Kaokoland

Namibia

  • John and Jean from Kent travelled to NamibiaHi Bill, we had an amazing trip! All the lodges/hotels were great with perfect staff. The tour you booked for us at Swakop was very good. Berger did a great job and full of stories. We saw lots of seals and jackals and had a very exciting ride back over the dunes. Seeing it all from a scenic flight gave a different perspective. Caesar gave us an unbelievable trip all the way up to the Kunene River. Lots of kilometres but such wonderful sites to visit. We tracked but didn’t see the lion. Lots of elephants and antelope and herds of zebra racing the land cruiser across an enormous open plain! Huab was a welcome rest and we drank our wine while lazing in the hot spring. Not much large game around now but plenty of smaller interest. At Ongava we saw 3 prides of lion (about 22 in total) and actually walked through the bush to follow a female white rhino and her calf. Wow! Two black rhinos visited the waterhole in front of the lodge every evening! Etosha was excellent. Lots happening! The highlights were a lion stalking very large herds of game at Salvadora waterhole and a group of 12 elephants bathing at Klein Namutoni. It was good spending 2 nights at Okonjima. So much to do! lots of cheetah and leopard to track with great sightings. We were also fortunate to find the two wild dogs and to see porcupine from the night hide. The visit to the San bushmen at Bagatelle was well done – and we met quite a few colourful Himba people up in Damaraland. We even saw an aardvark at Bagatelle on a night drive. The roads were not as rutted as we expected but the road in and out of Twyfelfontein was very badly corrugated. The smaller Duster was fine but perhaps a bigger 4×4 would give a bit more confident and a smoother ride. Thanks Bill for organising such a great trip. We really loved it.John and Jean from Kent travelled to Namibia

    John and Jean from Kent travelled to Namibia
A view of the Kunene River, Kaokoland, NamibiaDesert elephant in Hoarasib River, Kaokoland, NamibiaHartmann Valley himba village, Kaokoland, NamibiaHartmann Valley, Kaokoland, NamibiaHimba lady, Kaokoland, NamibiaHoanib River, Damaraland, NamibiaHoarasib Valley, Kaokoland, NamibiaKunene River boat cruise, Kaokoland, NamibiaOstrich family Hoanib river, Kaokoland, NamibiaSandstorm sunset, Kaokoland, Namibia

Namibia

Regions

Kaokoland

Kaokoland stretches north from Sesfontein and the Hoanib River Valley to the Kunene River, the border with Angola, and can only be accessed by four-wheel drive. Few people travel far into this land, and those that do, usually do so with an experienced guide, which is highly recommended.

For self-contained 4×4 travel, either self-driving or on a guided safari, the most accessible region is the stunning Hoarasib River Valley, which can be explored for several days from a base at Purros, the closest thing to a town or village in the region. The region is also a stronghold for desert lions and desert elephant, who often come into conflict with the local Himba and Herero villagers, and in the long term tourism into the area should help protect the fragile populations of both. There is one luxury lodge near Purros, and an airstrip for fly-in safaris, but otherwise camping is the usual accommodation choice.

From the Hoarasib stretching northwards is a vast wilderness which is home to the nomadic Himba people, pastoralists who are well known for being ‘not very well known’! In this area you can explore several spectacular valleys and mountain ranges, including the stunning Hartmann Valley which leads to the Kunene River, the Hartmann Mountains, Marienfluss, and the spectacular Van Zyl’s Pass.

The Hartmann Valley is one of the most stunning, remote and awe-inspiring places in Africa. Technically it is no more beautiful than other parts of Namibia, but the real magic is in its remoteness. It is an area of wide open plains flanked by mountains, and sometimes populated with huge herds of springbok and oryx which move through the area. Towards the northern end of the valley, you come across more and more red ‘sand’ which reminds you of the Namib Desert, before reaching the spectacular Kunene River valley, a verdant strip which snakes through the rocky mountains en route to the Atlantic. One luxury lodge and a couple of more adventurous camps exist on the banks of the Kunene, accessed either overland or by air into the Hartmann Valley airstrip.

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