Purros Conservancy

Purros Conservancy – The (absent) elephant campsite

Upon arrival at our campsite I can see that an effort was made to make everything elephant proof. We are also warned that no food should be left out after dark – elephants may decide to come and visit. We are so desperate to see the elephants, that we leave out a bag of oranges…

The Campsite

There is nothing special about these campsites. Like the campsites at Van Zyl’s the trees are enormous and we are able to park all three our 4×4 vehicles under one tree. It was a long day and I decide to go shower – early so that I don’t miss the elephants. I shower in almost cold water, but today I don’t mind. I just want to be clean. Our dear Ida is not so fortunate. The moment she finished soaping – dry. Not a drop of water. We try to find someone to help – not a person in sight. Well at least she is soaped. That almost counts for clean. Ida doesn’t think so. We are without water until the next morning when we leave. Luckily all the vehicle are geared with extra water and we are able to do the necessities.

I’m too scared to wander into the dark here – what if I come across an elephant? So I stick close to camp. I stay up late – nothing. I barely sleep – nothing. These Purros elephants obviously don’t like oranges. Or they smelled the bad service before we did.


There are several private options in the area – I suggest one opts for these. I’m not sure I’ll support the Purros Conservancy again.


I had the priviledge of travelling with Africa de Sud Safaris on their Kaokoland Tour. Drop them a line to join them on a once in a lifetime adventure.

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Marble Camp


There were three camps on our Kaokoland Tour with Johan from Africa de Sud Safaris that I did not  know at all.  Marble Camp was one of them.

The Drive

The drive from Camp Syncro was a scenic one and took us to Rooi Drom where we had lunch. I must admit – having heard about Rooi Drom so much, I really did expect a tad more than just a Red Drum. Rooi Drom is a rather popular spot for travelers to have lunch and we had to share what little shade there was with a much bigger group from another company.

The rest of the drive was quite a change to what we drove in the morning. Leaving behind the incredible beauty of the Marienfluss we now entered the mountains.

Marble Campsite

As the name suggests, the area is rich in marble and there once was a marble mine here – the prospector must have been either blind or believed that modern-day trucks could do the same as a ox-wagon.

Marble Camp is a community campsite like Van Zyl’s Pass Campsite. With beautifully built (and quite creative) bathrooms, I expected the same standard as at Baobab Camp. Sadly, this was not the case.

We had campsite No.1 – right next to the bathrooms and with a lovely ancient Mopane to provide shade. Unfortunately the drainage system did not work very well and every time the wind came up we were shrouded in a smell that can only be home to a sewage container.  We also had no hot water and believe me – after a day out in the dust and heat, this is something that comes very high on the list of necessities. The housing of the “camp manager” was situated on the far side of our bathroom entrance and if I could understand Himba, I could probably tell you word-by-word what they were talking about. Luckily they left the premises around sunset.


All-in-all, this was probably my least favorite campsite of the whole tour. It has an incredible amount of potential as someone went to a lot of trouble to build the bathrooms and create something unique. Unfortunately,  I don’t think it will last a very long time.

The area is absolutely stunning though and made up for the not so great campsite. It also helped that we had the absolute best Bryan ever made in Africa right here at Marble Campsite made by our two “chefs” on tour – Paula & Darrelle.

To Book

Marble Community Campsite
Orupembe Area, Namibia
Phone: 65273257
Campsite: +264 (0)813454906

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Van Zyl’s Campsite | Kaokoland


When I looked through my photos the trees again stood out and re-reading my notes I see that the trees were the first thing I noticed in August as well. And now I cannot help but wonder – what is a campsite without a tree?

Van Zyl’s Campsite is a community campsite like the Ombalantu Boabab Tree Camp. As our visit to the latter was such a good memory, I did expect the same from Van Zyl’s. But I’m afraid the memo for client service did not reach this far into Kaokoland.

The campsite where we stayed was dwarfed by Ana trees located along the bed of an unknown river.  Each campsite had a small braai (barbeque) area as well as a wash basin with only cold water. The shower was an open air shower under a smaller Mopane tree. I showered cold but some of my travel mates were more fortunate. Water is heated by donkey and the camp “manager” did not think that his guests would like hot water. So for those that managed to stay up late the reward was hot water.

There were no other facilities.

The stars out here were just incredible.  And it just got better and better as we moved further away from civilization.

Van Zyl’s Pass Campsite is the perfect stop over before tackling the infamous Van Zyl’s Pass.

Contact Details

I could not find a direct website or email address, so better to make a call.

Van Zyl’s Pass Campsite
Okangwati Area, Namibia
P: 65273257
C: 813454906

I was fortunate to travel with Johan Loubser of Africa de Sud Safaris on his Kaokoland Tour.

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Kunene River Lodge & Campsite | Campsite & Boat Cruise


Off all the places that we visited on our tour with Afrika de Sud Safaris in August, this is the one place I probably knew the most about without ever visiting.

As a travel agent back in 2008, Kunene River Lodge came across my path quite frequently. Unfortunately only as a request from travellers. Situated between Ruacana and Epupa, I never really had the opportunity to visit. So to say that I looked forward to our night there, would be an understatement. I was not disappointed.

Kunene River Lodge & Campsite

Of the three campsites that we visited along the Cunene River, this was greenest and most luscious. The campsites are either on grass or surrounded by grass and the most beautiful trees provided ample shade – no matter where the sun is positioned. As an avid bird watcher, this is paradise. I would love to stay here for at least three days.

We had a bit of a problem with the showers (drainage) and personally I think they can build another block of showers and toilets. It was a bit over-crowded and the campsite wasn’t even full. The water was hot and the loos had loo paper.  So that was awesome.

Reception isn’t great but it really did not bother me. Kunene River Lodge, like the rest of the lodges further west along the Cunene is not on the electricity grid, but this isn’t something that you will find me complaining about.

Kunene River Lodge also has a superb swimming pool. On the cold side, this was a welcome relief from the heat and humidity. The pool was very well clean and well-kept. (It is not the coldest pool in Namibia though – but I will enlighten you along the way as to where that little ice-cube is located!)

Activity: Boat Cruise

We went on a boat cruise late afternoon and wow! Having been on a similar boat cruise earlier in the year at Hakusembe River Lodge, I did not expect much.

Peter, our guide and co-incidentally the owner of KRL, was just perfect. Having lived here for so many years, he has develop a telescopic eye in spotting eagles and crocodiles. The water levels were really low, as one could expect in August, but the activity was still great.

Snacks and drinks were provided and we had one incredibly beautiful sunset to take home with us.


I would highly recommend Kunene River Lodge to any traveller. The location is truly wild and beautiful and so very different from the rest of Namibia. Loved it.

Kunene River Lodge is marketed by ResDes and you can book them at http://www.kuneneriverlodge.com/

I travelled with Afrika de Sud Safaris on their Kaokoland Tour and if you really want to experience Kaokoland in your own 4×4 – this is the way to go!

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Mavinga Lodge | Ruacana



“Newly built with plenty to offer” would be a good tagline for this new jewel on the banks of the Cunene River. When I visited Mavinga Lodge in August 2017, the rooms were all finished so I could photograph those. Unfortunately the main area was not completed yet, but judging by the look of the rooms, I would say that guests had something to look forward to.

Like most of the lodges along the Cunene river, the area is green and luscious. For the weary traveler that does not want to stay in the hustle and bustle of Ruacana, this would be a welcome break. Bird watchers will also find Mavinga Lodge a good stop over. During our lunch break there I not only spotted a young Fish Eagle, but various kingfishers also made a quick appearance.

Cell Phone reception was not great, but who needs reception when the wild calls? The two plunge pools looked really inviting and I’m sure once the lodge is fully functional the bar is going to be a fantastic spot for a cold beer.

I have tried to find a website address, but to no avail. Looks like prospective guests will need to contact them either via the contact numbers below or book via booking.com

Marketing is through Africa de Sud Safaris – Johan Loubser

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