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Camp Kipwe

Camp Kipwe

Camp Kipwe near Twyfelfontein in the Damaraland region of Namibia is a destination where the unexpected is all around you. The camp’s creators have taken seemingly everyday items—grass, irregular timber poles, earth, cement—and combined them in such a way that the end product is beautiful, fresh, unexpected.

“Kipwe” means blessed in Swahili, and guests are truly blessed to be here, to enjoy the camp’s facilities, to marvel at the décor and furnishings, to take rest at the end of each day. Camp Kipwe is nestled between large granite boulders and red basalt rocks on a hillside. The many rocks are integrated into the camp seamlessly, or is it the camp that has integrated seamlessly into the rocks? Either way, everything feels exactly right, almost as though the rocks were placed in position by some grand design.

The camp has nine rooms and one suite, all very spacious and with large decks. The shape of the units is reminiscent of traditional beehive-shaped domes. The vaulted roofs are of fringed grass thatching. Each room has an adjoining bathroom that is partially open to the outside. The bathroom’s combination of rough boulders, cement, rock, and mopane branch roof is fresh and visually stunning. Hot water is made in the traditional eco-friendly and most sustainable way using water-filled recycled drums heated with fallen hardwood timber.

The central area at Camp Kipwe is under four thatched hives. The furnishings here are (as with the rooms) clever, traditional items taken to new heights and combined in fresh ways. A swimming pool for the hot days is tucked into the large boulders to one side and offers its own great views across the plains below.

Few guests who come here will not have heard of the desert-adapted elephants, and so a game drive in search of them is certainly a must-do. So too are excursions to the Twyfelfontein rock engravings and the many geological formations in the area including Brandberg and the Organ Pipes.

Walking or hiking in the area around the camp is perhaps an underrated activity. There is so much to see here, and the experienced guides will add much to experience.

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