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DAMARALAND CAMP RATES: Damaraland Camp
DAMARALAND CAMP - DAMARALAND,
Damaraland Camp is a rare venture
which integrates communities, the environment and sustainable wildlife
and has been rated as the most successful eco-tourism
venture in Namibia. The 80,000-hectare Torra Wildlife Conservancy has
been proclaimed as a result of the partnership between Wilderness Safaris
and the local community. Located on the north bank of the Huab River
Valley, 90 kilometres inland from
camp presents endless vistas across stark plains, ancient valleys and
The brooding mass of the Brandberg
provides a focal point, almost 100 kilometres to the south. Early
morning mists, generated by the meeting of the icy Atlantic and the
warm land mass along the Skeleton Coast, drift inland along the river
line, providing sustenance to varied life forms. The river flows
only once or twice during the short rainy season, seldom breaking
through the dunes to the ocean. Damaraland Camp was rated as one
of the top destinations of the 'Ultimate Safari' in the March 1999
issue of Condé Nast Traveler. Damaraland Camp is
owned and operated by Wilderness Safaris.
For images of Damaraland Camp, click Damaraland
Ten uniquely designed traditional safari cottages with en-suite facilities provide accommodation. The stone living area combines dining room, bar and swimming pool. An open campfire and outdoor ‘boma’ are enjoyed during calm evenings and stargazing is superb, thanks to the crystal-clear night skies.
• 7 x Twin bedded tents
• 2 x Double tents
• 1 x Family tent – accommodates four guests
• Large 60m² tents with thatch roof and canvas wraparound. The doors are tent flaps with zips. The bathroom walls are off white with a rugged finish resembling local village clay walls.
• The entire room and bathroom is mosquito proof.
• The bathroom is open plan with a toilet double basin and a shower.
• 2 x ¾ extra-length beds, closet, tea station, 2 x ottomans.
• Valley-facing with wonderful views of the mountain from a private, shaded veranda.
• Soaps, shampoos, body lotion, torch and insect repellents are supplied in each tent.
• Safe in each tent.
• Damaraland camp can accommodate 22 guests in total.
• Large open living area with dining room and bar. Open fireplace under the stars.
• Swimming pool next to the bar.
• Small curio shop stocking primarily clothes.
• Library providing guide books and books related to Namibia
Daily laundry service is included; however, laundry facilities are limited due to a water shortage in the area.
Activities revolve around nature
drives into the Huab River System in search of Desert Elephants and other
specially adapted flora and fauna. Walking in the Damaraland area is
spectacular and is highly recommended as an afternoon activity. With
prior notice, a trip can be arranged to the famous Twyfelfontein rock
engravings located nearby. A full day excursion is available to track
the endangered desert-adapted Black Rhino, subject to the availability
of a vehicle. Private vehicles for these excursions can be booked at
an additional cost subject to availability either prior to departure
or directly with the Camp Manager. Star-gazing is "par excellence" because
of the crystal-clear night skies. A cultural visit to a local farm homestead is also on offer.
The natural laws of food and water availability
dictate the movement and cycles of the rare and endangered Desert Elephant,
Oryx, Kudu, Giraffe, Hartmann's Mountain Zebra, Springbok and other species
that have come to terms with life in a desert environment. Even Lion
the area occasionally. About 85% of guests who spend two nights or more
at Damaraland Camp see the Desert Elephant. Birding specials include
Monteiro's Hornbill, Carp's Black Tit, Ruppells Korhaan and Ludwig's
This is a wonderful area for enjoying the desert environment. There are no large concentrations of game, as the desert cannot sustain the numbers. What makes this area fascinating is that this is the Africa of old, with no fences, and local herdsmen with their livestock live side by side with the wildlife. The Torra Community are shareholders in the camp, so they benefit directly from employment and have an equity stake in the venture.
The Torra Conservancy
Damaraland (which includes Damaraland
Nawas Camp and Desert
Rhino Camp) was voted in the top
three of all eco-tourist projects around the world by the British Travel
Writers guild. It is situated in the mountainous region in north-west
Namibia inhabited by the Damara people and named after them. Originally,
it was an area occupied primarily by the Damara people, but it soon became
the home of other tribes such as the Hereros and the displaced Riemvasmakers
of South Africa. Today, many residents of Damaraland are thus of mixed
heritage, but most consider themselves Damara.
The Damara name is derived from
the Nama word "Dama", meaning "who walked here".
This is because the Damara were known to the Nama people by the footprints
they left around waterholes. From their vantage-point in the mountains,
the Damara were quick to spot resources such as water or animals,
on the plains below, and they were therefore able to be the first
groups to reach these essential resources.
The Damaraland community comprises
a unique group of people who have recognized the value of the wildlife
on their land and formed a Community Wildlife Conservancy to protect
it. Until 1981, Damaraland was unprotected and open to poachers,
mostly from outside the area. Eventually, Namibian NGO's formed
a game-guard system with people from the community, and interest
in the welfare of the wildlife increased. After halting the poaching
activities, there were many ideas on how to conserve the area and
its resources sustainably.
In 1996, Wilderness Safaris joined
the community's conservation efforts and co-established what is now
considered the most successful community-based tourism venture in
Namibia. In 1998, the success of Damaraland Camp helped the community
to have their land proclaimed as the Torra Conservancy. It is now
the leader of four Community Wildlife Conservancies in the country.
Today, the Torra Conservancy is one of the most successful in all
of Africa. It meets all its management costs and makes a profit which
is then re-invested into community projects for their benefit. It
is the first community conservancy which is able to sustain itself
without donor funding.
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further information about the National Parks of Namibia, click Nam
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