Open or closed? Open or closed?
The camp fire at the centre of our little semi circle crackled and our guide grinned, unusually not providing us with an answer to our pondering question… this time about the roof.
I’m Emma and my partner, Sean, and I had arrived at the Palmwag Concession in Namibia’s Damaraland at lunchtime, in time to meet our guide, Boas (aptly pronouned ‘Boss’) who would be leading us on our two day trek to the mysterious ‘Crystal Mountain’ in the Etendeka Mountains. We were to be spending two nights camping out in tents whose roofs could be opened so that you could sleep under the stars. I could hardly contain my excitement…doing some guided walking in Namibia and sleeping out under the stars was the stuff of my wildest ambitions!
We left our 4×4 parked up in the shade and jumped on board the game viewing vehicle that took us 20 minutes to the dry river bed that marked the start of our walk. We just carried a few essentials with us, the rest carried on in the vehicle to the first camp.
The hairs on the back of our necks rose as Boas pointed out evidence of recent elephant activity; some – enormous dung piles, more obvious than others – branches broken by an overzealous young bull.
The terrain was gently undulating and the terrain easy. We arrived at camp having spotted springbok and giraffe, as well as learning about the numerous plants that eek out a life in the rich brown soil.
After a delicious hot dinner and some star gazing – Namibia is one of the top destinations in the world for stargazing due to it’s unusally dark night skies – we retired to our tents by the river and slept… with the roof most definitely open. I woke a few times in the night to mysterious snuffles and scrapes, thrilled that wildlife was ruggaging so close to where I lay, safely in my elevated tent and tucked up in my wonderfully soft cotton duvet. The camp was so well organised that we even had a portable toilet in our tent so we wouldn’t have to venture out in the night.
The following day we trekked for 4-5 hours to our next camp, Mountain Camp. After following the river for a few kilometers, the trail gradually lead us up hill, to a plateaux half way up Crystal Mountain (seen directly in front of us in the image below).
And it didn’t disappoint. The mountain was strewn with crystal quartz and agate that sparkle against its ancient rocky outcrops.
On the way to have an – extremly efficient and refreshing – bucket shower at mountain camp, I heard the call of a hyaena across the vast valley below us. This had been an extraordinary and memorable adventure; relatively easy terrain, great company, excellent guide; camp comforts of hot showers, fluffy pillows and cozy duffets; incredible scenery and glimpses of wildlife.
I can’t recommend it highly enough!
Take me there…
The two night guided walking trail in the Crystal Mountains is included in our Namibia Self-Drive Guided Walking Holiday. It can also be included in any tailormade holiday to Namibia so do give us a call on 01768 721040 to put together your own bespoke trip with our Namibia experts.