Damaraland camps - Etendeka Mountain Camp

Etendeka Mountain Camp

Etendeka is tucked away in the red rock Martian landscape of Damaraland.  Long-time home of Dennis Liebenberg, the camp is one of simplicity and has adopted eco-friendly principles as a matter of course (rather than spin). Dwarfed by the surrounding mountains, this is one of those humbling places that makes you realise quite how vast nature is and quite how weeny you are.

The camp is quite spartan; everything you need with nothing that you don’t. Tents are meru-style walk-in numbers with an open-air en-suite which you access from outside. There is a bucket shower which you can fill up by yourself from the taps. This serves more to make you conscious of the amount you use than anything else since the water is trucked in from around 6km away. There is a flush loo and a little covered verandah but not much in the way of superfluous comforts.

Consequently there are not many comfy places to lounge around during siesta time.
Etendeka, though, is literally like being in the middle of an ancient museum. The seemingly barren landscape is a treasure-trove of geological splendours, fascinating plant and insect-life adapted specially to this harsh environment, and a surprising array of birds and animals too.

The main activities here are a walk in the morning to explore the foothills of the mountains and the beautiful craggy valleys, and an evening drive to check out the wider area. You are likely to see gemsbok, ostrich, kudu and springbok and if you are lucky, you may see desert-adapted elephant and lion. There are a number of endemic bird species including the Damara rockrunner and Herero chat. The black mongoose also occurs here as do leopard.

Etendeka is not a wildlife destination. It is perfect for nature lovers and those that enjoy simplicity, stunning scenery and just being in a beautiful wilderness. It can be pretty hot and the roads are bumpy but if you don’t mind these minor discomforts, then you will love the area.

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