• Walking in Damaraland Namibia
    Opening 01 June 2018
  • Sundowners in Damaraland Namibia
  • Damaraland Scenery

Experience the stark beauty of Kaokoveld’s wilderness on foot

The Etendeka Overnight Walking Trail Experience set in the foothills of the Grootberg Massif is a unique new offering from the Etendeka Lodge Company and the Etendeka Community Trust (comprising the Anabeb and Omatendeka Community Conservancies). The experience promises to be an authentic and exhilarating engagement with nature. Trek through one of Nambia’s most remote and untouched landscapes on foot, have sundowners as you look out over never ending vistas of ancient rock formations and sleep under a blanket of stars. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to connect with nature.

A unique guided journey into a remote conservation area filled with desert life.

Join some of Namibia’s most experienced and knowledgeable guides as they introduce you to the incredible life that lies largely hidden in this seemingly harsh but breathtaking landscape. With magnificent views of the ancient Etendeka basalt lava flows and flat top mountains, these rocky plains are home to an array of desert adapted plants and animals. Our passionate guides know the area intimately and will share anecdotes and information about this geologically rich and diverse environment. Track through dry Mopani shaded river beds and past other-worldly rocky outcrops as our guides identify spoor, indigenous animal, bird and plant species. Exploring this terrain on foot is a heightened and invigorating meeting of man and nature.

Sleeping under open Namibian skies

Namibia is one of the top destinations in the world for stargazing with its unusually dark night skies. On a cloudless night you will be overwhelmed by the spectacular sight of the Milky Way stretching overhead.

The two rustic overnight camps make the most of sleeping under the breathtaking desert sky. The five sleeping platforms are raised off the ground to ensure that guests are safe and comfortable, while having the unparalleled experience of falling asleep to the night sounds of the wilderness under a starry sky. Comfortable ‘bed-rolls’ are your bed for the night, each have inflatable mattresses, 100% cotton linen and duvets for your comfort.

Each sleeping platform is equipped with a toilet and basin attached to the platform.

The sleeping platforms have a shaded area for that well-deserved afternoon siesta but the shade folds away at night so that you can fall asleep to the beauty of the open skies. There are communal open-air bathrooms including the typical much loved Etendeka Bucket Shower situated between the platforms.

Camp One / River Camp: looks out over a water hole next to an established trail used by wildlife. Although the experience is not built around game viewing the location allows for safe sightings of wildlife including Hartmann Mountain Zebra, Oryx and Steenbok and if you are extremely lucky, the rare desert-adapted Elephant and Black Rhino.

Camp Two / Mountain Camp: lies over-hanging the cliffs on top of Crystal Mountain, named after the incredible show of crystal quartz and agate that sparkle against its ancient rocky outcrops.

Wholesome meals are cooked over, and enjoyed around, the open fire with your guide being your host and companion.

We offer simple comfort in a rugged and harsh landscape with an emphasis on a highly personalised, ‘back to basics’ wilderness encounter. 

Stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing adventure - Detailed Itinerary

Fitness requirments

We do not believe in dictating to guests how fit they need to be in order to partake in this experience.  Good health, and a good level of fitness, paired with a love for the outdoors, is the perfect combination. Any person above the age of 12 years who is in good physical condition and is capable of walking for 6 to 7 hours should be able to undertake this adventure. Be aware that the heat is an additional consideration and guests should come prepared with a hat, walking stick and sun screen. It remains the guest’s responsibility to ensure that they are healthy and fit enough to undertake and enjoy this activity.

Etendeka Mountain Camp reserves the right to disallow any guests on the trail who may not be healthy or fit enough to safely undertake the Walking Experience.

Remember day and night temperatures can vary so always pack something warm for the evening.

Your safety remains our focus as you experience what this desert wilderness has to share. Our guides do not carry weapons but are very well trained to avoid conflict with wild animals. In case of emergency, our guides are in touch, via hand held radios, with the camp who can provide first aid or evacuation support if necessary. We strongly recommend that all guests take out travel and medical insurance for the duration of their stay in Namibia and on the Etendeka Concession. Please be aware that the Etendeka Concession is in a very remote area in Namibia and there is no close-by rescue service, Etendeka Lodge Company does have suitable Evacuation Insurance in the unlikely event that a guest needs emergency evacuation.

Detailed Itinerary

Choose either the 2 or 3 night experience with the additional option of extending your experience with a night or two at the original Etendeka Mountain Camp.

Day 1: Palmwag Lodge pick up point to River Camp

Meet at Palmwag Lodge on the Uinab River at the normal pickup time and point for Etendeka Mountain Camp. Hand your luggage over to the driver who will safely deliver your luggage to the River Camp.  Start your walk from Palmwag Lodge into the Etendeka Concession for approximately 2 to 3 hours to your 1st overnight camp.  The scenery is incredible as you access the concession on foot and look out onto the pristine rocky plains set against the Namibian sky. Your experienced guide will give you a sense of what awaits as he identifies desert plants and trees. Keen birders and photographers should have their binoculars and cameras on hand.

Day 2: River Camp to Mountain Camp

After your first night under the stars wake up early to the sounds and smells of the wilderness. Enjoy a light breakfast, pack your lunch pack, travel snacks and water into the containers and backpacks provided and start your walk to Mountain Camp. The route is spectacular and your guide will be able to identify animal spoor and share information about the history of the area. Stop en route for refreshments and aim to reach Mountain Camp by early-afternoon. The distance of this walk is between 15km and 20km and should take about 6 to 7 hours, including stops, depending on the groups fitness level.

Mountain Camp is situated on the top of Crystal Mountain with spectacular views and an abundance of crystals and exquisite rock formations. In the afternoon you will be able do a short sundowner walk around the plateau. Guests will enjoy a simple but delicious and wholesome dinner around the fire. Settle in on your sleeping platform perched on the edge of the mountain and enjoy the night under the stars.

Day 3: Mountain Camp to Mountain Camp or departure

  • Guests who have booked the two-night experience; will enjoy a short morning walk or transfer down to Etendeka Mountain Camp and get the scenic nature drive back to Palmwag Lodge or opt to stay an additional night at Etendeka Mountain Camp.  
  • Guests who have booked the three-night experience; after an early rise, light breakfast and embark on a 4 to 5 hour walk around Crystal Mountain and down into the valley below. Return to camp for lunch, afternoon siesta followed by a short sundowner walk in the afternoon. Overnight at Mountain Camp

Day 4: A short walk down to Etendeka Mountain Camp where you  have the option of picking up the scenic nature drive back to Palmwag Lodge or opt to stay an additional night at Etendeka Mountain Camp.