Established on the banks of a river in a dense, tropical forest, Serra Cafema is an outlier among Namibia’s desert-centered safari lodges. There is no lack of desert listed here possibly – you will invest a good deal of time exploring it throughout your keep – but this remote Wilderness Safaris camp gives a different planet far too. The Kunene river, which passes ideal in front of the lodge, fuels a slender strip of a lot in this usually arid land.
Where by is it?
Serra Cafema is in Kaokoland, in the considerably northwestern corner of Namibia, overlooking the border with Angola. Achieving the lodge by motor vehicle or even 4×4 is impractical supplied the sandy highway disorders and the difficulty of navigating a network of unmarked tracks, so practically all friends arrive by air (which usually takes about three hrs from the worldwide airport in Windhoek, or a very little much more if you quit en route).
The area promptly close to the camp is lush and environmentally friendly, with tall trees, thick bush and vast reed beds. But the nourishing outcome of the river is hugely nearby. On the Angolan side, granite mountains rise practically right from the water. The Namibian banking companies are a minor broader, and at some details prolong into a grassy flood basic. Over and above that, however, the desert is back again in cost. There are rocky outcrops listed here much too, but huge dunes and extensive sandy plains dominate the landscape.
Skeleton Coastline journey: the 5-star desert safari in total
Functions and activity drives
Wilderness Safaris lays on a array of functions at Serra Cafema, several of which are one of a kind to this location. As long as drinking water ranges are higher plenty of, these involve a vacation alongside the river in a small motorboat, which delivers a entire new viewpoint on the landscape. The mountains and dunes appear increased and the valley deeper – but even a lot more lush. In a lot of locations, verdant grass and shrubs tower previously mentioned head height, turning the river banking institutions into an impenetrable wall.
The river cruise is your very best prospect of observing wildlife, much too – not only the lots of species of hen which congregate together the river (inexperienced-backed and goliath herons, African fish eagles, kingfishers, Madagascar bee-eaters, cinderella waxbills, among countless some others), but also crocodiles swimming along with the boat, and baboons holding a watchful eye from the rocks. Based on drinking water ranges, your cruise may well conclusion with sundowners in Angola – a passport-free of charge (and ideally crocodile-totally free) excursion to one more foreign shore.
Obtaining found the bordering landscape from the boat, you will no doubt want to get out and take a look at it up close. Quad bikes allow you to get the farthest and deepest, working with tracks outside of the capacity of the camp’s 4x4s. But a far more leisurely approach consists of a early morning drive by the dunes to one of the large granite outcrops, which you can climb for panoramic views of the dunefield – and then use for shade although you stop for a espresso and treats.
The last one of a kind encounter at Serra Cafema is a visit to a Himba village, the dwelling of Namibia’s previous nomads. You are much more very likely to see the females, who dwell in a assortment of semi-long lasting homesteads on both aspect of the Kunene river, than the gentlemen, who invest a lot more of their time away from property, acquiring pasture for livestock or visiting other villages. Though cultural visits can experience awkward or even exploitative if not taken care of nicely, Wilderness Safaris has set up a considerate tactic. at Serra Cafema, guides have individual connections with individual Himba families, and are able to translate among attendees and their hosts in a way that feels significant. Wilderness Safaris also supplies safe and sound consuming h2o to various Himba villages and has just lately served to create a clinic in the spot.
Lodging and food stuff
A lovely camp, Serra Cafema helps make the most of its river frontage. Its 8 cabins, as properly as the restaurant, bar and library, all sit on elevated timber decks, related by stilted walkways which weave their way through the trees. You are surrounded at all instances by the seems of the river, the wind in the leaves and birdsong, which all contribute to Serra Cafema’s restful atmosphere.
The food stuff is remarkable, notably specified the complicated logistics concerned in providing these a remote area. You will be handled not only to three a la carte foods every working day, plus the compulsory afternoon tea, but occasional reward activities these types of as pre-evening meal wine-and-cheese tastings. The meals is new, skilfully geared up and consists of a large wide range of meats, fish and greens. Meals are served at person tables.
When to go
Namibia’s large period comes all through the wintertime months (May well to September), when daytime temperatures are a minimal cooler. If you are keen to brave the warmth and occasional thunderstorms, costs are noticeably reduce in the course of the summer season months. Most functions are unaffected by the weather conditions (h2o ranges on the Kunene river are much more dependent on a hydroelectric plant upstream in Angola than on nearby rainfall).
Value and reserving
Off-peak rates at Serra Cafema (offered concerning January and March 2023) start off from about £765 for every individual for every evening, centered on two-people today sharing. The home rate involves foods, drinks and most actions. Flights to and from the lodge are more. The lodge is aspect of Wilderness Safaris’ Normal Miracles of Namibia itinerary – or can be involved in a tailor-produced excursion. Contact Wilderness Safaris for much more data. Flights to Windhoek are offered from about £700 with Lufthansa (by means of Frankfurt) or Qatar Airways (through Doha).