premier Camp | Hartmann Valley, Namibia
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Hidden within the enormous Hartmann Valley, overlooking the bubbling rapids of the Kunene River while surrounded by the moon-like expanse of the Namib Desert, Serra Cafema has to be one of the most remote and surreal destinations in all of Africa. A welcoming and comfortable oasis in the heart of one of Africa’s wildest and least-explored corners, a journey to Serra Cafema offers a journey into the soul.
Our Expert Says
I don’t usually select camps for their luxury—in fact, it is the remote experience that excites me most. But this camp truly offers both! Located far, far from any true village and appointed with genuinely luxurious touches, Serra Cafema satisfies the adventurer and the indulgent traveler in us all.
– Ben Bressler
Location: Kunene, Namibia
Number of Tents: 8
Serra Cafema, located in extreme northwest Namibia at the northern edge of the 741,000-acre Marienfluss Conservancy, is one of the most remote camps in all of southern Africa. It enjoys a shaded location beneath a grove of albida trees on the banks of the Kunene River, the only permanent source of water in the region. The river creates a lush ribbon oasis as it winds through the lunar-like landscape of the Namib Desert, stretching to the Serra Cafema Mountains in the north. Guests enjoy the refreshing rush of rapids, a welcome presence in one of the world’s most arid environments. The intimate camp offers a mix of rustic and luxury elements. Its eight canvas and thatch chalets blend harmoniously with the desert environment, and guests enjoy the view from spacious private decks. All have en suite bathrooms. Common areas include a main lounge, sunken lounge, indoor and outdoor dining areas, riverfront bar, library, curio shop and swimming pool, all overlooking the river flowing in front of camp.
Facilities & Amenities
- En suite bathroom with indoor/outdoor showers
- Family Accommodation: 1 family unit with 2 en suite inter-leading bedrooms each with private entrances connected by door and shared deck
- Shampoo, soap, lotion and insect repellent
- Hair dryer
- Room fan
- 220v charging outlets in room
- In-room safe
- Central plunge pool
- In-room massage (extra cost)
- Shared computer with Internet in main area
- Laundry included
- Local drinks included (house alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks)
- Credit cards accepted (Visa and MasterCard)
- No air conditioning, telephone or cellular coverage
Wildlife Viewing & Activities
Activities at Serra Cafema revolve around exploring the Namib Desert and the lush oases along the Kunene River, a study in contrasts. Informative nature drives and carefully guided, ecologically sensitive quad bike excursions through the dunes allow guests to experience the wild Namib in all its stark, raw beauty. The utmost care is taken to tread lightly and preserve these delicate habitats. Boating on the Kunene River provides an opportunity to explore the lush riverside oases home to crocodiles and waterbirds, which seem out of place in this moon-like landscape. Walking in the remote mountain and river valleys is also a highlight, as is a visit to a Himba tribal camp—one of the last true nomadic peoples in Africa. The Hartmann Valley is also the place to see fairy circles—unusual round, slightly concave depressions devoid of vegetation. Wildlife viewing in this area is limited to herds of gemsbok, springbok and Hartmann's mountain zebra.
The Hartmann Valley is not a primary wildlife destination, but desert species, such as chameleons, can be found on walks, and other wildlife sightings include Nile crocodiles on the Kunene River, and the occasional brown hyena. Gemsbok, or oryx, are the most common large mammal sighting. Exact sightings will depend on seasonality and wildlife movements.
Gemsbok / Oryx
|Rarely to never viewed
Your visit to Serra Cafema supports the Namibian Sea Turtle Project, which protects green, loggerhead and leatherback turtles that nest just north of the mouth of the Kunene River in Angola, from poachers and other threats. A joint venture between the governments of Angola, Namibia and Wilderness Safaris, the project works to secure and safeguard nesting beaches in southern Angola and provides resources to monitor and research the animals in Namibian waters. The land on which Serra Cafema sits is leased from the 741,000-acre Marienfluss Conservancy, which is primarily inhabited by the Himba people, who are among the last semi-nomadic peoples on the planet. Wilderness Safaris has provided the capital and expertise necessary for the construction and marketing of Serra Cafema and has undertaken to train and employ local community members with the ultimate vision of making Serra Cafema into a venture that is wholly staffed, run and owned by the Himba.