Damaraland Desert Elephant Namibia Mowani

If space is the ultimate form of luxury, then Mowani Mountain Camp should just be paradise, at least for those willing to turn their back to part of the superfluous comforts like tv or wifi. Perfectly camouflaged among a field of granite boulders, immense reinforced canvas tents were plumped down . Thanks to their rounded thatched roofs the lodge is all one with the landscape.

Mowani is named after the local word M’wane, meaning “a place of God”. That is exactly how you feel when you arrive here. Driving in between the giant granite boulders it takes a while before you spot the lodge and you start to feel very small amongst the magnitude of the nature around you.  All 15 thatched suites, including 3 luxury suites blend in seamlessly with the surroundings. The dome-shaped roofs resemble the curves of the rock boulders but also provide a cool refuge from the harsh desert that forms Damaraland.

All of the walls are made of canvas sheets and can be rolled up to the roof, allowing you to feel one with nature by day and enjoy the cool desert breeze by night.

When on Safari in Namibia or anywhere else in Africa, the  African evening ritual is to do a “Sundowner”. Just this makes a stay at Mowani already worth your while. The sundowner “terrace” of Mowani is a viewpoint of pure grandeur. With a glass of refreshing South African Chenin Blanc at hand, seated on oversized pillows, you enjoy the boulders marble field that turns from yellow to orange, to reddish and purplish color every minute.  During you sundowner you’re served delicious little appetisers and afterwards a very fine prepared four-course menu is served in the main restaurant or in your luxury suite if you prefer to wine & dine in all privacy or your own private deck.

Mountain Suite & Al Fresco bathroom

Although all rooms at Mowani offer stunning views and are lovely decorated by interior designer Monique Ferreira-Louw, our favourite room at Mowani must be the Mountain Suite.

Shaped like three little Damara-tribe huts between the granite boulders, the Mountain suite offers a magnificent view over the area and  its large deck and lounge are perfectly equipped to experience it all in full privacy.

The Al Fresco bathroom of the Mountain Suite is probably what attracts us the most. The pleasure of taking a refreshing shower or hot foamy bath under the clear African Skies is simply indescribable!

Other perks of the Mountain suite are the private butler, your own bar, the option for private dining and in the lounge you find a magnificent sound system to add a little bit more drama to the whole setting.

Twyfelfontein Rock Art

Mowani Mountain Camp is located perfectly to explore all the major attractions one can find in the Damaraland area. One of them is the Unesco World Heritage site of Twyfelfontein. In Afrikaans, “Twyfel” means doubtful and “Fountein” is the word used for a spring. The spring on this site is known to sometimes burst water and then simply stop, completely irrelevant of the rainfall in the area, hence where the name came from.

But the spring is not the reason why this site is protected. The area is said to hold almost more then 2500 ancient rock engravings, paintings and stone artefacts.

There are many rock-art sites all over Africa and Namibia but Twyfelfontein is said to be the most spectacular and abundant site in sub-Saharan Africa.

Damaraland Desert Elephants & Black Rhinos

Contrary to many other parts of Namibia,  Damaraland has no fences. The wildlife is truly untamed and the locals live here in harmony with nature and everything that inhabits it. The desert elephants and black rhinos have well adapted to this harsh climate and are the giants that roam these lands next to the usual variety of mammals like springbok, oryx, giraffe and zebra.

The desert elephants have adapted so well to the conditions of this extreme desert land, that they have longer legs and leaner bodies. With those they can actually stand on their back legs and reach the top of the trees for fresh leaves and branches. Another smart adaptation is their ability to dig holes in the dry rivers until they reach the underground water.

From Mowani it is possible to join an early morning expedition in search for the rare desert elephants and black rhino.  When the air is still cool and the sun slowly starts to bathe the rocks in all forms of yellow, you enjoy a nice warm pot of coffee before you head out on a 4×4 game drive vehicle.

With Mowani being situated directly between the Ugab and Huab rivers, there is a very good chance that you will spot the desert elephants. The black rhinos are a bit more difficult to spot as they are very shy by nature. Even if you don’t spot the rhino, the drive alone, enjoying the splendour of nature and exquisite landscape are breathtaking.