These arid plains set against the Etendeka basalt lava flows and flat top mountains are nothing short of splendid and although seemingly inhospitable are full of hidden life.
Etendeka does not push the game viewing experience on the 50 000 ha conservancy but rather an authentic engagement with nature and this remote wilderness. There are no fences or management of wildlife. Animals are free to move in and out of the area depending on the time of year, their movements driven by food and water.
“Every day at Etendeka is different,” says Boas, one of the passionate and extremely knowledgeable guides at Etendeka.
A minimum two night stay is required at Etendeka. Your fully inclusive stay will include all meals, all local drinks and all activities during your stay. An example of your activities and a suggested itinerary is listed below:
Scenic & Gameviewing Transfer to the Camp
The hour and a half drive through the Etendeka Mountain Camp concession to the lodge is a highlight and sets the tone for the rest of your experience. This wilderness landscape is harsh, untouched, remote and breathtaking. Your introduction to these ancient rocky plains in the foothills of the Grootberg massif is an unforgettable guided nature transfer. No private vehicles are permitted, it's 4x4 terrain so leave your vehicle at the Palmwag Lodge on the Uinab River where it is well looked after and get ready for the journey to one of Damarland's most untamed nature camps.
Self-guided Sundowner Walk
A short self-guided ‘sundowner walk’ is an option in the afternoon after arrival at the camp where guests get the opportunity to walk up a hill behind the camp to get a better idea of the spectacular setting and location of the camp
Guided Morning Nature Walk
An early morning outside shower interrupted only by bird calls reminds you that you are very far away from everything except mother nature.
Walking is a major offering at Etendeka so after breakfast we set off into the wilderness with our walking sticks, hats, sun block. Tracking through a dry Mopani shaded river bed your knowledgeable guide identifies various animal spoor and rare plant species and there is the quiet promise of what you might encounter on the walk.
The geology of the area is incredible and the crystals and agate that litter some of the plains are exquisite and ancient. The walk is a viewing only experience, true to Etendeka's philosophy everything is left as it was found.
Afternoon Scenic & Game Drive
The scenic drive in the afternoon allows guests to travel to other parts of the concession and to have a better opportunity to see the wide variety of animals that have adapted to this harsh environment. All activities are accompanied by a guide; vehicles are restricted to the regular tracks and walks follow routine paths.
After dinner, if conditions are right, Dennis, your host, will invite you outside for a star gazing experience and will point out the various constellations along the Milky Way. The guests from the Northern Hemisphere will be thrilled to see the Southern Cross and Sirius the brightest star in the earth's night sky. Dennis is incredibly well informed and gives all guests the opportunity to look through the telescope. It's unbelievable as he points out two of the moons of Jupiter and the rings around Saturn. A magical end to a day full of wonders.