NamibRand Family Hideout

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Reviews and Articles reviews


"Many thanks for another memorable stay at Namib Rand. Your new man is an absolute gem – the camp has never looked better, and we had the time of our lives." Basson, South Africa [August 2013]

"Staying at Namibrand family hideout in July of this year ranks as one of the best experiences of any holiday we have ever had. The family are dead keen to go back again!" van Zijl, South Africa [July 2013]

"A jewel! Fantastic place where time rather walks than flies! Wonderful open space in the day with the milky-way as you've not seen it before at night. I hope it stays just the way it is for the next 100 years!" Swanepoel, South Africa [July, 2013]


"Thanks for enabling us to enjoy a special time [at the Campsite]. The landscapes in the evening and morning light were outstanding and we were able to take some stunning photos despite a strong morning wind. We will definitely visit Namibia again in the future." Carter-Brown, South Africa [June 2013]


"Great facilities at the campsite - bathroom was a real luxury. Hurricane and solar lamps a nice touch. Campsite beautifully maintained. Our walk with Titus was a highlight - we learnt so much and made a new friend." Zimmer, Australia [May 2013]



"Everything was just perfect, the only thing we would do better for the next time: we would stay longer.

"Just a quick note to say thank you, we enjoyed our stay at NamibRand Family Hideout very much. Especially my husband. The farm Stellarien, used to be his grandfather's, and his mother grew up on the farm. Thanks again!" van der Merwe, South Africa [June 2012]

"Many thanks for the most wonderful stay at your beautiful hideout. I attach a pic of our middle daughter Julia still fast asleep under the magnificent kameeldoring that she chose to sleep under. Michele hardly slept the night drawing strength from the same magnificent lady. Your selection of the site was perfect – we went on such a lovely walk over the dunes to the west in the morning." Campsite guests Basson, South Africa [August 2011]

""Wat ‘n PRAGTIGE plek!!!!!!!! Ons het VREESLIK lekker in die Woestynhuis gebly en dit SO geniet – Baie baie dankie.  Ons kom weer." Schoemans, South Africa [April 2011]

"We had a great time at your Hideout campsite. The surrounding landscape was one of our highlights! Please keep the ambience and do not increase the campsite capacities. We will come back."Ralf, Germany [March 2011]

"Just got back from Namibia. The Hideout was one of our VERY favourite places, and even before arriving we were disappointed to be staying only one night. What an amazing place - walking into the dunes at dawn and seeing Dune Lark was one of the highlights of the trip. I could have happily spent a week there just watching the larks...Thanks for allowing us to visit this gorgeous place." Paul Donald, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, U.K. [November 2010]


"Thank you yet again for an absolutely marvellous experience. NamibRand never fails to gobsmack me with its beauty and viewing it from the air gives you a different perspective on its vastness and how isolated that little farmhouse really is. Stunning! " Jan and Jay Roode, South Africa [May 2010]


"If there is a paradise on earth, it is the Hideout!" Prof D. Senn, Switzerland [February 2010]


"You are really having a wonderful place at the Family Hideout. We really like what you have done with the place and also the whole set up with the Namib Rand Nature Reserve.It is so good to see people that care about the environment and want to preserve a piece of nature for future generations. We also liked the Education Centre at NaDEET. To educate the youth is the best way to change people's attitude towards the environment. We had a fantastic time at the Hideout and the best Christmas ever. The only big problem was having to leave again after three wonderful days. The Gemsbok and Springbok came to the waterhole right in front of the veranda everyday. Only on the morning when we had to leave no animals came. Maybe they were also sad that we had to leave. We also read through your info file and looked at the photographs… We also liked all the books. We still had a wonderful two weeks in Namibia . It is a fantastic country. We will be back." Kuehl party, South Africa [December 2009]

"Thank you very much for the pleasant accommodation we experienced during our stay. We enjoyed the surroundings and dune boarding. Thanks also to Ricardo, who was very helpful." Germishuizen party, South Africa [July 2009]


"WOW! We absolutely fell in love with NamibRand and the old farmhouse. The endless expanse of grass and sky, the red dunes and deep silence touched our souls. The birding was amazing and I was over the moon to see some really exceptional species. Thank you so much for all your hard work that made such a place available and allowed us to have such a special experience. " Jacintha Roode, South Africa [June 2009]


"We departed yesterday from the Hideout and me and my husband would like to let you know that everything went very good and we really enjoyed our stay. We really hope we will be able to be there again the future. We would like to thank you and to tell you that we are very envious of you that owns such a wonderful place!! :)".Silvia and Lorenzo Marini, Italy [August 2008]

"Thanks for the wonderful stay. I had forgotten how wonderful Namibia is. Unless it just seems so when I compare it to the crime and grime that is Johannesburg and South Africa...Keep up the good work of conserving the Namib." Sean Gibson, South Africa [April, 2008]


"It was very nice and private to be at Hideout. We enjoyed very much...I will advertise your place." Dina and Joost Tryhou, South Africa and Belgium [April, 2008]


"We had such a marvelous and magic time at the Family Hideout last November and want to let you [know] that our visit there left an indelible memory that we continue to talk about. Our early morning walks were stunning: the dunes turned from grey to deep red and the sun rise spotlighted the spoors of the night's activities, and the magnificent camel thorn trees, beautiful even without leaves or flowers. Neither will we forget when at dusk, as we watch silently from the verandah, the oryx and the springbok came to drink." Maria Wilen, Uppsala, Sweden [January 2008]


"Thanks for everything - we had an excellent time in Family Hideout. Saw a cape fox right next to house, it was oblivious to me with a huge spotlight right in its face. Some eyes in the spotlight turned out to be two brown hyenas, but I did not see them, my colleague saw them through binoculars. Also saw stinkmuishond (can't remember English name, sorry) early one morning when we left, was still dark. Some nice birds - dune lark, chat flycatchers (officially now the most photographed ones south of sahara). It was very good to be able to get away from cell phones and electricity and have some early nights and early mornings. I spent quite a bit of time on our breaks looking at the sand grouse coming in to drink. What a luxury!" Theo Wassenaar, Windhoek [July 2007]


"Hi Mandy, attached you can find some pictures about Namibrand. You can use for your site. Thank you very much, NamibRand was the best place of our trip."Corrado Peli, Italy [August 2006]


"We just wanted to thank you for the opportunity of staying in such a magnificent part of Namibia. We were really impressed with the fact that you have made available to ordinary people like us, who also love your country, a chance to experience the quiet and peace of the desert region. Despite all the changes in bookings - thank you for your patience - we regard our stay at the Family Hideout as a highlight." Greg and Tracy Perrett, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa [July 2006]


"We're back and loved everything - it is incredibly beautiful,unspoilt and the house was very comfortable. Now we cannot wait to see the photos!"Gene Otten, Cape Town, South Africa [July 2006]


"... I just want to thank you for the wonderful time we had at the Family Hideout! It was a singular experience which the whole family thoroughly enjoyed: we loved the house, its setting, the vivid colours of the surrounding landscape, the solitude, everything. Thanks for making this unique facility available to Namibians at an affordable price!"Jaco Wasserfall, Windhoek, Namibia [June 2006]


"Thought I would send you some pictures of our stay at the hideout.  We had a thoroughly good time here.  In fact, we were quite overawed by the sense of space, stunning landscape, the wildlife (we saw many gemsbuck, lots of springbuck and 3 bat-eared foxes amongst other creatures!) and the amazing skies at night. The house was extremely well equipped and none of us will forget the experience of being so far removed from the 'maddening crowd'. Many, many thanks and please keep it up."

Lily-Anne and Henk Stroobach, Netherlands [November 2005].

"Unendliche Ruhe, die Weite Wüste, wunderschoene rote Dünen, viele viele Oryxe - ein traumhafter Ort, an den wir oft zurückdenken werden. Und eines Tages - hoffentlich bald! - auch zurückkehren werden. Danke für das Aufbau dieses herrlichen Refugiums!" Sandra Schaenzer / Gerhard Schoening, Basel, Switzerland [November 2003].

"Baie dankie vir hierdie wonderlike plekkie wat ons kon geniet! Dit was verseker die la-a-a-aa-ng ry werd!" Familie Nel, Pretoria, South Africa [April 2003].

“My parents plan to come and visit me again in February next year. They have only one condition: I must once again take them to the Hideout, the place they have been dreaming and talking about ever since our stay there in February 2002."  Manuela Schmid, Windhoek, Namibia [July 2003]

"...Ich denke, ich kann für alle sagen, daß wir im Family Hideout mit die schönsten Tage in Namibia erlebt haben. Gerne wären wir noch länger geblieben und hätten eine Wüstenwanderung mitgemacht. Die Landschaft war göttlich, die Einsamtkeit und Abgeschiedenheit einmalig - auf daß es so bleibt ! Das Haus empfanden wir als einfach und trotzdem - oder gerade deshalb - als sehr gemütlich, wir haben uns dort sehr wohl gefühlt. Es hat uns an nichts gefehlt." Susan Ploetz, Frankfurt, Germany [March 2001]

"We had a great time at your Family Hideout - it is a wonderful concept very well put into practice. The accommodation is well planned and laid out. It is user-friendly and the kitchen well stocked with all kinds of "kitchen tools". We particularly loved the view of the stars without any intruding bright lights, the tranquil scenery and the fact that we could live without keys, burglar bars and telephones. Thank you for offering this opportunity to us locals.” Luise & Jürgen Hoffmann, Windhoek, Namibia [May 2002]

" 'There is no other place that I know that is so heavy with atmosphere, so strangely and darkly impregnated with stuff of life that bears the authentic stamp of South Africa.'  Herman Charles Bosman wrote this about the Marico area in South Africa.  The truth is that for us, there are many such places in Southern Africa and we have just added one more to the list, NamibRand Family Hideout, Namibia.  Once again thanks for a wonderful experience." Tommy Thompson, South Africa [April 2001]

"Just a note to say that we very much enjoyed our few days at the Family Hideout recently and that, compared to Christmas, it is looking very green down there. All the clumps of grass are basically green instead of predominantly brown, and in some lights it looks as though you're on a lush prairie somewhere! It really is a beautiful area..." Alice Jarvis, Windhoek, Namibia [May 2001]

Flamingo Magazine: May 2005

"Through the eyes of a child" - Text by Hugh Paxton

"Hi, it’s Annabel here! I’m 22 months old today and, putting all modesty aside, I believe it’s safe to say that I’m Namibia ’s youngest travel correspondent. It’s my job to let you parents know where you could take your children. Just don’t sue me if it all goes horribly wrong, okay?  

This month’s favoured destination ? An old, mysterious, semi-derelict, self-catering farmhouse in the secret heart of the Namib Desert . I first visited it at the tender age of five months (and fell on my head several times and tried to eat toktokkie beetles to keep my parents from relaxing). Since then I’ve been back again and again. It’s a fantastic place if you want to get away from it all (but if you bring your family along, of course, you haven’t got away at all – you’ve brought it all with you).

If you see what I mean.

This expedition began as so many of my expeditions do – in a state of anarchy.

Quite why my parents always make such a circus out of something as straightforward as preparing to depart for one of the most remote spots on earth is beyond me. They just do.

They’ve got this routine going.

First there’s packing the car. Jerry cans, blankets, biltong, water, lanterns they’ve forgotten to recharge, a spare spare tyre, all my stuff (and let me tell you, I’ve got a LOT of stuff), all their stuff, maps, flashlight, cool boxes, braai wood (plus insects), a vat of hot curry with a lid that falls off, spilling it over my father’s trousers…  

After the screaming stops we usually move into Phase Two, which is unpacking the car because my father wants to check that the jack is where it should be.

Then the phone starts ringing. Urgent calls arrive from the four corners of Namibia . All need answering. The doorbell rings. American missionaries. The automatic security gate takes it into its head to open – letting the missionaries in – but refuses to close. So we can’t get and keep them out. Gate repairmen are summoned. They eventually arrive from Khomasdal with bloodshot eyes and hangovers but no welding equipment. Nor tools of any description.

And so it goes on.

Then, after it’s finally stopped, mother asks father if he’s remembered to water the plants.


Then they lose the car keys.

“Where the hell are the…”

This time the keys were in the dustbin. I should know. I put them there.

The early start did start early as my parents had promised. It was just an early afternoon start rather than an early morning start.



Exhausted by all the commotion I wave ‘bye bye’ to the police manning the roadblock out of town. No response. They look as if they’ve melted into their chairs. Hot day. Understandable. I follow their example and fall asleep.

Four or five hours later I wake up, conscious of a new vibration. We’ve left tarmac after the frontier town of Maltahöhe and are driving down the Tsaris Pass ; a steep gravel road threading through hills. Some are black and conical. Others are flat topped, yellow or rust brown. Dinosaur hills. Dinosaur views. A dinosaur world.

In the valleys there are tufts of dry whitened grass – straw, really – and occasional suffering trees, bent and twisted and old. It’s a lonely view, quite beautiful and most indifferent. I stare out of my window and watch it roll past, feeling small and shy.

No other traffic. Just a troop of baboons staring at me flatly from rocks, curling their lips, showing teeth. A solitary vulture riding thermals. Far away, heat lightning flared.

That’s where we’re going.

I let my father get on with getting us there and go back to sleep.


Next time I wake we’re on a sand track, the vehicle is slithering somewhat, there are a few bumps and then a sudden halt.

At least ten bat-eared foxes are darting madly about in the glare of the headlights. A sickle moon that looks sharp enough to cut paper hangs low in a purple sky. Shadowy dunes to our right, a vast silvery plain to our left, overlooked by distant brooding mountains. And not far away a single light glowing in welcome – the Family Hide-Out


Just outside the front door (which has been left open for us by the caretakers, who live five kilometres away) is a small waterhole.

Miraculously, there is still some curry left. We eat by candlelight and the soft glimmer of the solar-powered bulbs. Then we sit on the stoep and count shooting stars while gemsbok stand statue still – some distance away – staring at us. They’re probably wishing we’d go to bed and let them have their waterhole back.  

My mother stops strumming her guitar and produces her short-wave radio. It picks up some ailing accordion music from Angola, there’s a brief chatter of Chinese rapidly stifled by static, then a very English voice comes on and describes a suicide bombing.

She switches it off. Bye-bye, outside world!


The next three days pass in the way days pass when you don’t have a clock ticking, a TV blaring, a phone ringing, faxes faxing, e-mails spamming, welders forgetting welding equipment, visitors, countless obligations… We drive on trails through the stunningly beautiful dunes, we walk, we watch springbok herds fleeing a sandstorm that has somehow become mixed up with a rain burst and a rainbow, we play with toys and books and a paddling pool thoughtfully laid on by management, we make a gigantic omelette out of an ostrich egg we’ve bought at a petrol station in Mariental. We get tired of egg! We enjoy ourselves. And we don’t see anybody else, what bliss.

On the last morning we open the Visitor’s Book. Someone has written that she’s disappointed with the lack of service. No maid service. No-one at reception. Et cetera.

I believe this is called ‘totally missing the point.’

We pack our car for the return journey to Windhoek. It takes no time at all.  

If you want to know where this magical place is... just ask!"


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