Palmwag

About The Palmwag Concession

The Palmwag concession is Namibia’s largest tourism concession on communal land, comprising 5 500 km2 hectares of pristine wilderness managed by the Palmwag Lodge & Camp.

The concession holders are the Big-3 Conservancies, namely Sesfontein, Anabeb, and Torra, which border the Palmwag concession.

The Save the Rhino Trust, Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Wilderness Safaris and the Gondwana Collection assist with the operations of the concession in conjunction with the concession holders.

You need a permit to visit the Palmwag concession, which you can buy at the entrance gate north of the Palmwag Lodge, or at the lodge reception.

Location

The Palmwag Concession is located in Damaraland in the north-western part of Namibia. It’s adjacent to the Skeleton Coast National Park.

Brief History

The landscapes comprise haunting basalt formations created by enormous magma eruptions over 125 million years ago when Africa and South America were still one land mass.

Damaraland was first inhabited by local tribes until the Germans colonized Namibia in the 1800s. Upon the country’s independence, Damaraland became known as Kunene, and the Palmwag Concession was set up in 1986 on part of the ANVO safaris hunting concession.

Accommodation

You’ll find a variety of accommodation options available in The Palmwag concession. These include the luxury Desert Rhino Camp, Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, and the Palmwag Lodge.

You can choose from luxury safari tents or bungalows when you stay at one of these camps.

Those who like to rough it may opt for one of eight designated camping sites along the western touring route, namely:

  • Kai-Ais Campsite
  • Crowthers Campsite
  • Theun’s Campsite
  • Blackridge Campsite
  • Mudorib Top Junction Campsite
  • Mudorib Bottom Junction Campsite
  • Mudorib Mouth Campsite
  • Elephant Song Campsite

These campsites have no facilities, and you will need to bring everything with you, including drinking water.

Activities

The best way to explore the incredible landscapes of the Palmwag Concession is on a guided tour or by taking a self-drive excursion.

The Etendeka Plateau is particularly striking with its rugged basalt fields and an abundance of poisonous euphorbias and rare aloes.

Other popular activities include rhino tracking, game drives, and hiking tours.

Sightseeing is one of the best ways to spend your time in the Palmwag Concession. This dramatic landscape boasts many table-top mountains, gigantic, rounded domes, and ephemeral rivers which gush life into their surroundings in the summertime.

Even during dry spells, the scenery is aglow with bleached stretches of grass dotted by red stones and the pastel-hued sunsets never fail to delight onlookers.

Fauna and Flora

The sheer size of the Palmwag concession makes it home to a large number of animals, especially rare species. The concession is refuge to over 70% of the world’s desert-adapted black rhino as well as good numbers of desert-adapted elephants and lions.

Other prominent species include mountain zebras, cheetahs, leopards, brown and spotted hyenas, giraffes and antelope.

You could also come across Namibia’s iconic Welwitschia mirabilis while exploring the area.

The 120km long, usually dry Uniab River, is a constant source of some water close to the Palmwag Lodge, attracting a steady stream of wildlife.

Getting There

Due to the rough terrain in the Palmwag Concession, it’s advisable to travel in a 4×4 vehicle during your visit. Here’s how to get there from Namibia’s major centers:

From Windhoek:

The drive from Windhoek takes six and a half hours along the following route:

  • Take the Western Bypass to the B1to Otjiwarongo
  • Follow the B2 and C36 to the D2344 in Erongo
  • Turn right onto the C35
  • Turn left onto the D2612
  • Follow the C39/M126 and C43 to Palmwag Lodge

From Swakopmund:

It takes five hours and forty minutes to reach the Palmwag Concession from Swakopmund along this route:

  • Take Tobias Hainyeko to Henties Bay Rd in the Erongo Region
  • Take the C34 and C35 to the D2612 in the Kunene Region
  • Turn left onto D2612
  • Follow the C39/M126 and C43 to Palmwag Lodge

Explore Namibia’s Most Sought-After Destinations

With so many amazing things to see and do in the country, it’s best to plan your trip to Namibia well in advance. Get started by browsing our travel blog and listings and be sure to book your first night’s accommodation in Windhoek at Arebbusch Travel Lodge.

Disclaimer
Please Note: The details shared herein were correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.

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