It's all there in previous 5 star excellent reviews and I find it hard to think of anything new to say.
Having already stayed at 3 Wilderness Safari Camps in Namibia we came to Desert Rhino. It proved yet another different type of camp. We didn't fly in to this one, but rather parked at the pick-up point by the main road north, and were driven in by 4x4 in a journey taking about 1.5 hours.
What an absolutely remarkable, outrageously stunning landscape we found ourselves in. By all means come here to look for Rhino, but end up just drinking in the stunning, ever changing, landscapes. Semi desert, sand, flat topped mountains, red rocks scattered everywhere, and then find yourself in dry river beds with green foliage on the trees which somehow have roots that reach water!
The accommodation is slightly more 'rustic' here than at other camps, but it's by no means basic. The tented accommodation is still very acceptable and comfortable. The main camp area is different too, with one large table so everyone normally eats together. But still the same cheerful and very competent service from the staff that you come to expect at a Wilderness Safaris Camp. We had our lovely Christmas dinner here.
The main purpose of visiting is primarily to go out looking for Rhino, in association with Save The Rhino Trust. The Rhino are not collared or electronically chipped so, even with the experience of the trackers and guides, it's a bit hit and miss with locating them, and although they work tirelessly to give guests a sighting, it's not guaranteed.
The first day we went out we were out for 11.5 hours in the 4x4, and even on the way back after such a long day, our guide never lost his enthusiasm to show us other things. Thank you Erwin. We saw a mother and 2 year old calf from a distance as they trotted away, the mother being very protective of the calf. Then we found two males together and got excellent views later in the day. The second day was a bit shorter, but we only saw one Rhino resting under a tree, with a tiny glimpse of another. Not everyone does Rhino treks two days in a row, as you can do shorter general drives, but we just went for it. You certainly have to be prepared for a long day in the back of a 4x4 travelling over very bumpy ground, as you don't end up walking that far to see the Rhino. But we found it exhilarating, especially with the landscapes on show.
Highlights were the scenery, the bush dinner the camp staff arranged away from the camp one evening and the Spotted Hyena that walked within 5 metres of the 4x4 vehicle one morning as we set off. Close enough to hear it's paws on the gritty sand.
I had hoped for the opportunity to to do some time lapse star photography during the night, but was advised that that same Hyena often visited the camp and may well take an interest in having a chew of my Nikon if I left it out overnight…….. just info for any photographers planning a visit.
** I would visit Desert Rhino again. I'd even be prepared to miss seeing Rhino, but would never tire of the landscapes on show.
I have also reviewed other Wilderness Safaris Camps at Hoanib Skeleton Coast, Doro Nawas and Serra Cafema…… all excellent but so different to each other.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Desert Rhino Camp offers an original and exclusive wilderness experience and the possibility of seeing some of the largest free-ranging population of desert-adapted black rhino in Africa. The camp set in a wide valley sometimes flush with grass, has eight large meru-style tents with en-suite bathrooms. A tented dining and living area and plunge pool offers uninterrupted views of the desert and mountains, while extraordinary welwitschia plants dot the plain in front of camp. Activities include rhino tracking on foot and by vehicle with Save the Rhino Trust trackers (an NGO responsible for the conservation of the black rhino in the area), full-day outings with a picnic lunch, birding and nature drives. Other species seen in the area include Hartmann's mountain zebra, giraffe and lion. Desert Rhino Camp is run in conjunction with Save the Rhino Trust so in addition to gaining amazing insight into the ecology and conservation of this area, a portion of guest revenure goes to the Trust and its conservation operations. ... more less