Reviews of Etendeka Mountain Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Etendeka Mountain Camp review
The drive to Etendeka was a game drive in itself which was lovely.
After Damaraland, it was a lot less friendly and a bit rustic and although the latter had its charm, we quickly realised we preferred a bit more comfort!
Some of the activities were affected by those who we were placed with- and while this is not the fault of the camp who have no control over the manner and behaviour of guests, unfortunately it does affect our judgement. We could not wait to leave largely to get away from one particular family with whom we had had to share all our activities. As a couple rather than a family we always tended to get placed where there was space. Generally this was not a problem at all, far from it, and we met some great people, but on this occasion it was very tiresome.
Food was not great, and certainly the vegetarian options were very limited.
The star gazing was an added bonus and we enjoyed the walk very much.
On reflection, we felt that we should not have gone to both Damaraland and Etendeka as there were considerable similarities in what we saw/did and we would have preferred to have had more time in the area closer to Damaraland or been able to see more of Twyfelfontein or the Skeleton Coast.
Great safari at Etendeka with Dennis & Bonnie
Etendeka is a very special place - it is set in a remote, semi-desert, mountainous area. Dennis, the host and Bonnie, the main guide were the most knowledgeable (about wildlife and Namibian conservation) people we met on our trip.
Unlike other safari camps, where early morning and late afternoon drives seem to be the norm, here there is a 3-4 hour morning walk. You see less ‘big’ game but a lot more of the smaller, more intimate stuff - birds, vegetation, tracks etc. and there is much more time for explanations and discussion. Our 2nd morning walk with Bonnie was one of the highlights of our whole trip - the high plateau, ‘crystal’ walk with views you can only dream of. Here we saw the elusive klipspringer.
We saw less here on afternoon drives than elsewhere and none of the ‘big 5’ (although a lion was outside a fellow traveller’s tent during the night and there was evidence of rhino droppings) but we did see something Dennis said he had only seen 3 times in 25 years - a desert adapted tortoise.
The food was the best of anywhere, again we loved the communal dining and Dennis was a great host with his explanations, stories and night sky telescope (I’d never seen Saturn’s rings or the detail of the moon before).
To explain the two only ‘good’ ratings below:
Rooms: we loved the simple tents and bucket shower but it would be misleading to give them an excellent rating.
Facilities: this is a simpler, less luxurious camp than some others (but we liked it for that). If I had to force myself to gripe it would be that the small pool was covered over. I had a fleeting fancy to sit with my feet in it one hot early afternoon. I’m sure Dennis or Bonnie would have uncovered it if I had asked but they weren’t around and I was too lazy to pursue it.
A unique and memorable stop
We thoroughly enjoyed Etendeka and its unique style. It was just wonderful to be so isolated amidst such beautiful surroundings.
The tents were terrific and Dennis and Bonny were extremely attentive to our needs and comfort -- this was especially so while my husband was suffering pretty severe consequences during the first day from something he had eaten (elsewhere!). He quickly recuperated and was able to fully enjoy the rest of the stay. As stated the accommodations and meals are simple in one sense but they are also high quality. Food was delicious and the communal ambience - and evening conversations - were lovely. Great walks and rides in the surrounding areas.
it was quit impressive to see what it's taken to both preserve this land and to address the practical needs of making it livable and sustainable.
This was the most remote location we stayed in. We were picked up at Palmwag Lodge by the guide Bonnie in a 4WD for what turned out to be an 18km game drive to the camp.This is a tented lodge with bucket showers but the tents are very well appointed,
It is all-inclusive with food served buffet-style and was good. The owner who opened the camp over 25 years ago was around at meal times but did not conduct any guiding when we were there. However he was very informative about the area and with his telescope showed us the fabulous night sky.
We had two fine game and nature drives with Bonnie who was a font of knowledge re flora and fauns.
The two of us have mixed views. I loved it, my wife was a little less enthusiastic.
Location out of this world. Superb.
Chef needs changing - or 'drying out'
All seems a little haphazard
Unique wilderness camp opportunity
If you can possibly fit Etendeka into your schedule, do so, because it is a unique opportunity to stay in a wilderness camp with a host, Dennis, who is legendary in having helped develop the whole wildlife conservancy concept that so much of Namibia's tourism is based on.
The terrain to reach Etendeka is so rough that they come to collect you in their own 4x4 from a point a couple of hours from the camp. Once there you will sleep in a comfortable tent with an attached outside toilet and shower - more than adequate. The sensation of standing on a mountain top next morning and realising that however far you look in any direction, there is no other habitation, is what Etendeka is all about.
An en-expected bonus is that due to the lack of light pollution, the opportunity for star gazing is exceptional, and Dennis will be delighted to demonstrate his very sophisticated telescope.
Plenty of wildlife, but the solitude is the primary attraction here.
Etendeka Mountain Camp review
A very different place - definitely not luxury but it was fun.
The communal nature worked well - everybody eats at a communal table and does the same activities together (walk in the morning and drive in the afternoon). It is a stunning beautiful and remote setting.
Fantastic getaway at Etendeka Mountain Camp
Damaraland is enchanting and Etendeka has a great atmosphere - we highly recommend this to those who are happy to put luxury to one side to experience this beautiful place.
The 4WD drive in from Palmweg is stunning and is a game drive in itself. The double tents have stunning views, spotless outside toilet and the famous drop bucket showers. Everyone eats together and so this was good chance to meet other travellers, some of whom we bumped into later at other locations. Our teenagers were pleased to meet other kids of a similar age.
The owner Dennis and our guide Bonny made us feel were in a special place. Dennis has a telescope and encouraged us all to look and understand the Southern Sky. Over dinner Dennis was happy to share his views on the Namibian environment and to discuss related political issues.
We highly recommend visiting Etendeka Mountain Camp and we wished we had more time to walk in this area.
Wonderfully remote and close to nature
We loved the location, far from the nearest road and set deep in the real countryside.
A very pleasing lack of pretension in the accommodation, food and service. It felt very comfortable and in many ways a more authentic experience than the more luxurious lodges.
Great experience at Etendeka
Really fun place to stay in a wonderful setting. Great opportunity to walk and appreciate the landscape on foot in the morning and from from the vehicle in the afternoon.
Mike, the interim manager, was good company and particularly informative about the night sky. He also organised an excellent picnic lunch on the day we left. Apart from the stars, the highlights were Freddie, the black rhino and the drive up to the plateau with great views and impressive crystals on the ground.
Very comfortable tents with attached shower/toilet bock and excellent camp chairs to relax in outside. A great experience and apart from everything else we met some interesting people, with interaction encouraged by the communal dining.