A rhinoceros sighting is always a magical experience on safari. And, of the two African rhinoceros species, the critically endangered black rhino is more difficult to find, with the number of animals remaining estimated at 5,040 to 5,458 (source: Save the Rhino Trust, 2015). However, your odds increase significantly when you visit Desert Rhino Camp in Namibia, home to the largest free-roaming black rhino population in Africa.
Desert Rhino Camp offers guests the very special opportunity to track black rhino on foot. Since 2003, the camp has worked closely with the Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) which focuses on the protection, monitoring and understanding of the local black rhino population and is funded by both donations and partnerships. Thanks to its work, population numbers have quintupled over the past 30 years. When you visit the camp, a portion of your fees goes back to SRT to help with operating costs, so your stay directly benefits black rhinos.
Black Rhino Tracking on Foot
Expect an early morning rise, and a drive out into the concession until fresh spoor has been sighted. From there, your tracker will accompany you on foot, until you locate the animal. Guides limit the amount of time you can spend observing the rhino, and how close you can stand next to them. Returning to camp, enjoy lunch with your trackers, during which time you can continue to learn about black rhinos and conservation methods.
Other Desert-Adapted Wildlife
Aside from the desert-adapted black rhino to be found in the area, Palmwag Concession's freshwater springs also support healthy populations of desert-adapted elephant, Hartmann's mountain zebra, giraffe, gemsbok, springbok, kudu and predators such as lion, cheetah, leopard, and brown and spotted hyenae. Birdlife is prolific and diverse with most of Namibia's endemics present. Game viewing is conducted both in open-vehicles and on foot during guided nature walks.
Stylish Desert Camp
Camp is a wonderful experience in and of itself. Set in a wide valley, accommodation at Desert Rhino Camp consists of eight raised Meru-style canvas tents with front verandas to take in the sweeping views in front dotted with scattered euphorbia and ancient welwitschia plants, and the dramatic Etendeka Mountains. The comfortable tented dining and lounge area is also elevated with partially open sides offering those panoramic views while a swimming pool provides a refreshing respite during the midday heat. The day winds down sipping sundowners as the setting sun illuminates the landscape. Evening meals are often taken around the fire pit under the starry skies, known for their stunning clarity. In the morning, make sure to pause and enjoy the view over a breakfast you won't soon forget.
To see what a Namibia safari featuring Desert Rhino Camp looks like, check out our newest Namibia custom safari: Namibia's Red Dunes and Rhinos. This 12 day safari includes the iconic dunes at Sossusvlei, Desert Rhino Camp, classic game drives in Etosha National Park, and concludes in Cape Town.