Stark but mesmerising beauty in Kaokoland


Be ready to experience the stark but mesmerising beauty in Kaokoland Namibia, home of the nomadic Himba people, the rare desert-dwelling elephant and the black rhino – where special safari accommodation in lodges and camps suits your quest. 

Famous for its rugged purple mountain ranges and the Kunene River, Kaokoland is a harsh bit of Namibian desert with huge boulders dotted around and rare wildlife hiding. Enjoy amazing Wild figs, Baobabs, Makalani palms and other trees on safaris through the beautiful Kaokoland and find the best packages, lodges and campsites for your itinerary here. 

Kaokoland is most visited for its unique desert-adapted elephants that can survive without water for as long as four days at a time. Digging deep holes to get to the water, they enable other animals to drink too. Almost wiped out by drought and poachers during the last century, they have adapted to their harsh conditions, instinctively finding food and water.

Did you know?

The desert elephant roams over 3000 square km, often moving up to 200 km a day to find water. They only drink every three or four days, compared with elephants in Etosha that drink 100 to 200 litres of water a day. These elephants also rarely destroy trees.


  • It’s so remote that there is plenty of space and wildlife, nature and soul-fulfilling silences in this 40 000 square km region. 
  • Birders will be able to seek out some of the 240 Namibian bird species here including kingfishers, herons, fish eagles and more.
  • Rhino tracking safaris on foot or in a 4×4 are very exciting and many private lodges offer this activity.
  • Fantastic accommodation in safari tents, lodges, cabins and even resorts with all mod cons needed.

Family Safaris in Kaokoland

Take your family on a thrilling holiday to a rugged and dry desert wilderness – Kaokoland is the ultimate remote place in Namibia and provides adventure for families and friends in the northern reaches of the country near Etosha!   

Choose exquisite desert-style camps and lodges close to incredible sightings yet protected from the elements. Kids will feel in awe at this epic environment and want to run free in this vast magic place so take them on all the offered outings. Many of the Kaokoland camps offer game drives, guided walks and tracking of the desert-adapted rhinos, elephants and lions that survive in these parts. 

Get out to find the amazing waterfalls and try some white water rafting. Most Kaokoland camps and lodges feature luxury amenities too and kind staff are keen to make a difference in your kids’ holiday experience. Treat your family to this once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Namibia wilds of awesome Kaokoland – a time to be active and to be quiet, a time to chat and a time to listen. Nature beckons. 

The Lie of the Land

Welcome to one of the wildest and least populated areas in Namibia, where Himba people make up a third of the total population. It’s best to explore this region in a 4×4 vehicle as the roads are very bad and services can only be found in Opuwa. The mountainous Kaokoland stretches from the Hoanib river to the Kunene river, the border with Angola. 

The land is generally dry and rocky, especially to the south, on the Namib Desert border, but it also features several rivers and gorgeous waterfalls. When you travel north, you start to see greener vegetation thriving in valleys such as the Marienfluss and Hartmann Valleys. 

The Hoanib River forms the southern border of Kaokoland and the Kunene River in the north, Namibia’s border with Angola. The huge, charismatic Kunene River is ideal for fantastic white-water rafting and canoeing adventures. Swimming is great but beware of lurking crocodiles. 

The highlight of a trip to Ondurusa Rapids is negotiating these torrents, passing through the looming zebra mountains and crossing the section of the river known as the 13 Rapids. Experience the only true waterfall in Namibia, Ruacana Falls, standing 120 m high and reaching 700 m wide when in a flood. Visit nearby Epupa Falls (meaning ‘the spray’), a much smaller flow of water, to take photos of this landmark formed by a trail of cascades stretching nearly two kilometres.

Find the highest peak in the Baynes Mountains. The Otjihipa Mountains in the north form an oasis in a sea of brown, mauves and reds- the eastern boundary of the Marienfluss Valley. View the very dry Hartmann Mountains, despite being closer to the sea’s salty mists which float over them. Head north of the Hoarusib River to discover flat koppies.

Kaokoland Features

The Himba people, descendants of the Herero who migrated further south in the 18th century, move around to find grazing for their cattle and goats. While the Herero people later experienced German rule and drastically changed their lifestyle as well as their costumes, the Himba retained much of their traditional, nomadic and pastoral habits.

Relax in quiet hot water springs at Warmquelle and maybe pop into the historical Sesfontein Fort which is named after the six fountains found nearby. Date palms at the fort were planted by German police officers who came to stop elephant and rhino poaching, as well as the smuggling of weapons.

After the end of the bush war, Kaokoland evolved into a superb tourist destination in Namibia, thanks to being so close to Etosha National Park, its unspoiled nature and adventure activities, and its traditional Himba villages. Voyage2Africa promises some of the best Namibian accommodation too in this region, from rustic chic desert camps to luxury hotels and lodges.

The Best Of The Best Safaris in Kaokoland

Plan a Namibia tour and safari with Voyage2Africa, the African travel experts, and enjoy signature experiences to premier wildlife destinations south of the equator. We bring you thrilling adventures in the infinite spaces of the Kaokoland landscapes where rocky spaces merge with mountains and waterfalls. We offer you the best of the best safari accommodation in and around this rugged terrain, in lavish lodges, splendid family resorts, eco villas and rustic wild campsites in nature.  Take a look at some beautiful desert-based camps here for starters. 

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