About Our Camping Tours

We first offered short camping tours for guests who had been out with Turnstone for day trips and wanted to spend a little longer in the bush or the desert. Our commitment to top quality interactive guiding remains at the centre of our work. We take a personal approach to each booking, focusing  on careful communication and sound planning to create exciting, rewarding itineraries. Once on the road, we prioritize your safety above all, but make good company, good food and good fun the aim of every journey. We hope your camping tour will be much more than a "few nights under the stars"... that it will be a memorable adventure offering  real insights into the wildlife you'll encounter, the people you'll meet and the environments you'll explore.

Our camping tours (which last for one, two or three nights) are all arranged on a private basis. They offer to a rich variety of landscapes, animals, birds, insects, reptiles, plants, rock art, fossils, artifacts and minerals, and while the focus of each tour is different, all destinations are spectacular and well off the beaten track. Some tours concentrate on wildlife or birding; others on landscapes, art and culture. Some involve walking and climbing; others are more leisurely; all can be tailored to suit your particular interests,special requests, fitness levels and dietary requirements.

panoramic views - DamaralandWe take a maximum of four people (unless by special arrangement) and we discuss every trip on an individual basis. We provide comfortable tents and equipment, reliable vehicles, excellent  meals (far beyond the scope of standard campfire fare!) and most importantly, a first-class guide. Take a few days off from the well-travelled road of hotels and lodges and come camping with Turnstone ...

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Damaraland: Elephant and rhino tracking (three nights)

For this three night/four day camping tour, we head north from Swakopmund via the Omaruru River and Omdel dam towards the Messum Crater and Namibia's largest Welwitschia plains in the heart of the Pro-Namib. Edging into Damaraland, we travel towards sunset in the shadow of the towering Brandberg. This is Namibia's highest mountain and home to an impressive collection of rock art, including the famous 'White Lady'. During a late afternoon walk, we show you some of the best examples of paintings and engravings which are tucked away in these magnificent cliffs caves and hanging rocks.

The first night's camp is near Brandberg West where we meet with local trackers working in rhino conservation to discuss the most recent movements of big game in the area. We have an excellent track record with sightings of elephant and rhino; we also see free-roaming giraffe, mountain zebra, oryx, springbok, klipspringer and even hyena.

The second night's camp is near the Ugab River, a linear oasis which draws many of these and other animals to drink. The water also sustains a wide variety of trees, bush and plants in this otherwise arid area, making it botanically interesting and creating a habitat for birds, insects, reptiles and small mammals. The sandy river beds which wind through this part of Damaraland are ideal country for desert adapted elephant, a fascinating group of animals which survive in these harsh conditions. Geologically, this vast, ancient landscape is simply awe-inspiring: layered crags and multi-coloured mountains in stark relief against a burning blue sky.

On the third day of our tour we head for the Doros Crater - favourite stamping ground for rhino - via the historic settlement site of Gai-As and stunning volcanic landscapes known as the 'badlands'. For our third night's camp we return to the shade of the Ugab River banks. We leave for the coast the next day via Cape Cross - site of Diego Cao's historic 15th century landing and Africa's biggest seal colony (some 200 000 seals) - Henties Bay, the bizarre German seaside shanty town of Wlotzkasbaken, the coastal lichen fields and the bird-rich Swakopmund salt pans.

Days are spent driving through these ever-changing landscapes, with walks from the camp in the early morning and late afternoon. Each night we pitch camp, relax with a sundowner and later enjoy a tasty campfire meal. This is bush camping at its best, unpretentious, interesting and memorable. If a chance for tracking rhino or elephant presents itself we follow on foot and are often rewarded with unique close-ups of some of the world's last remaining groups of free-roaming big game.

We leave from Swakopmund at about 09h00 on the morning of your tour and return in the late afternoon of the fourth day. Leaving your vehicle and other luggage safely behind in Swakopmund, all you need is a bag with light clothing, a fleece jacket, good walking shoes, a large hat, decent sunglasses, sunblock, binoculars, a water bottle and a toothbrush. We provide everything else.

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The Erongo Mountains (two or three nights)

observing the desert chameleonThis trip take you along the Swakop and Khan River valleys towards the magnificent Spitzkoppe. This scenery forms an unusual backdrop for the area's fauna and flora, with the chance to see Kudu, Oryx, Klipspringer, Baboon, Ostrich and Springbok in a unique desert setting.

For the first night we camp at the 1 728 meter Spitzkoppe inselberg, dubbed Namibia's Matterhorn. The Spitzkoppe holds a wealth of geological, natural and cultural interest, while the surrounding area is famous for gemstones, particularly tourmaline and topaz. Here, and in the breathtaking landscapes of the Erongo mountains, you can see fine examples of rock art, spanning several centuries and posing unsolved riddles of origin, meaning and heritage. Famous pieces, such as Ameib's White Elephant, the Sheen Torch parade and the Snake Charmer are just a few of Erongo's treasures. With each new discovery, you are drawn to the next.

Our campsites for the second and third nights nestle in the Erongo mountains - a perfect setting for exploratory walks and climbs. We sleep at scenic camping sites established by local farmers whose properties have caves and granitic overhangs containing quite outstanding examples of ancient rock art. These provide pointers to forms of social orgaisation and cultural expression that help us gain a better sense of human interaction with the environment in times very different from our own. Our journey back to Swakopmund travels via a small scale rose quartz mine, Rossing Mountain and the small-holdings, vegetable plantations and craft markets of the lower Swakop River Valley.

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Nights in the Desert (one or two nights)

This tour takes in the contrasting landscapes of the Kuiseb Delta, Sandwich Harbour and the wider Namib Naukluft park. It includes exciting 4x4 dune driving beside the Atlantic; historic delta trails, ancient Topnaar sites, part-fossilized elephant tracks; constantly changing desertscapes and specially-adapted fauna and flora.

salt pans en route to Sandwich HarbourAt Sandwich Harbour, the strange mix of fresh and saltwater lagoons surrounded by lush greenery draws thousands of migrant and resident birds. The site has been declared a 'Wetland of International Importance' and is a legally protected bird reserve and marine sanctuary. What was once a 19th century whaling station is now a deserted natural paradise, where the northern point of the Sossusvlei dune chain plunges into the ocean. The first night's camp on the edge of the Kuiseb Delta provides spectacular views from some of the world's highest dunes and the second day takes you further into the massive Namib Naukluft Park - quintessential Namibian scenery.

The two night version of this trip allows a more leisurely exploration of Sandwich, the Kuiseb and the Naukluft, as you head towards the Tinkas Plains. These grassy plains are set against red granite mountains - the site of our second night's camp. We return to Swakopmund via the famous Welwitschia plains, the Goanikontes Oasis and the surreal Moon Landscape of the Swakop River Valley.

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Sossusvlei Safari (three nights)

We head out of Swakopmund for the Kuiseb Delta via Walvis Bay and its famous Lagoon. There is good birding all along this stretch of the journey as well as marvellous sandy desert scenery, uniquely-adapted flora and fauna and the fascinating !Nara fields of the dwindling Topnaar community. We travel along past fossilized elephant track at Rooibank and on towards the Desert Research Station at Gobabeb before finding our first night’s camp site at Homeb in the Namib Naukluft Park. This is the point at which the Kuiseb river divides a landscape of massive sand dunes and flat gravel plains. For sundowners we climb to one of the area's most impressive viewpoints, before setting up camp under huge acacia trees.

SossusvleiOn the second day we travel through an ever-changing rock desert landscape: The Kuiseb Canyon; the Gaub Canyon; Solitaire and finally to Sesriem. Here we pitch camp in the afternoon in time to take an early evening drive out to Elim Dune, a nearby beauty spot with sweeping views over the Sossusvlei area. Early to bed and VERY early to rise to see the spectacular sunrise at Sossusvlei. We take brunch along to make the most of our time in this unforgettable dune chain. After lunch we drive down to Sesriem Canyon, a picturesque formation of eroded conglomerate rock and the only waterhole for miles and miles. A leisurely evening braai rounds of the third day back at the campsite.

After an early morning dune walk on the fourth day, we break camp and head homeward through the Welwitschia Plains of the Namib Naukluft Park, the desert oasis of Goanikontes, and the Moon Landscape of the Swakop River Valley.

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Walking trails on Mundulea Nature Reserve (three nights)

Mundulea Nature Reserve in the Otavi Mountains is roughly 120 square kilometers secret valley - Mundulea Nature Reserveof prime Montane Bushveldt set in the unspoilt Karstveldt region south east of Otavi. The Nature Reserve was established at the turn of this century to protect and conserve the biodiversity of this very special area.

Mundulea SericeaIt is named after a beautiful purple flowering bush (Mundulea sericea), favourite food of the Eland, and said to have medicinal and magical properties.

Mundulea is situated two hours south of the Namutoni Gate of Etosha National Park and  provides a refreshing change from long hours of driving punctuated by lodges and hotels. Please have a look at our dedicated Mundulea website for detailed information about accommodation at the bush camp, its special features and its place in Bruno’s vision for Mundulea.

We suggest that you plan your visit either at the beginning of your holiday as you head away from Windhoek towards Etosha, or keep it for one of your last stops before returning to home. Which option works best has turned into something of a ‘hot debate’ among our guests! Some argue that spending time at Mundulea at the start of their Namibian journey equipped them with information and insights they found indispensable in the following weeks; others felt  that they had left “the best till last” and recommend the same strategy to others.

We feel that both options work well - and that your first consideration should be to secure a booking in line with the rest of your Namibian itinerary. But please ask your travel agent - or remember, if you are booking your holiday yourself – to check our availability as early in the process as possible. Being a relatively small and personal venue, we may have less flexibility with dates than some of the larger lodges and rest camps on your travel wish list, which means that if you leave only one possible date slot for your Mundulea visit, you may be disappointed. In other words, if you really want to come and stay at Mundulea – and we sincerely hope you do - please reserve dates with us before booking up the rest of your Namibian holiday.

stalactite and stalacmite - cave on MunduleaMundulea's dolomite and limestone mountains are millions of years old. They contain fathomless caves and potholes, deep gorges and underground lakes.  Ancient Leadwood trees,  Marulas, Wild Figs and White Syringa, which provide vast shade canopies, are just part of the wide variety of plants, trees and bushes found on the reserve. The game you are likely to see includes: eland, tsessebe, roan, giraffe, black-faced impala, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, kudu, oryx, hartebeest, springbok, dik dik, steenbok, duiker, ostrich and warthog.

Among the predators, leopard, cheetah, brown hyena, spotted hyena, jackal, serval and lynx are all present and have been sighted on several occasions during walks. For the first time towards the end of 2022 three African wild dogs were seen - great excitement all around! The peace and pace of the walking in the bush also affords superb opportunities for birding - some 260 species have been recorded on the reserve.

kitchen at tented camp - MunduleaPoints of interest are built into all walks, which are geared to the individual interests and abilities of our guests. But despite careful planning, the highlights are always the unexpected finds, the things that happen along the way and the lucky unpredict-ability of the Namibian bush.

We spend each night back at the camp, with nothing but fireside conversation, a delicious meal and regional wines to distract you from the sounds of the bush and the spectacular starlit skies.

We meet you at Mundulea  by prior arrangement, and we will supply directions from the main B1  to the farm house (about half an hour’s drive) when you make your booking. In order to cater properly to your interests and needs, we would like to discuss the tour with you in detail, so please contact us directly via email to find out more and make plans.

Gill Charlton from the Telegraph: "A stay at Mundulea is all about gaining a greater understanding of the environment..."


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/6345164/Ask-Gill-The-terrifying-cost-of-losing-holiday-car-hire-keys.html

The National: Girls gone wild in Namibia - Gill Charlton
http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/ article?AID=/20091128/TRAVEL

[ Go to Mundulea website ]

[ Blog: Pangolin research at Mundulea ]

 

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