The natural environment well utilised
by Ron Swilling
Watching shooting stars whilst sitting around a campfire, lounging on a boulder with the late afternoon sun colouring the mopane landscape before you, or showering in the original boulder shower, a combination of boulder and sapling roof, with the blue sky and buttermilk moon peeping through, are a few of the highlights that make Granietkop campsite in the Kunene region so appealing.
This peaceful and lovely campsite has three exclusive sites in alcoves of granite rock.
The sites combine latte (sapling) roofs and small round rocks, with the granite boulders creating rustic and attractive camping areas. A toilet with a boulder as a wall, steps leading up the mountain into a natural shower cubicle, a few fading Bushman rock paintings, or a view of the landscape may be yours for the duration of your stay, depending on which campsite is available. All are equally special and well positioned, nestled in the rocks with a shaded lapa area with a sink, barbecue facility, flush toilet and hot shower provided by an efficient wood-burning ‘donkey’.
Barking geckos call their mates in the evenings with their clicking staccato notes, and delightful birdsong greets you when you wake. In between, stars, granite and peace surround you.
Situated only 20 km from the Twyfelfontein rock engravings, the campsite is a good base to explore the Twyfelfontein area and return for privacy, quiet and beauty away from the busier route. Creatively designed, the Granietkop (translating from Afrikaans into ‘Granite Hill’) campsite, offers more than simple camping. With all the well-made facilities, the visitor enjoys the feeling of an outdoor home with secret places.
Evidence of previous inhabitants once favouring the spot can be seen in the few faded rock paintings and artefacts including arrowheads and clay pot shards found in the area when the campsite was constructed in 2006.
Benefiting conservancy members
Granietkop is situated in the Doro !Nawas Conservancy, with the proceeds from the camp going to the conservancy. On the D2612, look out for the sign to the Doro !Nawas Granietkop Campsite. The re–ception area, visible from the road, was constructed from the red rocks of the area, and has a wide sapling and steel-drum roof.
Cold refreshments are available, as is firewood, and guided walks to the surrounding rock paintings are offered. Damara singing and dancing and village visits are available on request. Donkey-cart rides are planned for the near future. A few local crafts are for sale at reception, including Himba dolls, carved makalani palm kernels and necklaces.
This campsite provides every-thing a camper could wish for: well-constructed facilities, privacy and the beauty of the natural environment well utilised. Sunrise and sunset times are favourites, when the sun highlights the orange-pink granite rocks and the yellow grass surrounding the camp.
Springbok wander around in the afternoon and mornings, and ostriches and baboons regularly visit. The nights are magical when the stars, undisturbed by pollution or lights, twinkle and shine or when moonshine lights up the granite boulders and campsite in a silver twilight beauty. This is when camping is one of the best experiences in the world and campsites like Granietkop are true finds.
This article was made possible by Cymot Namibia
This article appeared in the June/July ‘09 edition of Travel News Namibia.
Additional photos courtesy of http://granietkop.blogspot.com