Etosha National Park - Namibia
Namutoni is situated on the eastern side of Etosha pan, just inside the von Lindequist entrance to Etosha National Park. It is an improbably beautiful Beau Geste-style fort situated in an area dotted with graceful makalani palms, Hyphaene petersiana. It derives its name from the old German fort around which it is built and it overlooks the King Nehale waterhole. The presence of this fort undoubtedly gives Namutoni more character than the other rest camps inside the park.
It is also the closest restcamp to the picturesque Fischer's Pan, so expect great concentrations of waterbirds around here when it's wet – including a breeding colony of flamingos.
An outbreak of rinderpest, (cattle plague) in the late 1890's wiped out entire herds of cattle, inflicting economic disaster and subsequent malnutrition in northern villages. A cordon measuring several hundred kilometres was set up and Namutoni became an outpost at one end of Etosha and Okaukuejo at the other.
After the rinderpest was repressed Namutoni served as a frontier post, controlling the smuggling of arms and ammunition, liquor and supervising trade with the Ovambo people. It became a military post but was razed to the ground after an infamous attack by Chief Nehale's men, under the command of Captain Shivute.
A second fort with 4 towers and 3 gates was built in 1905 and in 1906 First Lieutenant Adolf Fischer became the first game warden of Namutoni. The fort has also served as a German police post and a South African army base.
Fort Namutoni was declared a national monument on 15th February 1950, when it was decided to use it as a tourist camp. Funds were made available to have it rebuilt along the old German design from instructions of the Historical Monuments Commission. In 1957 it opened its gates to tourists for the first time. The sunrise and sunset bugle calls are no longer sounded, but you can still get a great view of Etosha Park and the setting sun from the elevated deck walkways of the fort.
Namutoni’s accommodation is in either Double Rooms or Bush Chalets.
- Rooms: 24 double rooms with en-suite bathroom with bath and a shower. A toilet, mini-bar, air-conditioning and a tea/coffee station are standard. Mosquito nets are fitted to the front and back doors. These rooms are accessed along wooden walkways and offer comfort and privacy with access to a private area both at the front and from the bathroom.
- Bush chalets: 20 spacious and private units equipped with double shower and basin bathroom. Sliding doors give access to a relaxation area in the front of the chalet while the outside shower is reachable via the bathroom. The facilities are similar to the Double Rooms.
Namutoni's office and reception are on the right as you enter the camp. In front of reception is a museum and the petrol station is across from the museum.
Located inside the fort are 2 restaurants. ‘African Fusion’ offers African fare, whilst ‘The Steakhouse’ has a more of a European flavour to it’s menu. Take your meals and drinks in the ‘Chill Lounge’ if you prefer.
Also inside the fort is the tourist shop where you can stock up on groceries. You can also find a craft shop selling a wide variety of traditional handcrafted Namibian goods. Jewelry and book stores complete Namutoni’s facilities.
Most people choose to drive themselves around the park. But you can join one of the three daily game drives around Etosha: Early morning, late afternoon and at night.
- Guided Game Drives around Etosha Park
- You can join one of the guided game drives around Etosha
- Game Drive
- Game viewing is best done in the cool of the early morning and late afternoon, most people choose to drive themselves around the park - stopping at the various waterhole's and watching the animals as they come down to drink
- Historic fort
- This building is of great historical interest as well as the photographic architectural beauty it displays.
- Best suited for observing water birds as Namutoni boasts of the highest rainfall of all 3 camps. The drive to Fischer's Pan yields breeding in vast numbers.
A blend of African excitement & luxury are the order of the day at this luxury lodge
Small mid-price lodge close to the park gate - situated of the private Fischer's pan reserve
Large lodge situated at the Namutoni entrance gate to Etosha. Excellent facilities but expect to share these with large group tours
The latest edition to the Mushara Collection offers mid-range tented accommodation
Good accommodation at a reasonable price, close to the park entrance
Small intimate tented camp built on raised platforms, good for privacy and a 'luxury outdoor' feel
Inside the park borders, built around Fort Namutoni. Recently upgraded to appeal to more 'up-market' visitors
Newly renovated, good mid market option for self-drive tourists
A tented camp just outside Etosha
Luxury lodge built around a fort on Fischer's Pan. Easy access to the park
Small exclusive camp, built on raised platforms - a popular option with those seeking an exclusive new perspective
The first new accommodation to be built inside the Etosha National Park in over 30 years. The camp sits on a wooden deck on an isolated peninsula overlooking the pan
Very exclusive private suites, all mod-cons and luxuries
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