by Ron Swilling
Perched on a hill surrounded by mountains with a river running below, the Khowarib Campsite is another of Namibia’s well-positioned community campsites, its structures well and artistically constructed by local Namibian Trevor Nott.
In 1991 the area was identified as a good place for a community campsite and community members lent their donkey carts to prepare the site, with the campsite opening in 1992.
The new structures were built in 2006 with funding given to NACOBTA by the ICEMA (Integrated Community-based Ecosystem Management) project. The community handed over the campsite to the Anabeb Conservancy in the same year, realising that all natural resources belong to and are managed by the conservancy as a whole.
The camp consists of four exclusive private sites. Each has a lapa area with basin and railway-sleeper counter top and is made from palm branches and sapling poles, locally known as ‘latte’, with the roof creatively designed with overlapping curved ‘latte’. The private ablution facility has an artistic aluminium framed mirror, an inverted curved pole roof, and partially-open walls made with the light-coloured poles, giving a good view of the valley, river and mountains. Hot water is provided by a ‘donkey’ wood-burner and a barbecue area is positioned in front of the lapa.
Manager Linus Mbomboro, a former manager of the site from 1998–2001 and former field game-guard for the conservancy, has returned to manage Khowarib Campsite. He offers guided visits to a traditional Himba village and the Anmire Traditional Damara Village, and excursions to view Bushman paintings approximately an hour’s drive away. He will also act as a walking guide around the area and ‘schlucht’ valley area.
With its excellent position and the well-made facilities, the feel of the place is of camping luxuriously, a far cry from bars, shops and electricity available in usual town campsites and camping grounds of old. Here the camping essentials have been whittled down to the necessities, with attractive campsites offering hot water and flush toilets, but still allowing the allure of the outdoors in. Combined with the wild beauty of the Kunene Region, it is the perfect combination.
This article was made possible by Cymot Namibia
This article appeared in the Feb/March ‘10 edition of Travel News Namibia.