Namibian Desert Wilderness Safari – Serra Cafema Camp


Namibia, a country of vast open spaces; extreme contrasts of harsh, arid deserts and green palm fringed oases, of thorn bush savannah and rugged mountains, of frosty cold winter nights and sweltering hot summer days. A country with European influence revealed in the German architecture, the lifestyle and language of many of the white population. A rich tribal population offers the traveller a unique cultural experience. Namibia is the driest country south of the Sahara, 5th largest country in Africa and yet has the smallest population.

Experiencing a harsh arid desert is not for everyone, but for me the experience was overwhelmingly beautiful. The peace and solitude reconnected me with nature, the abundance of space, the eerie stillness reminded me of the infinity of life in the universe. The contrasting colours of the landscape allow incredible photographic opportunities. The deep blue mostly cloudless skies, rugged brown lunar landscape sparsely dotted with unusual desert-like plant species, massive ever-changing earthy-orange sand dunes sculpted by winds of time. You will return home with a different perspective of life. This landscape leaves you with a feeling of peace and tranquillity.

As my intention here is to enlighten you on a true Namibian wilderness experience, I would like to channel your attention to the far northwestern corner of Namibia to a remote luxury wilderness camp situated right on the banks of the perennial Kunene River. The Wilderness Safaris camp, Serra Cafema is a premier camp offering you a true desert experience in the lap of luxury. A relatively small camp accommodating a maximum of 16 guests in beautiful chalets raised on wooden platforms made of thatch, canvass and wood blending into their natural surroundings. Serra Cafema is one of the most remote camps in southern Africa and getting there is best via light aircraft from Windhoek unless you have a couple of days to spare, a 4×4 and an adventurous spirit.

Once you arrive at Serra Cafema camp after a 45min drive from the airstrip, you are pampered by gracious, most caring, happy, bubbly staff that add to the experience of this remote camp. All meals deliciously prepared are included as are the activities such as nature drives in the Hartmann’s Valley in open Land Rovers, boating trips on the Kunene River, nature walks in the valleys and visits to the working Himba village should the nomadic people be in the area. Professional, experienced field guides accompany you on these activities. One of the highlights is a guided quad biking excursion that allows you to experience the untouched desert wilderness areas. The emphasis here is on providing information to you on the surrounding environment, on the endemic fauna and flora that blend so harmoniously into their environment and on a life of sustainable living within this balanced ecosystem.

Serra Cafema Camp is leased from the 300 000-hectare Marienfluss Conservancy, which is comprised primarily of local Himba people, one of the last semi-nomadic peoples on earth. Numbering approximately 12 000 individuals, the Himba live an isolated existence that has allowed them to preserve their culturally rich lifestyle.

Like all Wilderness Safaris camps, Serra Cafema really embraces unity amongst the local people, including those found on the Angolan side. The Himba community visited not only benefits in terms of direct employment but are also being supplied with staple foods like maize meal from the camp. This lifestyle, so different from many others’, is fascinating to visitors and it is important, when meeting the Himba, to maintain the delicate balance necessary to be able to share this insight without impacting negatively on the people and their customs. Wilderness Safaris’ Serra Cafema and Skeleton Coast Camp are both situated within Himba territory, and have approached the Himba people with respect, creating a positive relationship between the camps and the community.

An all year round destination, Namibia’s weather creates a variety of fascinating moods. Namibia receives the majority of its rain in February with an average of 25 to 30 ml/a. The rains bring with it the most incredible transformation of stark desert into lush green grasslands and colourful flowers that last only a couple of weeks and then return to hibernation until the next year.

Namibia has become a popular destination for its fly-in safaris and combining a couple of days on a desert wilderness experience with a big 5 authentic game viewing destination such as Kruger National Park in South Africa, would contribute to a very exciting African adventure.


Source by Claire Dinnie