The lodge and campsite (we camped) are located about 12km down a single-track farm road off the main road. It's a very hard place to review, as while the campsite location is excellent, with stunning views over the veld towards the dunefield, there are several problems with this facility.
The first is that if you are heading to or from Sesriem, staying at this location forces you to take one of the worse roads in the area, which is in parts very tyre un-friendly and poorly maintained.
Secondly, campers appear to be seen as little more than a diversified revenue stream for Namtib Lodge. As a camper, you may not use the bar or restaurant, may not go on organised game drives or use any of the lodge facilities. When we arrived they took the travel agent voucher and said goodbye without even explaining where we were to go to find the campsite.
They use the term "biosphere reserve", but while this implies some sort of active scientific programme in reality it is little more than an active goat/sheep/cattle farm with some additional game. At least twice a day your campsite will be overrun with hundreds of goats or sheep as they are led to day pastures and then back in the afternoon. Since the campsite is not fenced, and they are driven right through it, this means masses of goat droppings all over, leading to an increase in biting flies and other insects.
Each campsite has its own braai area and a shady tree under which to camp. They are spacious and well-spaced and share a common toilet/shower block equipped with donkey boilers which you will need to light for warm water. Not enough wood is supplied for evening and morning, so if some campers want an evening shower, you might have trouble getting warm water in the morning unless you do as we did and used our own wood.
When we asked to see the inside of one of the lodge chalets and with great reluctance we were permitted in on the condition "that you don't touch anything". It appears that campers are an afterthought and are not made to feel particularly welcome. This was not just our own experience, but also that of some German campers who commented as much to us. Some SA campers who had booked for two nights left after the first.
If you ask the owner's permission they allow you to do your own game drives.
We cannot speak for the chalet accommodation but as far as the campsite is concerned - fine for a one-night stopover, but no more.
I would rate the campsite 4/5 and the hospitality 2/5.
- Also Known As:
- Namtib Desert Lodge Namibia/Namib-Naukluft Park