From learning cultural traditions of the semi-nomadic Himba tribe to glimpsing the striking horns of a lone Oryx in an endless sea of rolling sand dunes, Namibia enchants as one of Africa’s most extreme destinations. The Namib, the world’s oldest desert, marks this otherworldly country, creating one of the rawest and most rugged destinations on the planet. And though hard to reach, once you’re in this country’s mesmerizing wilds you’ll quickly be captivated by its rugged natural beauty.
But Namibia isn’t your typical safari—and probably not your first. Nature drives here are more about exploring landscapes where crashing ocean waves merge with a cascade of sand dunes and dead-tree valleys. And though the Skeleton Coast can’t be missed, there’s no place more alluring than an adventure at Serra Cafema, a luxurious camp set in the lunar-like wilds of northwestern Namibia near the border of Angola.
With eight chalets set on the banks of the Kunene River, a stay at Serra Cafema is all about the elements. Natural wood interiors mark canvas tents that offer elevated decks perfect for relaxing with a sundowner while viewing the Namibian wilderness. As one of the most remote camps in southern Africa, life here revolves around the Kunene River, the only permanent source of water in the region. A winding oasis surrounded by the Namib Desert, the river provides nourishment for wildlife like Nile crocodiles, gemsbok, springbok and Hartmann's mountain zebra.
Cocooned in this rugged terrain, you’ll have the chance to enjoy a true digital detox, where meditating to the sound of the river’s bubbling waters provides the ultimate soundtrack. Whether you walk, boat, or quad-bike the land, you’ll be in the heartland of one of the driest deserts in the world and the native homeland of the Himba community. Perhaps one of the highlights of a stay here, when the Himba are near camp, you’ll have the chance to learn firsthand about their cultural traditions like the custom of Himba women rubbing their bodies with otjize—a mixture of butter fat and red ochre—that’s believed to protect their skin against the harsh climate while both honoring and symbolizing their communion with Earth.