HOANIB VALLEY CAMP – KAOKOLAND

Hoanib Valley Camp is set in the Sesfontein Community Conservancy Area in stunning Kaokoland in north-west Namibia and is a joint venture between local communities and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation – the world’s only Africa-wide giraffe conservation organisation. The area is one of Namibia’s most remote and wild environments – a melee of towering mountains, sand dunes and huge expanses of desert scattered with unique wildlife and nomadic Himba settlements.

The camp is elegant and intimate, immersing you into the wilds of the desert. The six rooms blend seamlessly with the environment offering a simple aesthetic that matches the rugged landscape.

Days are spent tracking endangered rhino, desert-adapted elephant and of course desert-adapted giraffe before retiring to your private veranda to enjoy the magnitude of your surroundings (G&T in hand).

LOCATION

Hoanib Valley Camp is located in Kaokaland in the north-west of Namibia.

Access from Windhoek is by light aircraft flight to the airstrip. Alternatively, there

are road transfers available from Windhoek. Self-drivers can make their way to Sesfontein and from there be transferred into camp

CAMP

The camp sits on the bank of the Obias River overlooking the Hoanib River Valley, a linear oasis running through one of the most beautiful deserts in Africa, where desert-adapted elephant, giraffe, lion and rhino move freely.

Hoanib Valley’s six guest tents blend almost perfectly into the rugged environment. The colours, textures and patterns are inspired by the experience of the Hoanib – the rich ochre of the dunes, the geometric patterns of the Himba people, and the giraffe that inspired the project. The materials have been sourced locally and you will find furniture shaped by the local Rundu carpenters and Himba carvers and baskets woven by the people of the Omba Project in Windhoek. The whole camp leaves virtually no footprint on this fragile eco-system as it is entirely solar powered to ensure carbon emissions are kept to a minimum. The tents sit on decks made of a wood, bamboo and 70% recycled-material composite.

There are 6 ensuite tents – 5 twin/double and 1 family – raised on spacious decks each with their own private veranda. All tents have standing fans and are ensuite with a separate toilet and indoor showers.

The family tent has a king size bed and 2 single beds.

The camp has a stylish tented lounge with a well-stocked drinks cabinet, veranda and outdoor and indoor dining areas. The fire pit is a wonderful spot for an early-morning coffee or to watch the stars unfold as darkness falls, and there is also a small plunge pool in which to cool off. WIFI and charging facilities are available in the mess tent and in the rooms and the camp has disabled access – please enquire.

38Hoanib-Valley-Camp-Arial-vehicle-dunes

ACTIVITIES AND WILDLIFE

Kaokoland is one of the most remote, wild and marvellously unique areas of Namibia – a land characterised by rolling dunes, rocky mountains and desert plains criss-crossed by ancient, dry riverbeds. Temporary Himba settlements dot the landscape and scattered herds of desert-adapted elephant and giraffe are a common sight.

Hoanib Valley Camp is located in the Sesfontein Community Conservancy – the camp’s joint partners in the area. The camp is set back in a hidden valley and surrounded by a range of jagged mountains just outside the private 500 square kilometre Palmwag Concession. Views are of the ephemeral Hoanib River that teems with elephant, giraffe, oryx and springbok. Although parts of the land have been designated ‘concession areas’ tourism is still limited.

The wildlife of the Hoanib Valley is at home in the arid environment – and learning about their survival techniques is fascinating. Game drives will reveal desert-adapted elephant as well as stately desert-adapted giraffe and if you’re very lucky, desert lion. Zebra, klipspringer and kudu move freely through the mountains, and you will find hardy herds of springbok and oryx as well as steenbok picking their way across the dust-blown landscapes. The region is home to the largest population of free-ranging black rhino and a day tracking the magnificent beasts is an absolute must. Bird watchers – keep your eyes peeled for Monteiro’s hornbills or Ruppell’s korhaans in the valleys, and the Verreaux’s eagle in the mountains.

Game Drives – explore the rugged area on a morning or afternoon game drive learning about its remarkable flora and fauna including the giraffe research that is conducted in this area.

Guided Nature Walks – discover the area around camp on foot. Children must be aged 12 years and older.

Giraffe Research – learn more about the giraffe research happening in the area

Desert Rhino Tracking – with your guide you can track the elusive desert-adapted black rhino on foot. Children must be aged 12 and older.

Meeting Local Communities – spend time with the local Himba and Herero people, understanding their unique cultures. In the case of the Himbas they represent one of the last true nomadic tribes of Africa

Wildlife-Elephants

GIVING BACK

At Natural Selection, conservation is at the heart of everything we do. The loss of any natural habitat, in Africa or other, is a sobering loss for us all, and we want to do something about it. We want to make a difference. To start with, we ensure that 1.5% of your stay in our lodges goes to wildlife conservation. The donations are built into our business model and based on your stay with us. We are wholeheartedly embracing our commitment to Africa’s wildlife.

In addition to this, we partner with the local communities, governments and conservation organisations in the areas where we operate to help protect (and sometimes even expand) these important conservation areas, and to create long-term benefits. We build camps that best suit the area, working with the environments and habitats that we find there. Camps and lodges shouldn’t be obvious; they should blend perfectly into their surroundings.

Lastly, we intend to keep our guests abreast of Africa’s triumphs, losses and continued challenges, with the hope that we will inspire other wildlife-lovers to make a change. While it’s perhaps only a drop in the bucket of what is required, it’s a drop that we hope will make a difference.

A working example in this area is the desert-dwelling giraffe conservation focusing on awareness of giraffe declines in Africa and the continued conservation of desert-dwelling giraffes in northwest Namibia. Giraffes across Africa are under threat and together with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, we’re creating a strong presence in northwest Namibia to further our understanding of this Angolan sub-species and create awareness of the plight of these stately and beautiful creatures.

This is an interactive project with the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) in which guests at Hoanib Valley Camp can help monitor the desert-giraffe population and maybe even help save the giraffes further afield by creating awareness back home. The GCF are the foremost experts on giraffes, and they’re also the only organisation in the world that focuses on the conservation and management of giraffes in the wild throughout Africa.

Through their extensive work on the ground and partnerships with Governments, NGOs and universities, the GCF have identified four distinct species of giraffe, whereas before there was thought to be only one. This finding has elevated the conservation importance of the different populations with some giraffe populations so low in the wild that they are classified as Critically Endangered. In northwest Namibia, numbers of the desert-dwelling Angolan giraffe have increased over the past few decades, due to concerted conservation efforts of local communities, the Namibian Government, private tourism companies and NGOs including the GCF, and most recently Hoanib Valley Camp. Despite this, the population continues to face environmental pressures and their continued monitoring helps us to better understand and advise on their conservation.

HOANIB VALLEY CAMP IS OPEN ALL YEAR ROUND

THE LODGE WELCOMES FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN OF ALL AGES. PLEASE NOTE THAT CHILDREN MUST BE AGED 12 YEARS AND OLDER TO PARTICIPATE IN GUIDED NATURE WALKS AND RHINO TRACKING

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Call +44 1386 830264 or Email [email protected]

Our expert staff are on-hand, happy to assist with any enquiry you have.

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