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“Magnificent Mars Landscapes”

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Wilderness Safaris Desert Rhino Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 8 January 2017

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.

  • Stayed: December 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank NGPAT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Public Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Desert Rhino Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 24 January 2017

Thank you NGPAT for your wonderful review, we are thrilled to read what a wonderful experience you had with us and more so that the rhino excursion although very long the first day was with the hours tracking them down. A time lapse photo of the night sky would be amazing, but the local hyaenas can be terrible menaces at night and their favourite is to take things in and around the main area :). We do hope you will visit us again, we have many more great songs to share.

Kind regards
Wilderness Safaris

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23 - 27 of 147 reviews

Reviewed 8 January 2017

What started as where are we going at turned out to be the best of our 12 day stay in this great country. Never seen such a hospitality, nice people who are really interested in what they are doing, what a great wildlife, what a great food. The tents are just fabulous, we woke up with the lion's morning call or what the hyena crying loud. The trips into the desert were one after the other amazing discovery tours, lion; black rhinos; desert elefants and all the other creatures. Spectacular sundown experiences,great eye for detail by the staff. There are only 8 tents here, so all the wilderness is for a very selected groupof nature lovers.When you arrive, you will be shaked and stirred in the landrover, but after 90 minutes you arrive what could have been Paradise on earth. Great people Denzel, Johan, Johannes Freddie the manager, Erwin and siniging and dancing Winnie!! And of course all the others of which we don't recall their names. Guys we'll be back!!

  • Stayed: December 2016, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Johan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Public Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Desert Rhino Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 24 January 2017

Dear Johan,

Thank you for your beautiful review, we are delighted to read all your great memories of your stay with us and cannot wait to share your wonderful words with Denzel, Johan, Johannes, Freddie, Erwin, Whinnie and all the great staff in camp. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.

Kind regards
Wilderness Safaris

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Reviewed 27 December 2016 via mobile

Seeing the highly endangered black rhino will be the focus of your time at Desert Rhino. Go now, before it's too late. The scenery, the rooms, the food, the guiding, and the wildlife (as sparse as it is in the desert) are all simply amazing. It's not easy to get here, and your safari days may be long, hot, and arduous, but the experience is more than worth it. Pictures do not do justice to the Mars-like landscape. Stunning!

Stayed: November 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank MisterGlobal888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Desert Rhino Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 29 December 2016

Dear MisterGlobal888,

Desert Rhino Camp is indeed a special place, even more so because of the rhino and the sterling work the Save the Rhino Trust do in taking care of these wonderful, yet highly endangered, creatures. We are so pleased you enjoyed your stay here and appreciated not only the opportunity to view rhino in their natural habitat, but also the uniqueness of the offering - the area, the wildlife, the camp and the people!

Kind regards
Wilderness Safaris

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Reviewed 14 December 2016

After a great trip with Wilderness to Botswana, we chose them again for our trip to Namibia. 12 years ago we had a bad experience at Ongava but the Botswana trip renewed my faith in WS.
We stayed 2 nights at Little Kulala , 2 nights at Desert Rhino, 3 nights at Hoanib.

DCR was the favorite of the 3 camps. It is not perfect: small tents with not that much privacy. Lumpy smelly pillows. Accomodation just fairly basic.
But I have realised I like the more rustic camps, the camps that are casual and do surprises like bush dinners, singing, dancing, yummy bush lunch ( my favorite camp in Bots was Little Vumbura, the more rustic of the lodges we stayed at ). These lodges create an authentic safari experience and I just love that.
Our guide Bons was amazing ( please tell him I saw the yellow toothed Damara ground squirrel on our last day)
Bons was knowledgable and funny, just the best!

The rhino tracking was a humbling experience. Your stay will support the Save the Rhino and it is so worth it. Looking at the creatures, I felt quite sad as I think we are fighting a war against poaching we might lose.

So to sum up: this camp is not sleek and luxurious. It is rustic and remote and offers a great safari experience in a stark environment.

Room Tip: Away from main tent
  • Stayed: November 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Chocolate74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Public Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Desert Rhino Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 15 December 2016

Dear Chocolate74,

Thank you for the amazing review and we will be sure to tell Bons you saw the brilliant squirrel :). We are delighted to hear this trip has reignited your love and faith in Wilderness Safaris and hope to see you at a couple more of our camps soon.

Thank you again
Wilderness Safaris

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Reviewed 11 December 2016

Wonderful camp in the middle of the desert. All the team is great and our guide, Johann, was just perfect. We could meet with the Save the Rhino Trust extremely dedicated people which are doing an excellent work for the preservation of the black rhino. The lodge is comfortable and the ambiance very good.
We highly recommend a stay at Desert Rhino Camp. Hope to come back one day.
Thanks to all the team.
Sophie G.
France

  • Stayed: November 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Sowhat32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WildernessSafaris, Public Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Desert Rhino Camp, responded to this reviewResponded 15 December 2016

Dear Sowhat32,

We too hope you will visit us again soon. Thank you for your beautiful words - we will be sure to share them with all our great staff in camp.

Thank you again
Wilderness Safaris

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Additional Information about Wilderness Safaris Desert Rhino Camp

Address: Palmwag Concession - South, Namibia
Region: Namibia > Otjozondjupa Region > Damaraland
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 15 Speciality Lodging in Damaraland
Hotel Class:3 star — Wilderness Safaris Desert Rhino Camp 3*
Number of rooms: 8
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 

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