With vast open spaces, lovely hiking trails, unique rock formations and some of the best night skies in the world, Spitzkoppe completely exemplifies the whole desert camping experience. As one of Namibia’s most famous attractions, Spiztkoppe is where you’ll feel one with nature and be treated to a celestial spectacle like no other. If you’re curious about how to prepare for your trip, here is a complete guide to visiting Spitzkoppe: how to get there, where to stay, things to do in the area and what to pack.

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Visiting Spitzkoppe. All you need to know

About Spiztkoppe

Spitzkoppe, a hidden gem in the Namib desert, is a breathtaking red landscape that beckons exploration. Its collection of granite peaks, some of which are more than 120 million years old, is a nature lover’s paradise. 

There are a few cliffs within the Spitzkoppe Nature Reserve, the most famous being Klein Spitzkoppe, Spitzkoppe and the Pontok Mountains.

The most iconic of these peaks, standing at 700 meters, is known as the Matterhorn of Namibia.

beautiful views over the Matterhorn of Namibia

The best time to visit Spitzkoppe

The best months for visiting Spitzkoppe are May to October, the country’s dry season. This period offers unique experiences, such as the absence of mosquitos, pleasant temperatures during the day, and clear, sunny skies.

Visiting Spitzkoppe on a guided tour

If you don’t feel like driving around and putting all the effort into planning a trip, join a guided day trip from Swakopmund. Start your day early in the morning and discover popular spots you will love. Visit Namibia’s own Matterhorn and explore the famous rock painting sites and unique desert plants.

BOOK YOUR SPITZKOPPE GUIDED DAY TRIP HERE

Visiting Spitzkoppe on your own

Public transport doesn’t really exist in the country, so if you’re not going to take a tour, you’ll most likely need to rent a car to visit Spiztkoppe.

Namibia is a rough land but still very easy to drive. It’s such a trouble-free country to navigate on your own that I dare to say that anyone could do it. 

Most tourists come from the coastal towns of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund or the capital city, Windhoek. 

Given Namibia’s poor internet connection, it’s a smart move to have the offline Google Maps installed on your phone, ensuring you’re always in control of your journey.

Swakopmund – Spitzkoppe 

Distance: 160 kilometers, Time: 2 hours

Windhoeck – Spitzkoppe

Distance: 280 kilometers, Time: 3 hours

random souvenirs display at the entrance of the national park

How much time do you need to visit Spitzkoppe

Spitzkoppe, with its famous rock arch formation and adventurous landscape, is an exciting place. While it’s common for visitors to spend only a couple of hours here, I recommend a longer stay for the ultimate experience. It would be a shame to drive for so long only to spend such a short time inside the park.

An overnight stay at Spitzkoppe is about disconnecting and fully embracing the adventure’s thrill. It’s a chance to witness the park’s transformation under the night sky, adding a new dimension to your experience. 

Visiting Spiztkoppe as a day visitor

If your itinerary doesn’t allow an overnight stay in Spiztkoppe, you can get a glimpse by spending a couple of hours inside the park. Drive to the rock arch formations to take some photos and go on a guided tour to see the Bushman’s paintings. After that, drive around to witness the Matterhorn of Africa and other impressive boulders.
The speed limit inside Spitzkoppe is 30km/h in all areas. Please respect the natural environment and other visitors while visiting Spitzkoppe.

If you’re visiting Spitzkoppe on a day trip, make sure to check out the rates HERE.

lovely views from the rock formations of Spitzkoppe

Camping in Spitzkoppe

There are two official camping options: Spitzkoppe Community Restcamp and Spitzkoppe Tented Camps & Campsites.

Booking in advance in high season is crucial to avoid travel issues and ensure a great experience while visiting Spiztkoppe. You can book these campsites through their web pages. I will leave the links down below.

Those seeking the best camping spots should arrive early. The early bird not only catches the worm but is also the prime location for a memorable stay at Spitzkoppe.

Spitzkoppe Community Restcamp

Spitzkoppe Community Restcamp, nestled within the Spitzkoppe Mountain Reserve, offers a unique camping experience. Managed by the local community, the campsite not only provides accommodation but also plays a significant role in the local development. For instance, during our stay, the profits were used to buy a new water tank for the village, and plans were underway to renovate the school soon. 

Each campsite has a long drop toilet and a waste bin, ensuring minimal comfort. This setup allows for a camping experience that is more or less wild yet with the necessary comforts in place. 

Spitzkoppe Community Restcamp offers a range of convenient facilities, all located near the reception at the entrance. These include running water, hot showers, and power. There is also a small restaurant offering light meals and cold drinks.

The campsites are generously spaced: 8 kilometers from one edge of the park to another and 9 kilometers from the entrance to the park’s west side, ensuring a comfortable and intimate stay.

You are not pre-allocated to a site even if you have a booking, meaning the spots are on a first-come, first-served basis You will receive a map from the reception desk and can choose your own site. If there is a chair or a table at a campsite, it means it has already been taken.

the map of Spitzkoppe you will receive upon arrival

Fortunately, on the western side of the park, we felt like the only ones, surrounded by tranquility. A few campers here and there, and that was it. 

Ready to experience the unique camping at Spitzkoppe Community Restcamp? Check availability and entrance fees HERE (the camping fee includes the Spitzkoppe entrance fee). Conversations, quotes, and payments were easy and quick.

Tip: 10 A, 10 B, 10 C, and 11 A, 11 B are the most beautiful campsites!

11B is one of the best campsites in Spitzkoppe

Spitzkoppe Tented Camps & Campsites

Conveniently located just a 5-minute drive from the entrance to Spitzkoppe Mountain Reserve, Spitzkoppe Tented Camp & Campsites offers a comfortable stay amidst the stunning rocky landscape of Spitzkoppe.

At Spitzkoppe Tented Camps & Campsites, you have the freedom to choose from two types of accommodations: bush tents and camping sites. This variety entrusts you to tailor your stay to your preferences. 

The bush tents have comfortable beds and open-air private bathrooms with a toilet and shower.

For those who prefer the traditional camping experience, they provide a range of facilities to ensure your comfort, including hot water showers, flush toilets, an electrical point, and a private BBQ area.

Check availability and quotes HERE.

Wild camping in Spiztkoppe

Wild camping in Spitzkoppe offers a unique and exciting experience. While the Spitzkoppe campsites are a good option, some may be drawn to the thrill of wild camping and the chance to save on camping fees.

It’s easy to find a spot around the Spitzkoppe area and make your own itinerary, but I recommend staying at one of the main camping options. The two campsites not only provide a place to sleep but also contribute to positive change in the local community through their sustainable practices and support for local initiatives. 

cars in Spiztkoppe Community Restcamp 1

Accommodation options in Spitzkoppe

Spitzkoppen Lodge 

For those with a taste for luxury and a longing for a pampered stay in the desert, Spitzkoppen Lodge is the perfect place. 

Each chalet at Spitzkoppen Lodge is a haven of comfort, with plush beds and a private bathroom. The chalets are also strategically isolated from each other, offering a peaceful and private stay.

The on-site restaurant and the pool not only offer a relaxing atmosphere but also boast breathtaking views over Gross Spitzkoppe, sure to leave you awe-inspired.

Things to do in Spiztkoppe

Hiking in Spitzkoppe

Hiking is one of the best ways to get a glimpse of Spiztkoppe.

The challenging routes Matterhorn, Bird Hike (Herero Chat) and Pontok are incredible and unique, offering an exceptional experience. The Pontok route leads to the lookout point at the top of the Spitzkoppe. The Matterhorn route is challenging and only for experienced climbers.

You must book these tours at the Community Camp reception in advance. You must also pick up the guides at the reception between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and transport them in your car.

The Bushman’s Paradise tour, a one-hour journey, and the Small Bushman’s Paradise tour, a half-hour adventure, are not just experiences; they are priceless gems waiting to be discovered. These hikes are easy so that anyone can join them. The first one has only a steep area, but it is manageable.

The Spitzkoppe region has been inhabited by the San people, also known as the Bushmen, for thousands of years. Once at the top, the guide will show you the hidden rock paintings, adding a unique and enriching dimension to your hiking experience.

There are no fees for the guided tours, but tips are always appreciated. You won’t have to book in advance. The local guides are always at the beginning of the trail, waiting for someone to arrive.

a guide explaining the story of the Bushman's paintings while visiting Spitzkoppe, Namibia

Climbing the rock arch

The most famous and photographed spot in Spitzkoppe is, without a doubt, the rock arch formation. It is a unique spot, and you can easily walk from different directions, making it accessible to all. The beautiful arch, with its perfect frame of the peaks in the background, is a sight that will captivate you, especially during sunrise or sunset.

As a tip, a small shallow natural pool in the rock, called the Rock Pool, is a hidden gem, perfect for refreshing your toes. It is within walking distance of the Rock Arch, so it’s worth finding this spot.

Camping

Camping in Spitzkoppe offers unique ventures that will thrill nature lovers. Imagine being near nature, in the middle of nowhere, experiencing the enchanting sounds of the night while chilling under a blanket of stars. It’s a journey filled with unforgettable moments.

Stargazing

Another not-to-be-missed experience is stargazing.

Imagine being in an area with low light pollution, where the only light after sunset comes from your campsite. With such vast clearance, you can easily spot the Milky Way and thousands of stars, creating a serene and tranquil stargazing experience.

What to pack for visiting Spitzkoppe

Remember to stock up on food and water in Windhoek or Swakopmund before you drive off. I suggest buying 5-liter bottles for drinking and cooking. Local people might ask for water if you drive around the area, so consider having some extra on you. You can always stock up on water at the reception area. And the guys from the small restaurant near reception are more than happy to serve you a meal. 

Always have a headlamp on hand. It turned out to be the most crucial accessory for us. You will need it to stay late, move around the campsite, prepare dinner, get to the toilet or set up the tent for nighttime.

Bring trash bags with you, as those are much needed. Collect every single piece of trash and store it inside the car. This way, you won’t be awakened in the middle of the night by unwanted quests seeking through your garbage, as animals are more active at night and are likely to be attracted to the smell of food waste.

To protect yourself from the scorching sun, consider bringing sunscreen with SPF50 and wearing a hat and long sleeves.

A small first-aid kit is not just handy; it’s a crucial part of your travel gear, ensuring you’re prepared for any unexpected situations. And don’t forget, insect repellent can be your best friend in keeping unwanted guests at bay.

Bring a power bank and a car charger for electronics. We had to work on our laptops, so we used the power sockets in the shaded area near the entrance. 

mobile showerwhich can be filled with water and used for a quick rinse, would be ideal, especially if you plan wild camping in Namibia. Otherwise, use the shower facilities near the entrance.

Visiting Spitzkoppe – our experience

Visiting Spitzkoppe – day 1 – arrival day

We wanted to make the most of this experience, so we rented a 4×4 Toyota Hilux with a rooftop tent for our Namibian adventure. Our journey unfolded in September, with our campsites reserved in May.

Our rental car, equipped with a fridge, was a game-changer for visiting Spitzkoppe. It allowed us to stock up on water, refreshments, easy-to-do meals, fruits, and sweets, ensuring a smooth stay.

The sight of its poignant peak bursting from the horizon filled us with anticipation as we made our way to the world-famous Spitzkoppe Community Restcamp for a two-night stay.

Upon our early arrival, we searched for the ideal spot. It was no easy task, as each location seemed more picturesque than the last. After much deliberation, we agreed that 11B was the best campsite. 

11B, our favourite campsite in Spitzkoppe, Namibia

As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a warm glow over Spitzkoppe’s unique landscape, we savored a delicious dinner, completing a perfect day in this fantastic country.

cooking dinner while camping in Namibia

Visiting Spitzkoppe – day 2 – full day inside the park

We woke up early this morning, just as the sunrise painted the rocks with the most breathtaking light. We were captivated by the stillness and beauty of the place, a moment that made us grateful for everything in our lives. It’s no wonder this campsite is praised as one of the most beautiful in the world.

It was our hottest night so far, and we knew the day would bring even more heat. We savored a quiet breakfast and set out to explore before the sun reached its peak.

Taking precautions, we left our chairs and covered the campsite’s number plates, as advised by the reception. This signified the site was reserved, and it was unlikely anyone would claim it.

Our day was filled with unique experiences as we explored the area, hiking, climbing the giant boulders, and capturing the beauty in numerous photos. 

The highlight of our day was the two distinct guided tours: the Bushman’s Paradise tour and the Small Bushman’s Paradise tour.

By noon, it was scorching, so we spent some time at the bar working on our computers, reading and having a light meal. We also took advantage of the shower facilities and felt really spoilt.

Then, we decided to visit the local community. We drove to the nearby village, and the locals, with their open hearts and warm smiles, were more than happy to show us their homes and schools, tell us what they needed and explain their plans. Children were constantly running around us, full of excitement. We contributed to their local projects at the end of the visit and shared some sweets with the children.

a visit to the nearby village in Spitzkoppe

sharing sweets with the children in Spitzkoppe

Once again, the sunset was a breathtaking spectacle. With a full moon and a clear sky, we were all in awe of the natural beauty surrounding us.

witnessing an amazing sunset in Spitzkoppe, Namibia

Visiting Spitzkoppe – day 3 – departure day

Leaving Spitzkoppe was a bittersweet moment, especially since our dear dog companion, Daisy (as we named her), had been by our side for the past few days. She was more than just a dog; she was our loyal friend, ensuring our safety at night (that’s a joke) and playfully demanding our attention and treats.

a friendly dog looking for food and water in Spitzkoppe

Before leaving, we stopped at the souvenir stand after the reception area. Here, we were greeted by friendly locals who were eager to share their merchandise. They offered rocks from the area as small souvenirs to take home, each with a unique story and significance. We gave them our water, knowing we would stock up on our way to Sossusvlei.

mother and children selling souvenirs in Spitzkoppe

Visiting Spitzkoppe and camping in this popular destination for two nights was the best decision. We’ve witnessed amazing places, slept under a blanket of stars and experienced total silence! What a perfect stay!

Namibia travel resources

Namibia’s health system is not something to take lightly. Travel is full of surprises, and you never know what might happen. That’s why having proper medical insurance is not just a good idea; it’s vital when you travel. Get a quote for your TRAVEL INSURANCE.

If you ask me, getting an e-SIM is a quintessential part of traveling. There is no physical installation and no long-term commitments. And the best part is that you can always top up or purchase a new plan through an app. Pretty convenient, right? Find the best data plan for Namibia HERE.

For anything else, my blog post, THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE TRAVELING TO NAMIBIAis a great place to start! You can find out more about the best time to visit, how much time you need, rental options, how to deal with punctures and other tips.

Namibia related posts

If you’re considering visiting Namibia and need help with your detailed itinerary, check out my articles, where you can find precious travel tips!

THE ULTIMATE 2-WEEK NAMIBIA ROAD TRIP ITINERARY

HOW TO PLAN A SELF-DRIVE TRIP TO SOSSUSVLEI

USEFUL THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE TRAVELING TO NAMIBIA 

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CAMPING IN NAMIBIA

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