South African-based safari company Natural Selection has announced it will open the Hoanib Valley Camp in the remote and wild Kaokoland in northwest Namibia in May. The camp is a joint venture between Natural Selection, the local communities and the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.
Located in the Sesfontein Community Conservancy, the camp sits on the banks of the Obias River, just outside the Palmwag Concession and overlooks the ephemeral Hoanib River.
From the camp, guests can track elusive desert-adapted lions, elephants and black rhinos, enjoy cultural experiences and discovering more about the desert-adapted giraffes that are the focus of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation’s work in Hoanib.
Hoanib Valley Camp features six guest tents that are raised on large decks and all have views out to the Hoanib River valley beyond.
Rates at Hoanib Valley Camp start at $580 per person, per night, inclusive of accommodations, meals, daily activities and locally brewed beers and wines from the region.
Hoanib Valley Camp is a joint venture with the local community and with the NGO the Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF). GCF are the longest running giraffe conservation charity in Africa and are the leaders in cutting edge giraffe research. In Hoanib, their research not only focusses on the desert-adapted giraffe in the area, but also helps to monitor elephant and general game.
Very few people realise the giraffe are endangered and they are often over-shadowed by the larger (sexier!) species such as rhino and elephant. Through their genetic work, Dr. Fennessy and the GCF have discovered four distinct species of giraffe across Africa, instead of what was formally thought to be sub-species – crucial information concerning the future of giraffe populations across the continent. Interested in finding out more? When in camp there are opportunities to meet the researchers and learn about the critical work going on in the area, and it’s also possibly to spend time in the field with the team for a donation of US$ 500.
Natural Selection donates 1.5% of their gross revenue to conservation, and the GCF is one of the partners who receives funds. We’re delighted to have partnered with them, and to be contributing to their research and project work.
The wildlife of the Hoanib Valley is perfectly 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’ll 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 (or even a morning or an afternoon) 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 imperious Verreaux’s eagle in the mountains.
Deep in the north-western corner of Namibia, Kaokoland is one of the most remote, wild and marvellously unique areas of the country. It’s a land characterised by rolling dunes, rocky mountains and desert plains all criss-crossed by ancient, dry riverbeds, the roads of the area. Temporary Himba settlements dot the landscape, and scattered herds of desert-adapted elephant and giraffe are a common sight.
Hoanib Valley Camp itself is located in the Sesfontein Community Conservancy, our joint partners in the area. The camp sits on the banks of the Obias River, just outside the private 500 square kilometre Palmwag Concession, and overlooks the ephemeral Hoanib River that teems with resident elephant, giraffe, oryx and springbok. Although parts of the land have been designated ‘concession areas’ tourism is still limited, making a visit to this unspoiled corner even more memorable.
Sources: Travel Weekly | Natural Selection
Author – Marc Anthony Johnson