Save the Rhino Walking Safari, Namibia


Will I love This Holiday?

Travel Style: Walking safari
Cost: $5,500 USD ex. flights
Single Supplement: $160 USD
Where: Damaraland, Namibia
Length: 10 Days
Physical Rating: Moderate: walking, some hiking on uneven ground. Some altitude.
Right For: Moderate to active adults
Children: 18+ (under 18? Contact us)
What: Tracking black rhino
Group Size: Limited to 6 plus your guide & backup team.
Accommodations: 3 nights at Palmwag Lodge. 6 nights camping in basic 2-man tents. Camp equipment, set-up, & meal-prep provided.

The Scoop

1. Namibia is Unforgettable: with its red-sand deserts, starkly beautiful mountains, and star-spangled night skies that seem to stretch forever, Namibia is like no other place in Africa.

2. Track Endangered Black Rhino and … : A special program in conjunction with local rangers and the community allows for a non-threatening, once-in-a-lifetime, on-the-ground look at these amazing animals. Learn spotting techniques from the experts.

3. Let the Desert Reveal Its Wild Secrets: Certain animals, including the black rhino, elephant, and even lion, have developed special adaptations for survival in the harsh conditions of the Namibian desert. These specially adapted animals, are like those found nowhere else in the world.

4. Zebra, Giraffe and Orex - OH MY! The wildlife is relatively relaxed here (there is almost no hunting.) Zebra rest on each other’s necks, giraffe graze, springbok pronk, and orex wander, all possibly just feet (meters) from where you stand.

5. Namibia is a Conservation leader: When Namibia gained independence in 1990, its new Constitution was the first in African to include wildlife and habitat conservation provisions.


Is This Trip Right For Me?

We will be walking from Palmwag Lodge through the Palmwag concession to the Hoanib River. This is an area where other tourists don’t get to go and the only people operating here are the Save the Rhino Team scouts patrolling. The itinerary and the exact route will be flexible as we will be tracking the desert adapted wildlife that roam in this area and the distance covered each day will depend on the fitness of the group.

We will be walking and tracking every morning breaking for brunch or lunch and after a siesta period we will be driving in the open 4x4 safari vehicles in the afternoon looking for wildlife and enjoying the spectacular scenery.

Activity Level: You need to be relatively fit to do this safari, i.e be able to walk about 10-15kms (6-9 miles) per day). The terrain will be mostly sandy and rocky. There will be times where me might have to climb small hills for better views.

Camp Conditions: We have a full back up team that will take care of our camping needs (setting and breaking of camp, cooking etc) so you just bring yourself and your personal belongings to Namibia.

We will be staying in 2-man, basic but comfortable, dome tents. All supplies, including bedding (stretchers, sleeping bags, and pillows), will be provided. Just bring your personal necessities. The camp, including “bush toilet” and “bush shower,” will be set-up in the afternoons. After a light breakfast, the camp is re-packed, transported and set up again at each site by our support team. All meals are provided. Dinners will be prepared by our support team over the camp fire. Note: You may want to bring additional snack bars for the walks.

Weather: June is late autumn in Namibia. Early morning and late afternoon will be quite cool (especially in the tents) but daytime temperatures can be warm so be best to dress in layers. There is a chance of a cold spell during that time of the year so participants should be prepared as the nights will then be cold especially in tents. Midday temperatures can get warm to hot in this part of the country.

Insects:There will be some mosquitoes and other bugs, we advise our clients to bring insect repellent. Since the trip will be in our winter we do expect that there will not be too many insects. During the heat of the day there is a possibility of quite a few small non-biting flies. We advise that you speak to your local travel clinic for more info.

Malaria: This part of Namibia is not a malaria area. If guests will travel on to Etosha and the Caprivi then we advise that they take malaria prophylactics. We advise that you speak to your local travel clinic for more info.

Safety: Namibia is a very safe country, but as with all destinations in the world, clients need to practice caution when they are in cities, at airports etc. On our walking safari, we will have an experienced guide and rangers with us at all times. Clients will get a safety briefing before we start after which indemnity forms will be signed. We will be walking and camping in wildlife areas with potential interactions with dangerous animals.

The Damaraland area of Namibia is arguably one of the most scenic places in Africa and one of the few places where there are areas where people have not been to or developed and wildlife still roam freely outside of National Parks.

The group size will be limited to 6 to ensure an exclusive experience and a better chance of getting close to the wildlife.

Your Guides

Nick Buys: For this safari, your guide will be Nick Buys. Nick was born and raised in the beautiful country of Namibia, a privilege that made Africa and its wildlife a concrete part of his childhood. He completed an Eco Training field guiding course in 2002 and has been guiding birding, wildlife and cultural safaris throughout Africa ever since.

After completing his Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree from the University of Pretoria, he worked extensively in the Caprivi region where he was involved in various wildlife research and community projects, including assembling courses for the training of field guides. Two years after that he decided to leave the veterinary field and commit himself full-time to tourism and conservation.

Nick's knowledge of the birds and wildlife of this wonderful continent has led to him being considered as one of the leading guides of the region. He is currently based in Windhoek, Namibia from where he leads birding and wildlife safaris to all parts of Africa and the World.

Additionally, professionally trained local wildlife rangers will accompany your party on the safari walk. There will be a support team to care for your camp and meals.


ITINERARY 

  • DAY 0: ARRIVE WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA

    Transportation from the airport to Windhoek, the first night accomodations, and dinner are not provided, but can be arranged. Contact us when you book.

  • DAY 1: OUR ADVENTURE AWAITS! DRIVE WINDHOEK TO PALMWAG

    After breakfast we will depart Windhoek in our comfortable, air conditioned vehicle and make our way north to the lodge which is situated on a concession. The concession’s freshwater springs support healthy populations of arid-adapted wildlife. This concession is also rich in reptiles including Kaokoveld sand lizard and Anchieta’s agama.

    The drive will be approximately 7 hours from Windhoek to the Palmwag Concession through the amazing Namibian landscape. We will enjoy lunch en-route and arrive at our lodge just in time for a sundowner drink. We will have dinner and overnight at Palmwag Lodge.

  • DAY 2: GAME DRIVES IN THE PALMWAG CONCESSION

    After a delicious breakfast we will join the lodge for a game drive on the conservancy. There we will begin to see the wildlife specially adapted to this beautiful desert: Hartman's mountain zebra, kudu, giraffe, springbok, and more. Dinner will be together at the lodge.

    We will rest up for the 6 nights walking safari that starts early tomorrow morning. Overnight at the lodge.

  • DAYS 3: HEAD OUT TO RHINO CAMP

    After breakfast we will leave the lodge and make our way to the campsite where we will start our walk.

    We will be walking and tracking every morning, breaking for brunch or lunch, and after a siesta period we will be driving in the open 4×4 safari vehicles in the afternoon looking for wildlife and enjoying the spectacular scenery.

    Every day we will follow a different itinerary, decided in conjunction with the Save the Rhino rangers, our support team, and the movements of the wildlife. The daily activities will include walking and game drives with lunch back at the campsite. Then dinner and overnight at camp.

  • DAY 4 - 8: TRACK DESERT ADAPTED BLACK RHINO, EXPLORE THE WILDLIFE AND NATURE OF THE PALMWAG CONCESSION

    We will be walking in the area from Palmwag Lodge through the Palmwag concession to the Hoanib River. This is an area where other tourists don’t get to go and the only people operating here are the Save the Rhino Team scouts patrolling.

    The Damaraland area of Namibia is arguably one of the most scenic places in Africa and one of the few places where there are areas where people have not been to or developed and wildlife still roam freely outside of National Parks.

    Our itinerary and the exact route will be flexible as we will be tracking the desert adapted wildlife that roam in this area and the distance covered each day will depend on the fitness of the group.

    In the morning, after coffee and rusks (bisquits) we will begin our walking and tracking. Our support team will pack-up our camp. We will meet them later every morning breaking for brunch or lunch.

    After a siesta period we may walk again or take a drive in the open 4x4 safari vehicles in the afternoon looking for wildlife and enjoying the spectacular scenery.

    As the sun begins to set it is time for a sundowner at camp. We will supply beer for the sundowner and then some wine for dinner. Guests are welcome to buy additional beverages at the Lodge. Our support team will be happy to transport them for you. Dinner will be cooked over an open fire by our support team.

    We have a full support team that will take care of our camping needs (setting and breaking of camp, cookin,g etc) so you just bring yourself and your personal belongings to Namibia.

  • DAY 9: FINAL DAY OF RHINO TRACKING THEN BACK TO THE LODGE

    After our last breakfast at the campsite we will embark on our last walk and then make our way back to the lodge where we will have a celebratory dinner together and spend our final night of this wonderful walking safari.

  • DAY 10: RETURN TO WINDHOEK OR BEGIN EXTENSION

    After breakfast we will make our way back to Windhoek, arriving at approximately 3PM. in time for an evening flight if you are ending your Namibian adventure today and transportation to the airport is included.

    Please note, if you are ovenighting in Windhoek this evening, hotel accommodations and dinner are on your own. We will be happy to help you arrange this, please contact us.

    Or, if you would like to extend your safari, we can continue on to Etosha National Park or Sossusvlei or other areas of this amazing country.

Save the Rhino 1.JPG
Save the Rhino 2.JPG

What to Expect

Dates: June 08 - 17, 2019 (2020 dates will be similar, please contact us for more information)

Cost: $5,500 USD per person
Single Supplement: $160 USD

Included:
Transportation to and from Windhoek, donation to Save the Rhino Fund (if you wish to make an additional donation it can be arranged), full board accommodation on a double sharing basis. 3 nights at Palmwag Lodge and 6 nights camping on the Palmwag Concession.
Excluded: International Flights, Pre- and Post trip accommodations, extra optional activities not specified on the itinerary, laundry, drinks, items of a personal nature, other unspecified costs in the itinerary.

Notes:
Physical Activity: Walking / hiking 3-6 hours, rolling countryside, uneven, some inclines. Good personal physical fitness suggested.
Temperature Changes: Daytime: 68º to 75º F (20º-24º C), Night time: This is the desert, temperatures will drop to below 50ºF / 10º C.
Accommodations: 3 Nights in Palmwag Lodge, 6 nights camping, 2-man comfortable but basic dome tents.
Packing: Layers. Roberta’s Tip: I brought and used fleece and a light “down” liner-jacket in the early mornings and evening but T-shirts were useful during the day.
The Ministry of Tourism has banned all plastics from National Parks and Reserves. Refillable water containers (stainless steel) will be supplied to our guests and (purified) water is refilled by the camp staff from big water containers.

Accommodations

The Palmwag Lodge: Palmwag Lodge, situated on the Uniab River in the Palmwag concession area, is an oasis (literally) in the arid landscape of the Damaraland region (or Kunene region, as it is now called) of Namibia. The Lodge’s hospitable new owners, Fritz and Birgit Schenk (since 2012) live on the premises. The result is excellent service in a beautiful and well-maintained lodge. Enjoy a refreshing dip in their pool, or a cool drink or a delicious meal at their outdoor, covered bar / dining-room. .

Conservation is ingrained here. Palmwag Lodge is connected to the national electricity grid of Namibia. However, the new owners are very concerned about both their guests' and the lodge's eco-impact. They have therefore invested substantially in their own solar power developing facilities. Education about the area’s delicate environment, natural heritage, and conservation of its unique species is readily shared with guests.

At Palmwag Lodge, guests are accommodated in thatched bungalows and luxury tents. Each luxury tent is protected from the sun by its own thatched roof. In addition, two Meru tents are available in or very near the reeds, where the elephants are regular visitors. Palmwag staff is also active with the local community in making sure the concession area stays clean and free of debris left by tourists

Tent Camping: Our camping accommodations will be basic, but comfortable, two-man dome tents. As this will be an adventure safari, and we will pack up and move every morning, so the the tents will not be “luxury” style. The daily pack-up and set up, as well as the camp cooking, will be done by our backup team.

Two people will be sharing (couple/friends) each tent unless otherwise arranged in advance. Stretchers, sleeping bags, and pillows will be provided. A “bush toilet” and “bush shower” will be set up by the camp staff.

Wildlife You May See

Wildlife: Black rhinoceros, giraffe, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, springbok, kudu, orex (gemsbok), steenbok, and hopefully some of the specially adapted predators that roam this spectacular area: cheetah, leopard, jackal, spotted hyena and brown hyena and the famous desert adapted lions, . We will also be looking for the specially adapted desert elephant.

Birds: Ostrich, sabota, Benguela long-billed lark, Montiero’s hornbill, Damara red-billed hornbill, and yellow-billed hornbill, Vereaux’ eagle, Augur buzzard, Ruppell’s korhann, rosey-faced lovebird, Heraro chat, mountain wheateater, lappet-faced vulture, swallow-tailed bee-eater and more.

Flora: the Damara milk-bush Euphorbia damarana, the sheppard’s tree, camel thorned acacia mopane, and bushwillow, and more.


About the Save the Rhino Trust

The Program Partners

In 1982, Save the Rhino Trust was formed to reduce poaching and save these animals from the brink of extinction. Their approach was simple but highly effective: offer poachers a more secure livelihood as wildlife guards. Three decades of Save the Rhino Trust’s pioneering efforts and collaboration with the Namibian government and communities has seen the black rhino population grow steadily in size.

This region is now home to the last truly wild population of any rhino species on the planet; the largest to persist outside of national parks. The country itself hosts 34% of the world’s remaining black rhino population, and 90% of the south-western subspecies. Still, the threats facing rhinos are today greater than ever, with high levels of poaching continuing across Africa.

Save the Rhino Trust is the only rhino conservation group in Namibia that has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

Save The Rhino Trust Programs: Field Patrolling and Monitoring, Research and Evaluation, Special Operations (anti-poaching), Community Outreach.

What is Special About this Opportunity?

Conservation is ingrained in Namibia and this walking safari gives you the chance to track one of the world’s the most endangered mammal species, the black rhino. You will be able to experience the Namibian wildlife and its habitat from the perspective of the rangers who protect it, on the ground.

While you are exploring the Palmwag Concession territory, you can help your rangers collect vital data on the birds, wildlife, and reptiles that you see or see evidence of to be added to the data bank.


How This Trip Makes a Difference

Wildlife and the Environment

Drinking Water on Safari: The Ministry of Tourism has banned all plastics from National Parks and reserves.
Refillable water containers (stainless steel) will be supplied to our guests and (purified) water is refilled by the camp staff from big water containers.

Rhino Conservation
In Namibia’s far northwest Kunene region (also known as Kaokoland) Black Rhinos were almost extinct thirty years ago. Today, Kunene has the largest number of free-roaming black rhino in the world – the only rhino worldwide that are living on communally and traditionally-owned land without formal conservation status.

Local Culture and Community

The rangers and guides who will accompany you on this trip are local people, supporting families and extended families. Most supplies are bought locally.

The Palmwag Concession:

The government of Namibia has endeavored to create a culture of good human-wildlife interactions by involving communities, employing locals in anti-poaching patrols and generating income from rhino-related tourism. The Palmwag Concessionnis a conservation area of 5.500 sq. Km (2124 sq. miles) in the Damaraland/ Kunene region of North-west Namibia.

Responsible tourism is actively promoted here through a collaboration of Palmwag Lodge, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the Save the Rhino Trust, the local communities and the neighboring conservancies as a way to promote conservation and economically benefit the local communities. The system seems to be working as the Concession now supports 70% of the world’s free roaming black rhinos.

Wildlife and especially elephants, zebra, and black rhino are quite common in the area. Desert adapted elephants regularly visit the area, immediately around the lodge, sometimes even coming on to the property itself. The Palmwag Concession also also boasts the largest population of predators (leopard, lion, cheetah and spotted hyena) outside the borders of the Etosha National Park.


More Holidays You May Like