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Etendeka Mountain Camp, Damaraland

Etendeka Mountain Camp

Located on the open Etendeka lava plains, Etendeka Camp is a small, rustic ecolodge surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery. Run by owners Dennis and Claire Leibenberg, the emphasis here is on a no-frills stay that focuses on immersing yourself in the nature around you. The camp has a traditional feel, with guests staying in simple tents featuring open-air bucket showers. The small number of tents means each guest can enjoy a personalized service and relaxed atmosphere, both at the camp and on the game drives and walks offered by the knowledgeable guides.

Our rating: Medium

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Rooms

Accommodation is in en suite meru tents, each of which is connected by a pathway to the main tent. Rustic in style, they feature flushing toilets and outdoor bucket showers that maintain the property’s low-impact theme. Their neutral colors also help them to blend into the natural surroundings. The comfortable beds feature cotton linen, while the electric lighting is powered by solar energy. Windows in the side of the tents allow for plenty of natural light and ventilation.

Location

The lodge is set in the foothills of the Grootberg massif within the 400 square kilometer private Etendeka Concession. The surrounding area is home to good populations of desert-adapted elephant, Hartman’s mountain zebra, giraffe, springbok, kudu and oryx, as well as prolific birdlife. The camp is unfenced and accessed by 4x4 along a rugged road. Etendeka’s private airstrip is 20 minutes from the camp.

Food and drink

Meals are simple, fresh and wholesome, cooked on open fires to be enjoyed beneath the stars. Continental breakfasts are served each morning, followed by lunch and afternoon tea between game drives. Dinners are two courses, and there’s a well-stocked bar serving a variety of beverages, with sundowners being an integral part of the bush experience.

Facilities and activities

The camp is simple in terms of facilities, but the focus here is on exploring the surrounding wilderness. You’ll head out in open game drive vehicles, led by a friendly guide who will share their knowledge and enthusiasm for the area’s wildlife and plants. You can also go on guided walking safaris to gain a different perspective of the bush, or climb a nearby hill to enjoy scenic sundowners.

Environmental and social responsibility

Etendeka Mountain Camp is a true ecolodge, with almost all of its energy needs being generated through solar panels. It is one of just a handful of Namibian camps to have been awarded the highest rank in the Namibian Ecoawards. All on site plants are indigenous to the area. The people in the Omatendeka and Anabeb communal conservancies hold the exclusive concession rights for the Etendeka Concession, with all profits from the concession directly benefitting the local people living in these remote areas.

Our opinion

‘Etendeka’ means 'layered hills', reflecting the surrounding landscape. Rustic in style, Etendeka nevertheless delivers a first class experience, offering what we believe to be some of the best guiding in Namibia within beautiful natural scenery.

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