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Photo credits: Bernd Wasiolka Wildlife Photography

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Palmwag Concession - Zebras at the Etendeka Plateau

Palmwag Concession

Huge protected area in northwestern Namibia

The Palmwag Concession is a 550,000 hectare protected area located in the northwestern part of Namibia. This part of the country is special in many ways and is therefore also used as a tourism concession.

Visitors find themselves in the midst of an endless, surreal basalt landscape that was created by massive magma eruptions around 125 million years ago, at a time when Africa and South America still existed as the coherent land mass of Gondwana. Today you can go on a self-drive trip or book a guided tour at one of the lodges to explore the Palmwag concession. You will probably never forget the rugged basalt fields of the so-called Etendeka Plateau, which are filled with rare aloes and poisonous euphorbias, and experience this unique and primeval landscape.


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Conservation area / Concession area
Various Lodges
Palmwag campsites and some wild campsites
Game and nature drives
Free camping

Palmwag concession - protected area for rare game species

The immense area is an extremely important refuge for rare animal species, some of which are threatened with extinction. It is estimated that more than 70% of the hooked-lipped rhinos that are still living in the wild can be found here. The fascinating desert-dwelling elephants, mountain zebras and giraffes also roam the area. A healthy population of antelopes attracts a substantial number of large predators such as leopards, cheetahs and spotted hyenas. In addition, a group of "desert lions" has adapted to the arid conditions of the Palmwag concession.

The source of life of the Palmwag concession is the Uniab, an almost 120 km long, rarely water-bearing dry river. In the area of Palmwag Lodge near the entrance gate of the Palmwag Concession, however, it emerges as a constant source and thus regularly attracts wild animals, including the local Palmwag desert adapted elephants.

The concession holders are the so-called Big-3 Conservancies (Sesfontein, Anabeb and Torra), whose communal protected areas border the Palmwag concession. The concession is operated in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the Save the Rhino Trust, Wilderness Safaris and the Gondwana Collection.

Visits to the Palmwag concession

The Palmwag concession can be visited at an affordable daily fee. The necessary permit can be obtained at the entrance gate north of Palmwag Lodge or directly at the reception of the Lodge. Here you can also get an information sheet with a map and rules (see below) and sign for compliance with the regulations of the Palmwag concession, e.g.

  • Take only photographs, leave only footprints. The removal of any plant or animal products within the Concession is strictly prohibited.
  • Camping is only permitted on designated camping sites along the western touring route (see map for details). No camping is permitted in close vicinity of any springs in order to reduce the disturbance of wildlife.
  • “No entry” signs must be strictly adhered to
  • No camping is permitted in the main riverbed of the Hoanib River
  • The speed limit on all roads within the Concession including the Hoanib River is 30km/h

And so on...

An off-road vehicle is essential for trips through the Palmwag concession!

Stay in the Palmwag concession

In addition to the lodges that are located directly within the Palmwag concession (Palmwag Lodge, Desert Rhino Camp, Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp) there are also 8 campsites that have no infrastructure, but offer the luxury of space and complete solitude. In this case "loneliness" refers to the absence of other human beings, not so much the frequent visit of wildlife passing by. The campsites are Kai-Ais Campsite, Crowthers Campsite, Theun's Campsite, Blackridge Campsite, Mudorib Top Junction Campsite, Mudorib Bottom Juction Campsite, Mudorib Mouth Campsite and the Elephant Song Campsite.

Palmwag Concession Map

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