OUR SPECIALITY = Kaokoland & Damaraland
As we are well acquainted with Kaokoland and Damaraland, we try to avoid – wherever possible – the often badly corrugated main roads. We prefer to use the lesser known trails and roads off the beaten track. In bygone days many of these roads were used by geologists, police and nature conservation officials, and are often not even found on topographic maps. Many of these areas are still untouched and you can enjoy a diversity of free ranging game amidst beautiful landscapes. Some of these areas are so remote, that lodges are few and far between, thus bush camping is the only option. It is possible, however, to see parts of this area by adapting the route to include the few lodges available.KAOKOLAND
Our main area covers the southwestern and western Kaokoland – one of the most beautiful and game rich areas in Kaokoland. We travel through the wild valleys of the Hoanib River, up the scenic Obias Valley into the endless Giribis Plain with its many unexplained Fairy Circles, follow quiet roads via the Tsavarochab Valley and Tsuxub River up to the Comatum River, then on to Puros along the banks of the Hoarusib River. From here one track leads into the Hoarusib Canyon and the other into the scenic Hoarusib Valley upriver. Several open water holes and good food sources in the Hoanib and Hoarusib areas attract desert elephant, desert giraffe, oryx, springbok, ostrich, baboon, and sometimes even desert lion and cheetah. The scenic mountains in this area form a spectacular backdrop for photographing elephant and giraffe etc.
The route into northwestern Kaokoland takes us from Puros across kaleidoscopic mountains to pay a visit to the nomadic Himba in the Khumib Valley and up to Orupembe. We take the western loop along the sand dunes just outside the Skeleton Coast Park and into the very beautiful Hartmann’s Valley. From here we follow quiet routes into the famous and scenic Marienfluss Valley until we reach the cataracts of the Kunene River. Both valleys are known for many large Fairy Circles. We drive up the Marienfluss Valley to Red Drum then cross over the Hartmann’s Pass into the beautiful Onjuwa Plain.
Again we take lesser-known tracks heading into eastern Kaokoland. We see various villages of nomadic Himba and other less known, authentic traditional Himba villages on both sides of the Otjihaa Pass. We either take a more difficult road via Otjitanda directly to the Epupa Falls, or we head towards Opuwo via Etanga. West of Opuwo, we visit a large Himba village Ondjamba Safaris has frequented and been welcomed to for many years. This village presents a wonderful opportunity to learn more about their ancient traditions, film ceremonial dances and buy traditional crafts and artefacts.
At Epupa Falls we can spend time admiring this little paradise, visit the friendly Himba woman, Maria, and her children, see some important Himba graves and enjoy a sundowner on a high hill overlooking the waterfalls. We take a rugged road upriver along the Kunene until we reach the Ruacana Falls. We then have a choice of either travelling through Ovamboland to Namutoni Rest Camp in the Etosha National Park, or in the direction of Kamanjab and via the Galton Gate into western Etosha until we reach Okaukuejo Rest Camp.
Or we head off to the west via the Hobatere Concession and into the Ombonde riverbed lined with many shady trees and often, an abundance of game. We travel through the spectacular Khowarib Canyon with its amazing water rapids appearing out of the dry river sand.
From the Hoanib a track leads into the very remote northwestern Damaraland, from the Mudorib waterhole up the Mudorib River and into the breathtaking scenery of the western Palmwag Concession Area, with its beautiful red Etendeka mountain ranges and many fountains. We take the big loop from the Hunkab fountain along the Obob Valley and into the Barab valley. This desolate and starkly beautiful area is controlled and protected by the Save the Rhino Trust, and may become an official Nature Park within the next few years. In this area there is a good chance of seeing desert elephant, black rhino, giraffe, Hartmann’s zebra, kudu, oryx, springbok, ostriches and maybe desert lion, cheetah and leopard. We leave the concession area via the Aub Canyon or Twee Palm.
The track known as Colin’s Road takes us to the fountains along the Springbok River area, often frequented by rhino. We head towards southwestern Damaraland via the scenic Huab and Aba-Huab riverbeds to look for desert elephant and other game. We take a quiet road along the Mikberg into very colourful landscape formed by contact metamorphosis, pass through the Fairy Forest and visit a lesser-known petrified forest. We explore the mysterious stone buildings and the San wind shelters at the Gai-As Fountain, drive on past the Doros Crater and into the scenic Goantagab River area. Here we have the chance to see desert elephant, black rhino, Hartmann’s zebra, oryx, springbok and ostrich etc. Our journey continues over red sand dunes into the Ugab riverbed to look for more desert elephant, and then we follow a road along the rugged northwestern side of the Brandberg Mountain until we reach the huge Messum Crater. You have the opportunity of photographing a unique landscape and flora, including many amazing rock formations. The road to the coast and Swakopmund is dotted with hundreds of huge Welwitschia mirabilis and colossal sandstone conglomerate formations in the Messum riverbed.On request, we can send you more information and some example routes, which can – as always – be further tailormade to your desired highlights.