to ensure that this was the most memorable of our stays in Namibia. They were full of fun and vitality. Great setting - "remote real Africa" - and not manicured in any way. Committed guide who enjoyed guiding as much as we enjoyed viewing a wide selection of game.

Really excited when Sheila spotted a leopard on our departure trip to Palmveg.

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Mr M & Mrs S - Edinburgh
Arrived on: 28-Sep-2014 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Desrt Rhino Camp review

This camp is a gem and all the staff were excellent, with Lillian {the housekeeping manager} being one of the most impressive people we met on the tour. The camp's small size and very remote location gives it a real old style safari feel that we certainly appreciated.

We stayed three nights so had two separate rhino excursions. Depending on where the rhino are browsing, the walk in to see them can be over tricky terrain but that only added to the excitement and the trackers from Save the Rhino Trust provided plenty of specialist information to add to that of our excellent and enthusiastic guide Johann.

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Nick and Kate - London and West Sussex
Arrived on: 23-Sep-2014 Stayed for: 2 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Good
Good

Desert Rhino Camp review

After a fantastic flight from Sossuvlei over the dunes and then up the coast over shipwrecks, seal colonies and flamingos, then Swarkopmund, we landed in the middle of the rocky desert of Damaraland, with a herd of desert elephants patrolling the airstrip. We were driven to the camp, which is pleasantly designed. The rooms are large and very comfortable, with good mosquito precautions (even though there were no insects during our stay in September).

Dining is communal, but very atmospheric, with staff singing to you and dancing at the end of the meal (this is more fun than it might sound, trust me). Dining outside and drinks at the campfire are both magical, although the indoor dining area is less successful. Johann’s tour of the night-sky is unmissable. Food is adequate without being interesting. Drinks are charged extra, and dining is communal. There is no waterhole at the camp.

The rhino tracking on foot is a bit of a lottery. The park is divided into 4 zones, and no zone is visited on two consecutive days, to avoid any chance of the rhino becoming stressed by too much human contact. While this makes sense, it also means that your chances of seeing rhino are dependent on which zone you get (some are far better than others). The trackers set off ahead of you, and then you drive around looking at what little game there might be, until the call comes that rhino have been found. Then you drive to join them and walk (usually a short way) to view the rhino from 200 metres away or so, for 15-20 minutes.

Try to arrange two morning treks to maximise your chance of seeing rhino in a good zone. We spent six hours on our first trek without sighting rhino, and then the camp messed up our onward flight the next day and couldn’t fit us in for a second trek. Luckily, we had a truly amazing encounter with an adult male rhino on our short sundowner drive, at much closer quarters and for far longer (an hour) than would have happened on foot, so it didn’t matter all that much. We also saw the elephants and a pack of 13 hyena after a kill. This makes the park sound packed with game, but it isn’t).

Staff are lovely, although there was clear evidence of tension between members of the management team, and indeed between guides and the rhino trackers. The camp is now on the New York Times list of The Top 10 Places in the World to Visit, so expect long waiting lists.

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Expert Africa comments

We were delighted to ready that overall these travellers had a super stay here and managed to have a close encounter with a rhino.

There were issues with the timing of their onward flight which Expert Africa rectified (at our cost) for these travellers. Flight time changes led to a misunderstanding about their departure time, and the option of rhino-tracking on their final morning was offered but as something of an afterthought. This led to these travellers missing that activity, for which we gave them a refund.