Located on the north face of the Huab River Valley, in Namibia's picturesque Namib Desert, Damaraland Camp presents endless vistas across stark plains, ancient valleys, and soaring peaks. Apart from spectacular scenery, one of the great highlights of this section of the ephemeral Huab River is the small number of unique desert-adapted elephant that populate this harsh environment.
Damaraland is also home to the (even scarcer) desert-adapted black rhinoceros, oryx, kudu, springbok, and rare endemics such as Hartmann's mountain zebra and Damara dik-dik (one of the world's smallest antelope species). These animals survive through various physical and behavioral adaptations to the dry conditions, and are sustained by plant-life that receives its moisture from mist generated by the icy Atlantic Ocean and warm land mass along Namibia's Skeleton Coast; this mist drifts in along the dry course of the Huab River in the early mornings, adding to the surreal atmosphere of the setting.
Also occurring in the region are a number of interesting species of birds (including several endemics), and some fascinating species of desert-adapted plants (such as the bizarre Welwitschia mirabilis).
The camp itself is small and intimate, with ten spacious adobe-style thatched cottages. Each faces the valley view and has en suite facilities, luxurious bedding, cool wooden floors, and a veranda. The common area combines a dining room, comfortable sitting area and bar in a contemporary setting under thatch. The swimming pool is a perfect place to spend a lazy siesta. An open campfire and outdoor 'boma' are enjoyed during calm evenings and stargazing is superb, thanks to the crystal-clear night skies.
Activities at Damaraland Camp center around guided nature drives in open Landrovers and walks into the Huab River System to learn more about the fascinating ecology of this section of the Namib Desert. Tracking desert-adapted elephants with your highly trained guide is an absolute highlight - one of Southern Africa's great and unique experiences. A late afternoon hike into the mountains surrounding camp to catch the sunset over this beautiful landscape provides for scenic memories that will not easily be forgotten.
The project that eventually led to the establishment of Damaraland Camp was over two years in the making. The agreement that was eventually entered into between Wilderness Safaris and the 'Riemvasmaker' people of the area represented a major breakthrough in eco-tourism in Southern Africa. A partnership was created with significant benefits to the local people, including revenues generated by bed-night levies, provision of services, and salaries and wages.
Wilderness Safaris was granted an initial 10 year management contract, at the end of which the camp and all its facilities will fall into the ownership of the local community (which will have the option of renewing the contract, engaging another operator, or managing the camp themselves). Such has been the enthusiasm among the 'Riemvasmaker' people that they became the first community in Namibia to have their land proclaimed a Community Wildlife Conservancy, thereby greatly enhancing the chances of survival of the region's many fascinating and endangered species of animals and plants. Damaraland Camp is now a benchmark in the world of eco-tourism, having won myriad awards in the area of conservation and community empowerment.For more information about Damaraland Camp call toll-free: 888.227.8311
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