The sublime Kunene region, often referred to as Kaokoland, is one of the remotest places in which we operate safaris. It is an absolutely magical part of Africa, the setting to some of our finest trips. Running down to the sea, the Kunene River brings life to an area dominated by sand dunes and rocky sand-covered mountains. The northern bank of the Kunene stretches into Angola. It is an extremely dramatic, harsh environment that is home to absolutely jaw-dropping scenery. Kunene is home to the Himba, a nomadic people and one of Africa’s most interesting tribes. The river is the lifeblood of the region and supports an amazing diversity of wildlife.
There are very few lodges up here. However, as with the Skeleton Coast National Park, those that operate in Kunene are some of the very best we recommend. Wilderness Serra Cafema is the most luxurious option, whereas the Schoemans’ Skeleton Coast Safaris are for the more adventurous at heart. Both companies are very high-end, but rewards for paying some of the highest prices in the country are reaped through enjoying some of the continent’s best experiences.
Kunene is one of the last true wilderness areas – words do not do it justice. Without any doubt, this is one of the finest experiences in Africa.
This is not a classic safari area, so 'game-driving' is really simply exploring by car. There are some great areas for walking, the boating safaris are superb and some lodges use quad bikes. The cultural experiences with the Himba are not to be missed.
Time of year to travel
Namibia is a stunning destination for much of the year and can be explored at any time of year. However, the extreme heat that hits the country around mid-November should not be taken lightly. This heat remains until the rains break, and the country remains ‘questionable’ for travellers until mid-March. April to June is a secret time of year to visit when rates are low, heat is comfortable and the country looks absolutely stunning.
It is very expensive to travel up here and stay in comfort. The mobile expeditions you can do, are certainly for the adventurous, and a good length of time is needed. Our top tip, therefore, is to keep this place as a special-occasion trip and save up! You will not be disappointed.