Through the brush that separated the sites, our neighbours were partly visible, while we could clearly see and hear other campers across the dried riverbed that separated the main lodge area from our “wing”.
In this central area were a number of guest chalets, two shared swimming pools, a restaurant and the thatched Makalani Bar where both campers and lodge guests were welcome. The staff mentioned that a big bull elephant named Jimbo visited this area regularly for the makalani palm nuts; unfortunately, he didn’t make an appearance while we were there.
Waiting for Jimbo to make his appearance in the coldest pool yet!
The landscape around the campsite was spectacular.
Activities changed daily and wildlife sightings were written up on a whiteboard in the reception area. We did two game drives (one in the morning, one in the evening) and a sleepout – both experiences were very, very memorable. Palmwag was where we saw some of the most amazing sunsets, the darkest night skies, a baby giraffe taken by a lion and the rare Hartmann's mountain zebra.
Other options included nature walks and rhino tracking. If you’re keen on meeting the Himba, viewing local wildlife and taking a chance to see the last truly wild elephant and rhino on Earth, I’d recommend staying multiple nights here. I spent just two nights at Palmwag (one camping on our own, the other on an organised “sleepout”) and definitely regretted that decision!
Our opinion: Palmwag's campsite was very comfortable and had electricity, water and a nice, big bathroom block. Our stay was great because we had a site meant for more people to ourselves. However, if it was busier, the experience might have been less pleasant. The tented suites looked like a better option if you wanted privacy. Don't let this stop you from visiting though - the landscape and wildlife experiences are well worth it!