An oasis in the desert, Palmwag Lodge sits at the gateway to a vast, wildlife-rich conservancy in Namibia’s harsh and astonishingly beautiful Damaraland region. The surrounding landscape is dry and rocky, yet Palmwag has a lovely, green setting alongside a palm-lined spring in a strip of reed beds on the bank of the UniabRiver. The river acts as a magnet for wildlife, and elephant frequently wander through camp on their way to the life-giving water.
An unassuming lodge, Palmwag offers basic but comfortable accommodation with a choice between bungalows and campsites. One of the oldest lodges in the region, it remains a popular choice for visitors wanting an affordable safari to see Damaraland’s phenomenal desert-adapted wildlife.
The 15 thatch-and-reed bungalows are simply decorated but have all the essentials you need including comfortable twin beds with crisp white linen, mosquito nets, a fan and an en-suite bathroom with a shower (no bath). For added space and a little more luxury ask for one of the two family cottages, each with its own plunge pool.
Set off on early morning game drives in search of Damaraland’s famous elephant herds, Hartman’s mountain zebra, oryx and springbok; there are plenty of predators in the conservancy too with healthy populations of lion, cheetah and hyena.
Afternoon game drives offer another chance of thrilling wildlife sightings, and include a stop for sundowners and snacks on a hill with magnificent views. On the drive back to camp your guide swings his spotlight from side to side, hoping to catch the glint in the eyes of nocturnal creatures, including the elusive leopard.
Between game drives cool down with a refreshing dip in the lodge swimming pool, order a long cold drink from the thatched pool bar or grab a book from the small library, and settle in on one of the plump couches in the sitting room. Dinner is served à la carte in the dining room and you can round off your day with a drink on the lodge balcony under a canopy of stars.