Once known as Francolini Fly Inn, Camp Kipwe is located amongst the rocks of a hillside in Twyfelfontein Conservancy, Namibia. The camp affords tremendous views across the Abu Huab valley.
Totally rebuilt and refurbished since a fire in 2012, the shared areas comprise of a reception, a large restaurant that offers in or outdoor dining, a very comfortable lounge with sofas and chairs, a plunge pool and a charming spot on top of a neighbouring rock where sundowners are served. The decor balances tradition with comfort, with locally-made lamps of coloured glass, tables that are adapted from fallen trees and traditional rugs on the smooth concrete floors.
FOOD AND SERVICE
The restaurant offers individual conventional table-seating and excellent cuisine, whilst the staff are friendly and attentive.
As well as the communal areas, Camp Kipwe offers nine bungalows and a larger honeymoon suite that is slightly removed from the others for added privacy. Each bungalow has a distinctive ‘igloo’ shape that helps mitigate the area’s fluctuations in temperature, and is built into the surrounding rocks in such a way as to make each totally unique. The bathrooms have flush toilets, outdoor showers that are open to the sky and sinks and shelving built into the stones. Each has twin beds that can be combined into a double and a thatched veranda with deck-chairs.
The furnishings are full of character: attractive mirrors and dressers, local rugs and wicker chairs, and lamps that provide tasteful lighting. The honeymoon suite is far more expansive and includes a freestanding bath with an excellent view, a lounge space with satellite television and a large deck where meals and breakfast can be served in private.
Activities available at Camp Kipwe include game drives, guided walks and trips to see the rock carvings at the Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site.
Sustainable eco-tourism is treated with the utmost respect by Mowani, and they support a number of initiatives that benefit the wider community:
- We have recently established a working relationship with IRDNC (Integrated Rural
- Development and Nature Conservation), AfriCat, EHRA (Elephant Human Relations Aid) and the Uibasen (Twyfelfontein) Conservancy to increase our conservation footprint in Damaraland
- A meeting was held with Garth Owen Smith to continue our current support of the desert lion project whereby Mowani and Kipwe pay the salary of one of the two game rangers (even though it is outside our conservancy)
- We have planted a variety of local indigenous plants which are harvested and replanted around the lodge and water hole.
- The waterhole has been expanded to provide a local elephant herd of 18 (including 2 calves under 6 months old) with enough water when they visit the lodge.
- Winter Knights and the Medic Rush where the elders and children received blankets and where doctors and nurses are transported into Damaraland by Round Tablers to provide medical support to the community.
- A quarterly soccer tournament, where the threats of alcohol abuse are discussed.
- We supply neighbouring farms with vegetable off cuts for their pigs.
- Mowani assists local farms by fixing waterholes damaged by elephants.
- We prefer employing from within our own conservancy first.
- We also assists the local community based vegetable garden by developing skills to manage the project. This includes budgeting, sustainability and crop rotation.
Recycling and re using:
All our refuse is recycled and sent to Windhoek which is more than 400km from the lodge.
Mowani currently has an assistant manager and head guide who started working at the lodge 13 years ago as builders and waiters. Recently, we have empowered 8 staff to supervisor level and have brought in experts to train kitchen staff as well as front office staff.
Sustainable vegetable garden:
Mowani has started their own herb garden which is maintained by the chefs. This garden is being expanded to grow a variety of vegetables as well. We do however not want to expand too much as we are also supporting a community based vegetable garden in the conservancy.
Mowani purchases vegetables from Dimab, a community based vegetable garden and assists with empowering the locals to manage the project successfully.
Mowani does not make use of solar power. We do however make use of gas geysers and use energy saving bulbs. The lodge was designed with a high roof and ventilation ducts which results in a temperature change from inside and outside of no more than 5 degrees on hot days.