Campsites in Namibia: A Brief Guide

Campsites in Namibia - feature image

Campsites in Namibia are manifold. In fact, most visitors to the country say that camping is the preferred option for accommodation, and it’s not hard to understand why. Namibia is a fascinating country, made up of extremely arid eco-regions, dotted with mountains and gravel plains. Additionally, it is home to the world’s oldest desert, the Namib, which is thought to be at least 55 million years old. The country is home to five national parks and a whole breadth of interesting wildlife and unique plants that aren’t found anywhere else on earth. So why do people choose to camp here? Simple, to be closer to nature.

This guide will walk you through some of the practical considerations of camping in Namibia. Things like how to choose a campsite and what to pack. Moreover, I will share with you five of what I believe to be the best campsites in the country. I will swiftly jump into the five best Namibia campsites, but first, a brief introduction to what it’s like camping in Namibia.

Camping in namibia

What to Expect at Campsites in Namibia

Camping Namibia is perhaps more comfortable than you might imagine. Most campsites are fit with basic facilities like toilets, showers and wash basins. However, campsites near major tourist attractions may offer more amenities. Such as a bar and a cheap restaurant, a shop and sometimes even a swimming pool. Additionally, most campsites Namibia houses are extremely clean and hygienic. The toilets are usually spotless and most showers have a powerful flow of hot water.

One thing to note, however (and all the more reason for a nice hot shower) is that you will inevitably get covered in dust. Whether you are journeying by bus, car or motorbike, there’s simply no escaping this fate. Additionally, and perhaps obviously, the country is very dry. So carrying water with you is of paramount importance. The good news is, tap water is safe to drink in Namibia and most campsites provide it. Naturally then, you’ll want to bring a few different water bottles with you including a large one for long journeys. Dryness can also lead to cracked hands, so be sure to pack some moisturiser.

Get ready to experience a few long journeys. It can take hours to drive from one attraction to another in Namibia, so prepare for this. Perhaps bring a book or some headphones (and toilet paper, or wet wipes). On a happier note, animals roam freely around the campsites at night, so be sure to scan the area when you pop out to use the loo. You may spot some curious critters. Now, let’s look at some of the best campsites in Namibia…

five of the best campsites in namibia

Namutoni Camp

Campsites in Namibia - Namutoni Camp

Sat on the eastern entrance to Etosha National Park, Namutoni Resort is famous for its nearby floodlit waterhole (King Nehale waterhole). Which provides plenty of opportunities to see animals who come to drink at night. Additionally, the site is very close to Fisher’s Pan. Which is a renowned area for spotting water birds, including Flamingos. The resort has been developed around an old German fort built between 1902 and 1903. Which has been renovated many times since. Further, the resort is split into three accommodation types: double rooms, which are accessed along wooden walkways and feature a fridge and teat station, bush chalets, also fitted with a fridge and tea station, and the campsites, where facilities are also available.

The price per night per person is $29.

Facilities/Amenities On-site:

  • Hot and cold showers
  • Toilets
  • Wash basins
  • Restaurant
  • Bar
  • Tourist shop
  • Museum
  • Swimming pool
  • Fuel station
  • Kiosk

Palmwag Campsite

Campsites in Namibia - Palmwag Campsite

A particularly restful place, Palmwag Lodge and Campsite is ideal for anybody who is seeking the quiet beauty of nature. The campsite comprises thirteen sites in total, all of which have their own power point, lights, wash basin and fireplace. At the main lodge you’ll find a restaurant and a bar, as well as a swimming pool. The setting is one of the best in Namibia, not just for the landscape of impressive table mountains and gorges, but for the very active wildlife. Giraffes and Elephants roam around the lodge, and you can expect to see Rhinos too. It is also a great place to go on a nature drive.

If you choose to stay in the lodge, you’ll pay around $60 per night, and to stay in the campsite is around $20.

Facilities/Amenities On-site:

  • Restaurant (at main lodge)
  • Bar (at main lodge)
  • Swimming pool
  • Tourist shop
  • Laundry service (at main lodge)
  • BBQ packs available at reception (extra cost)
  • Fuel station
  • Wash basins
  • Hot and cold showers
  • Toilets

Erongo Plateau Camp

Campsites in Namibia - Erongo Plateau Camp

Set in the geological wonderland that is the Erongo mountain range, this camp comprises three private campsites. It is a great base for several excursions, including to Bull’s Party, a unique rock formation, and Phillipp’s Cave, an ancient cave filled with wall paintings. Perhaps the most famous of these paintings being the white Elephant. Moreover, the site is essentially the gateway to Damaraland, where you’ll be able to see the famous desert elephants, and the ancient Himba tribe in Kaokoveld. Also, the site is within a reasonable distance of Swakopmund, Henties Bay, Walvis Bay and even Etosha National Park. Alongside the basic facilities, like clean showers (hot and cold) and toilets, there are fireplaces, shade netting and water taps. Erongo Plateau Camp has no power supply, no swimming pool and no shop. Therefore you should bring your own snacks and camping equipment.

Campers rates are $11 per night per person.

Facilities/Amenities On-site

  • Hot and cold showers
  • Toilets
  • Water taps at every campsite
  • Wash basins

Khorixas Rest Camp

Campsites in Namibia - Khorixas Rest Camp

Just a 3 hour drive from Erongo Plateau Camp, nestled in the hills of Damaraland, you’ll find Khorixas Lodge and Rest Camp. A lovely camp in and of itself, this site is also a great stopover for those making the journey between Etosha and Skeleton Coast Park. There are, however, some brilliant attractions to explore whilst here. Including the Welwitschia mirabilis plants, the petrified forest, ancient engravings at Twyfelfontein and many unique rock formations.

The price per night per person is $19 (although it’s not clear whether this is the fee for each person, or for each tent)

Facilities/Amenities On-site:

  • Swimming pool
  • Hot and cold showers
  • Toilets
  • Wash basins
  • Bar
  • Wi-fi available near reception
  • Restaurant

Okaukuejo Rest Camp

Okaukuejo Rest Camp

Another campsite in Namibia famous for its floodlit waterhole, this former military outpost is now the administrative centre of Etosha. Other notable features of the campsite are its stone tower and the fact that it houses Etosha Ecological Institute. The site is found in the South of Etosha National Park, around 17km from Anderson Gate, one of the entrances to the park. As previously mentioned, Kokaukuejo Rest Camp is well-known for its floodlit waterhole, which is a hub of animal activity right from the early hours of the day. Wildlife is particularly diverse in the winter months. The waterhole is illuminated by floodlights after sunset, which is the best time to spot the endangered Black Rhino. Which in turn, can be seen drinking alongside lions and elephants.

Rates vary depending on the season. In winter (November-June) it is $25 per person per night. In the summer months (July-October) you’ll pay $29 per person per night.

Okaukuejo waterhole
Okaukuejo waterhole

Facilities/Amenities On-site

  • Hot and cold showers
  • Toilets
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Tourist shop
  • Fuel station
  • Swimming pool

how to choose your campsites in namibia

As we have discussed, most campsites in Namibia have the basic amenities and facilities you might want when camping. Some are without Wi-fi and power, but the only effect this really has on visitors is allowing them to escape their screens for a few days – not a bad thing. However, although most campsites in Namibia do have Wi-fi, in reality it usually proves to be a fairly weak connection. Or the staff will tell you that they have been having issues with the Wi-fi lately. That’s not to say that the Wi-fi is weak in every campsite, but be prepared for it to be. So how to decide which campsite in Namibia is for you? Well, in all honesty, seeing as most of them provide the same facilities, it ultimately comes down to what you want to see around you.

Caprivi Strip
Caprivi Strip

You could head to the Erongo region on the coast, where you’ll find beautiful coastal towns like Swakopmund and Henties Bay. Slightly further inland in the region you’ll discover Bull’s Party and Phillipp’s Cave, previously mentioned. You might decide to wander further up the coast towards Skeleton Coast National Park, a fascinating yet eerie place with fog-heavy beaches decorated by shipwrecks and whale skeletons. Inland there are impressive sand dunes. You could venture to Etosha National Park and marvel at the biodiversity surrounding the waterholes. You might even want to visit the Caprivi Strip, on the North-Eastern edge of the country. Famous for its many game parks and reserves, which can be enjoyed either on land, or by travelling down one of the five rivers that run through this area. Namely, the Kwando, Okavango, Linyanti, Chobe and Zambezi rivers.

The great news is, wherever you decide to visit, you are more than likely going to see some incredible wildlife, lunar-like landscapes and ancient rock formations and cave engravings.

what to pack for campsites in namibia

During the day in winter (June to September) the temperature will likely be a pleasant 26 -28 Celsius in Namibia, but temperatures drop drastically at night. It can drop to as low as 0 degrees Celsius. So be sure to bring some PJs, a thick sleeping bag, a hat and maybe even a hot water bottle. It is also advisable to bring a flask to keep coffee or tea warm. Additionally, you’ll probably want to bring a pair of gloves (yes, it does get that cold). Take some mosquito repellent with you too, although by most accounts mosquitoes are seldom seen in this country.

As previously mentioned, a lot of campsites will have water taps, so you will definitely want to bring an assortment of water bottles/flasks. Especially a larger one for long trips. Additionally, hand moisturiser is very useful after a long, dry day. Remember that you are going to get dusty. This is inevitable. So perhaps choose to pack some neutral-coloured clothes. Additionally, make sure you pack some loose-fitting attire, there can be long vehicular journeys in Namibia and the last things you want to do is sit in a tight top all afternoon in the heat. It is definitely worth packing a small waterproof jacket just in case of rain, and don’t forget your swimsuit too, especially if you’re heading to the coast.

Comfortable walking shoes are a must, you will likely be on your feet quite a bit. Also, sunglasses, sunscreen, two hats (a warm one to sleep in and one to protect you from the sun), lip balm, binoculars and camera equipment. There will be hundreds of opportunities for great photographs.

4×4 rental in namibia

You may have noticed that a lot of the campsites listed in this article have fuel stations on-site. That is because, in the opinion of many, hiring a car is the ideal way to get around Namibia. I don’t need to tell you the benefits of having your own transport, but in a country where there is so much to see, and often q fair bit of distance between landmarks, a car is very handy. There are numerous 4×4 rental companies in Namibia, and I suggest hiring a 4×4 over any other vehicle because the land is rocky and dry, so you’ll be grateful for the extra control. Not rocky and dry in a dangerous way though, in a fun way. Think go-karting on a beach.

4x4

A very self-sufficient way to travel around Namibia is to hire a 4×4 with a roof tent. That way, you save yourself camping costs and you have the luxury of driving around whenever you need to. Although you cannot drive past dark in a rental car in Namibia, so be aware of that. The best company for hiring a 4×4 with a roof tent is Zambezi Car Rental. In addition to a roof tent you will get a camping table, chairs, 50L fridge, gas bottle and cooker, camping light, cutlery and many more useful piece of equipment. They really do set you up for independent travel around Namibia.

I hope you found this guide to the campsites in Namibia useful:

Well, I hope you have found this guide useful, and that if you were thinking about camping in Namibia, you now have the information you need to confidently go ahead with it. The relative affordability of Namibia, and its camping atmosphere, make it an ideal country for backpackers. However, if you’d prefer to be on the opposite coast, near the Indian Ocean, why not check out our guide to backpacking Kenya.

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