Camp Kipwe enjoys a fabulous location in the heart of southern Namibia. Kipwe means “blessed” in Swahili, and this lodge’s location is undoubtedly blessed! The camp is situated between the Ugab and the Huab Rivers, both are dry rivers that are active only during the short rainy season. This beautiful region is called the Damaraland.
First impressions are everything, and upon entering the Camp, one is mesmerized with the clever manner in which the lodge was built into the large granite boulders. The setting is decidedly “rustic chic” and blends beautifully into the environment. The Camp enjoys a stunning location, which overlooks the plains and mountains beyond. Camp Kipwe has a natural feel to it, and the eco-conscious traveler will feel right at home.
The nine, circular guest rooms, called rondavels, are quite roomy and appealing. All of the rooms have an outside deck, and the wood furniture is made from local trees, and looks stunning against the reddish, walls and cement floors.
All rooms and public areas are decorated with potted plants, and the outdoor areas feature drought-resistant bougainvillea, which adds a marvelous touch of color to an area which to an outsider, may seem arid. The result is a lovely mix of the desert and colorful plants!
The rondavels are quite roomy and airy, but they are not air-conditioned, which in the summer months can be quite warm. All rooms have double beds which can be converted into a King bed, as well as armoire and bed-side tables; storage is plentiful. The walls’ color scheme is quite earthy.
The bathroom is adjacent to the rondavel, and feature boulder and cement walls. The roofs are made of rough Mopane branches, which are found on the dry river beds, and the showers are quite unique in that they are cleverly fitted onto gnarly tree trunks. The hot water heaters are currently individual wood-burning boilers, but the environmentally-conscious guests will rejoice in the fact that consideration for solar panel water heaters has been taken. Enjoy a shower while gazing at the intense blue, cloudless sky!.
The Central Areas
This area sits higher than the rest of the camp and is comprised of four thatched domes, where one finds the reception, a curio shop, the dining room, a lounge/bar, and guest toilets. The lounge is a very cozy place to spend lazy afternoons in, with furniture made of wood and cane, and leather couches that are decorated with colorful cushions.
All the central areas offer wide open views of the grasslands beyond, and in the winter months, the lucky guest can watch the desert elephants pass by.
The restaurant has an impressive basalt rock as the main wall. The kitchen is massive, and it is designed so that, for special events, a few guests can sit and dine inside the kitchen, while watching the chefs prepares a feast.
And, of course, in Southern Africa, no self-respecting lodge would be without a boma. A boma is a traditional fire pit where meals can be cooked, but at Camp Kipwe, chairs are placed around the boma, and this is where guests gather in the evenings and share stories about their Namibian adventures.
Breakfast and dinner is included in the nightly rate; dinners are lovely and feature local game meats. Lunch is a la carte, or a picnic box can be requested if spending the day sightseeing. All beverages are extra. Camp Kipwe features an excellent selection of fine spirits and wines.
This is a place for relaxation. The activities are limited to nature drives and walks. Guests may also opt for a guided excursion to the nearby Twyfelfontein, where one can observe thousands of years old rock paintings and carvings.
Of course, if you seek complete relaxation, you may kick-off your shoes and grab a book and relax, or go for a cool dip in the lovely pool, or do nothing at all. Camp Kipwe is one of those places where the surrounding environment cleanses the soul, and kindles the imagination.