Serra Cafema

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Not actually within the Skeleton Coast National Park, but offering a beautifully remote experience on the Angolan border of far northern Namibia, Serra Cafema is a very special place. Operated by Wilderness Safaris, the show-stopping location on the banks of the Kunene River, enshrouded by the Namib Desert and Hartmann Mountains, is completely unspoiled. This is a land where few have trodden, apart from the nomadic Himba, who can be visited from the lodge. Dusty, rugged and desert-like in the dry season, Namibia’s rains bring brilliant green valleys and blessed respite for animals such as oryx and zebra, who somehow manage to survive the harshest possible conditions in September and October. The lodge itself is delightful, with eight spacious tented rooms on raised wooden platforms. Each has secluded private viewing decks and sliding glass doors to drink in the pristine scenery.

Wooden walkways connect the rooms with the main lodge, where a library, lounge, dining area and bar overlook the Kunene River Valley. The food is outstanding and there is an excellent wine list, while lazy afternoons enjoying the ambience can be cooled down with a dip in the plunge pool. Varied activities include nature drives, guided walks, river cruises and fishing, with quad biking in the dunes and visits to the nearest Himba village providing something a little different. Above all, Serra Cafema is about the utter remoteness and pristine beauty of the Kunene area, one of the few genuine remaining havens in Africa. Access is only possible via light aircraft, so stays should be a minimum of three nights and will not come cheaply, but Serra Cafema is genuinely worth the expense!

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