3 NIGHTS NAMIBIA SAFARI -WHERE THE ELEPHANT ROAM
Your drive from Fort Sesfontein airport will give you a taste of the rugged Kaokoveld terrain and what’s in store over the next few days. An impressive 42% of Namibia is protected wilderness and the country boasts some vast, spectacularly beautiful landscapes of which Kaokoland may be the most incredible of them all. This afternoon, you’ll pass skyscraper mountains and zoom across huge expanses of desert, scattered with wildlife and nomadic Himba settlements, until you arrive at the spectacular Hoanib Valley Camp.
A joint venture between the local communities and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, the world’s only Africa-wide giraffe conservation organisation, the camp is an elegant, intimate affair that immerses you into the wilds of the desert. The six rooms blend seamlessly with the environment, offering a simple aesthetic that matches the rugged landscape down to a tee. The colours, textures and patterns are inspired by the experience of the Hoanib; the rich ochre of the dunes, the geometric patterns of the Himba people and, of course, the giraffe that inspired the project.
You’ll probably arrive in camp in the late afternoon just as the sun is beginning to tint the landscape pink and orange. There’s just enough time to settle into your room before heading out on a sunset drive (if you fancy). Otherwise, stay in camp and watch the sun dip below the horizon from the comfort of the camp fire.
Dinner tonight will be served under the stars, outside the main mess tent in camp. Our chefs have a reputation for creating some of the most varied and delicious dishes in Namibia and one thing’s for certain – you won’t go hungry at Hoanib Valley!
This morning is your first chance to really get to grips with this intriguing part of the country. Hop on a game drive and traverse the network of sandy riverbeds towards the Hoanib River, discovering desert-adapted elephant and giraffe as you go.
Zebra, klipspringer and kudu also move freely through the mountains and you’ll find hardy herds of springbok, as well as oryx and steenbok picking their way across the dust-blown landscapes. The wildlife here really is perfectly at home in the arid environment and learning about their survival techniques is fascinating.
Once back at camp, a light lunch will be served in the mess tent before an afternoon siesta. Settle down on your private veranda and get stuck into a good book (or a short snooze!), or pull up a chair and a pair of binos in the main area to keep an eye on the wildlife wanderings outside camp.
There may also be the opportunity to learn a little more about Dr Fenessey and his work with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation Very few people realise the giraffe are in fact, endangered, and they’re often over-shadowed by their larger (sexier!) counterparts such as rhino and elephant.
In the Hoanib area, the Giraffe Conservation Foundation are investigating the population dynamics and social structure of the unusual, desert-dwelling population of giraffe that reside here, and Natural Selection donate 1.5% of their gross revenue to this research.
When afternoon comes, you’ll hop back into your 4×4, this time to visit the local Himba and Herero communities.
The fascinating people have become an emblem of Namibia’s rich, cultural heritage and an afternoon in their company is poignant and interesting.
Our visits are designed to immerse you in the culture of the local communities and not simply to look and point from a distance; all are conducted in a sensitive manner and our wonderful guides will facilitate meetings and gatherings where appropriate.
Rise with the sun this morning and get ready for a full day rhino tracking! The region is home to a large population of free-ranging black rhino and a day spent looking for the magnificent beasts is an absolute must.
You’ll be heading for Okongwe Springs, a pretty oasis in the midst of the vast desert-scapes, and a good spot for a picnic lunch.
When you’re not looking for a flick of a rhino ear or a swish of a tail, keep your eyes peeled for the birds that flitter overhead. You may catch sight of Monteiro’s hornbills or Ruppell’s korhaans in the valleys, and the imperious Verreaux’s eagle in the mountains.
You’ll arrive back in camp in time for a hot shower and final dinner under Namibian skies.
After a light breakfast, you’ll depart camp for your next destination…