Waterberg Plateau Campsite Review

Campsite 6 at Waterberg Plateau Campsite. Photo courtesy of http://www.waterberg-wilderness.com

Waterberg Wilderness Private Nature Reserve was our first destination outside of Windhoek – a relatively easy 300km or about 4.5 hour drive north mostly along tarred road from Windhoek. This privately owned reserve lies east of the B1 highway, and adjoins the Waterberg Plateau National Park.

To access it, we drove along a fairly challenging gravel road which then turned to rocks and sand to reach reception, which is close to Waterberg Plateau Lodge. Once we completed our check in paperwork, we then backtracked to where the Plateau Campsite is located. We were allotted campsite no. 6, which was a short, easy walk along a sandy path to our “ablutions” or bathroom block, reserved for our use only. 

Sort of circular in shape, to one side of our site was a small shaded, raised concrete area with a table and benches. Next to this was a firepit, an elevated braai (barbecue) on a concrete surface, a tap (with potable water) and bin. I didn’t see any power points. 

Below is a photo of the entrance to site #6 - you can see our camper parked inside.

Firewood was available for free, and some was waiting for us at the site, but it was a short walk of about 100m to get more wood if you wanted it. 

The ground was red sand, super soft and raked free of rocks, so sleeping on this was absolutely fine. If I had to pick a fault, it was that we could hear (and partially see) the kids at campsite no.5 next door who were screaming pretty loudly the first night. Luckily, that family was gone after one night and the campsite left empty. In terms of wildlife, we saw a genet on a tree by our site, heard a baboon pacing around our tent one night and lots of birds. With the landscape being so dry, we didn't encounter a single mosquito.

Cooking breakfast on the fancy braai

The thicket of bush separating our campsite from our neighbours

The toilet block contained four “bathrooms” - one for each of the  four campsites. Each “bathroom” had a number at its entrance corresponding to your campsite and was exclusively for you and your travelling companions to use.  None had doors however, which made things a little awkward. However, all were sort of open up the top for circulation so all you had to do was yell out to make sure no one was inside before you walked in.  A bonus: the shower pressure was excellent, and the water consistently at a lovely bearably hot temperature. I would find out how rare both these things were later on at other campsites! 

Entrance to our own bathroom block

The handbasin where dishwashing was forbidden

The best shower of our camping trip! 

There was a circular, medium-sized plunge pool up on a hill close to the campsite. This was freezing – as are all outdoor pools in Namibia – but a welcome place to hang out during the hot, sticky afternoons. There was also a restaurant at the lodge, but we didn’t eat there as we cooked all our own meals.

What attracted me to Waterberg aside from rhino tracking (which you can read about here) as an available activity was its walking trails - perfect for stretching cramped legs after hours of flying. Various well-marked routes allowed visitors to trek all around the reserve – we took the Dassie Trail (and saw dassi). Just be mindful that distances are much longer than the maps suggest!

The beautiful Waterberg Plateau

Crimson breasted shrike

A dassi, also known as a rock hyrax

Rhino tracking - a real highlight!

Our opinion: The Waterberg Plateau is an ideal spot to stretch your legs after a long flight - scenic and walkable. Also not very far from Windhoek.  It was ultimately the campsite with the best facilities overall on our trip.