Serra Cafema Camp

Kunene, Namibia

On Request

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Serra Cafema Camp

Set amongst shady trees on the banks of the Kunene River, Serra Cafema is one of the most remote camps in southern Africa, its Portuguese name originating from the mountains that dominate the northern skyline. At Serra Cafema, you sleep to the sound of rushing water at night; while by day explore one of the driest deserts in the world.


We Love
  • The Camp is located in Marienfluss Conservancy which is comprised primarily of the Himba people, the last semi-nomadic peoples on the planet.
  • The Camp’s vision is to make Serra Cafema venture which is wholly staffed, run and owned by the Himba.
  • The Camp has begun a conservation initiative with the aim of securing the nearby Turtle nesting beaches which are vulnerable to slaughter by local fishermen.
Need to Know
  • Children of 6 years and older are accommodated.
  • The minimum age for boating is 6 years, for walking activities is 13 years and for quad biking is 16 years.
  • The Camp has 220v power with facility to charge video and camera batteries.

The Review

Serra Cafema is located in the extreme north-west of Namibia and is only reachable by a three hour light aircraft trip from Windhoek. The Camp is a unique mix of rustic and luxury elements nestled amongst the shady Albida trees on the banks of the Kunene River, the only permanent source of water in this region.

Accommodation at Serra Cafema consists of 8 riverside Meru-style canvas and thatched villas on spacious, elevated decks blended smoothly into the picturesque surroundings. Each fully furnished tent has an en-suite bathroom, ceiling fan and mosquito nets. A late afternoon spent lounging on the front deck soaking up the breathtaking vistas of this contrasting wilderness is an absolute must.

Serra Cafema also has a intimate, luxurious honeymoon villa, with possibly the best view of all. Early booking is essential owing to its popularity. Families can be accommodated by opening up adjoining units.

The main area comprises indoor and outdoor dining areas, sunken lounge, library, curio shop and swimming pool, all sharing views of the Kunene River.

Game viewing in this area is limited to herds of gemsbok, springbok and Hartmann's mountain zebra. The Kunene River has a large population of Nile crocodiles. Burchell's Courser and Benguela Long-billed Lark are among the characteristic bird species to be found in this area. There are also a number of endemic reptiles, the desert chameleon being a particular specialty.

Activities here are varied, including boating (seasonal), walking, viewing breathtaking landscapes, as well as carefully guided quad-bike excursions that tread lightly on the dunes. In this isolated region, the Himba people continue their nomadic, traditional way of life and when in the area, offer guests the opportunity to learn about their lifestyle and traditions.

Getting There

Serra Cafema is located in Marienfluss Conservancy on the southern bank of the Kunene River, northern Namibia, at the foot of the Hartmann’s Valley. It can be reached by air from Windhoek in 3hrs 20 mins and from Swakopmund in 2hrs 30 mins.

Serra Cafema Camp Kunene, Namibia

Serra Cafema Camp

Rating                         Premier Camp
Type                           Safari Lodge
No of rooms                 8
Max Occupants            18 guests plus four pilots/guides
Interests                      Wildlife, Nature, Birding
Location                      Marienfluss Conservancy

Standard Tents
There are seven twin bed tents. The beds can be moved together to make a double bed. There is two twin bedded guide/pilot room which are smaller than the standard tents.

Family Tents
There is one family unit which sleeps four in two adjacent rooms connected with a door.

Pilot/Leader/ Guides Tent
There are two twin-bedded guide / pilot tents (not the same standard as guest accommodation)

Accommodation details
Large luxuriously thatched canvas tents raised off the ground have en-suite bathrooms with flush toilet, double basin, indoor and outdoor shower. Soaps, shampoos, body lotion, torch and insect repellents are supplied. Each room has mosquito nets and upto 3 ceiling fans per room. A private viewing deck overlooks the dunes, hills or the river valley. Safe in each unit.

Camp Description
Situated under large, shady albida trees with uninterrupted views of the Kunene River valley, the Serra Cafema camp is elevated on wooden decks with walkways to each tent. Main area comprises various dining areas, sunken lounge, library, bar and viewing decks. There is a plunge pool.

Electricity and Water
Electricity is 220v power with facility to charge video and camera batteries in your unit; please bring spare battery and adaptors. 220v power for lighting and fans in the units.


Nature drives in Hartmann’s Valley in 4 x 8-seater open Land Rovers (7 “window” seats)
Visit to a working Himba village (small denominations of local currency cash should be carried if guests wish to purchase curio items from the Himba settlement as foreign currency, credit cards and travellers cheques are not accepted).
A full-day outing can be arranged to Marienfluss Valley with a picnic lunch.
Other activities include guided quad biking (no children under 16 years), boating & fishing on the Kunene River and walks in the valleys and at the waterfalls.

Suggested Daily Activity Schedule
Morning wakeup at 0630h. Choice between scenic drives, walking, visiting a nearby Himba village,
quad biking and boating on the Kunene River. Breakfast is either served in camp prior to departure or a picnic breakfast basket accompanies guests on the morning activity. Lunch served at the camp. Rest and tea followed by afternoon activity. again a choice of scenic drives, walking, visiting a nearby Himba village, quad biking or boating on the Kunene River. Three-course dinner is served in camp. Stargazing

    Festive Season: 20 December 2013 to 10 January 2014
    Low Season: 11 January 2013 to 14 June 2013 & 01 November 2013 to 19 December 2013
    High Season: 15 June 2013 to 31 October 2013


Child Policy
    Children of 6 years and older are accommodated.
    For families travelling with children between 6 and 12 years, private activities need to be booked and paid for.
    Children between 6 and 16 years must share with an adult/s in the same room.
    The minimum age for walking activities is 13 years and for quad biking activities is 16 years whereby for boating activities it is 6 years.

Other Policies
    Local drinks and house-wines are included.
    Daily service is included in the nightly tariff. Due to local custom, undergarments are not laundered in the camp. The camp does not recommend that whites/light colours be laundered at certain times of the year when the water carries more red silt from upstream.
    Payment can be affected by cash, travellers' cheques or Visa/MasterCard.

Taxes and fees
    All taxes and fees imposed by the property, unless otherwise noted, will be added at the time of purchase on AwimAway.
    Guests are responsible for all incidental charges during their stay (e.g., room service, minibar, in-room movies, etc).
    A 10 percent per night service charge will be collected at the AwimAway checkout.

Additional Services
    Rates quoted for additional fees and services are subject to change due to currency conversion.
    Please indicate any requests for additional services to include, airport transfers or city tours in the ‘Tell us more’ field on the contact us page or call on 0208 350 6199.

Check in & Check out
    Check in:           2:00 PM
    Check out:      12:00 PM
    Minimum stay:      1 night


Marienfluss Conservancy

In extreme northern Namibia, mountains of folded metamorphic rock are severed by the Kunene River that forms the border between Namibia and Angola. The Kunene River, the only permanent source of water in the region, is lined with a narrow belt of riverine vegetation and palm trees. Away from the river the vast Marienfluss and Hartmann's Valleys, that in rainy years become grassy expanses, comprise part of the vast 303 400-hectare Marienfluss Conservancy Generally their flat topographies are covered by soft sand broken only by a few tough grasses, toxic euphorbias, mysterious 'fairy circles' and sheer granite inselbergs. Wildlife such as gemsbok, springbok, brown hyaena and Cape fox occur sporadically, while the smaller creatures impress within this surreal setting. The Kunene River also harbours Nile crocodile and vibrant birdlife.

Gratuity Schedule
The following is the suggested gratuity schedule only and is subject to service standards:
Guides – £6.00 per person per day
General Camp Staff – £3.00 per person per day
Specialist Guides (if applicable) – £6.00 per person per day

When to go

The summer months between November and April bring rain and turn the country green, occasionally bringing floods to the desert. But December can be rewarding for game viewing in Etosha and bird watching in Caprivi Strip (Zambezi Region) though danger from Malaria persists. The region is best avoided in the peak wet months of January and February.

The winter months between May to October are the best for seeing the dramatic sand dunes at Sossusvlei and game viewing - especially in Etosha National Park. The skies are clear, the risk of malaria is at its lowest, and animals are increasingly concentrated around water the waterholes as the dry season wears on. The months of June and July can have freezing night time temperatures while September and October can be extremely hot.

All visitors require a passport for entry into Namibia, which must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended stay in the county, and have sufficient pages for entry and exit stamps. All visitors must also have a valid return ticket. You require a passport valid for the next 6 months with two completed visa application forms, two passport photographs and a copy of airline tickets/itinerary.

You should be up to date on routine vaccinations while travelling to any destination. Some vaccines may also be required for travel. Check with your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need.

Getting There

Serra Cafema is located in Marienfluss Conservancy on the southern bank of the Kunene River, northern Namibia, at the foot of the Hartmann’s Valley. It can be reached by air from Windhoek in 3hrs 20 mins and from Swakopmund in 2hrs 30 mins.

The Hartmann Valley Airstrip (FYHV – HVM) is at altitude of 2,060ft (629m) and is  1,550 m long and 20m wide. GPS Co-ordinates: S17 22 36.0 E12 15 17.0