The Kunene River forms the north western border with Angola and is a vast undeveloped region which is almost inaccessible due to its mountainous geography, making it a mainly fly-in destination. It will entrance those who appreciate solitude and utter remote wilderness. The Kunene River cuts across the sparse dry environment creating an oasis-like environment which juxtaposes with an otherwise hauntingly harsh sparseness. This strip of lush vegetation attracts nomadic wildlife from afar and is home to two of Southern Africa’s rarest birds – the elusive Cinderella Waxbill and the rufous-tailed palm thrush.

The river is famous for its Epupa Waterfall which is a series of waterfalls framed by uniquely coloured rock walls and the Ruacana Waterfall which is one of the largest in Africa both by width and volume. The Enyandi rapids offer an unforgettable white water rafting experience with the support of trained guides while the more placid stretches of the river are ideal for canoeing, fishing or a leisurely boat cruise viewing game along the river bank. Quad bikes and 4x4s game drives into the desert landscape peel back some of the rolling scorched hills and reveal the true expansiveness and dynamism of this unique area.

The area is home to the unique Himba tribe who are the only inhabitants and are one the few groups of people who continue to lead a nomadic lifestyle. The Himba strike a unique appearance with as a result of their traditional full-body skin treatment which protects them from the harsh African sun and embellishes them with a rich red hue.

Activities include dune excursions and responsible cultural encounters with the Himba people who are adept to tracking scattered populations of desert elephants, rhinos and other scattered groups of wildlife. Here you can gain some insight into their otherworldly desert existence and learn about how they cope with life in the desert.

The inaccessibility of this region makes it the most isolated camp that we know and it is truly cut off from the outside world with no Wi-Fi and cell phone signals just raw and rugged beauty. The Okahirongo River Camp, Okahirongo Elephant Lodge and Serra Cafema Camp provide luxurious and eco-friendly shelter from which to witness this land of great contrasts.

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Lise Kargaard

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