Set amongst shady trees on the banks of the Kunene River in Namibia, Wilderness Safaris Serra Cafema is one of the most remote camps in southern Africa, its Portuguese name originating from the mountains that dominate the northern skyline. One cannot fail to be struck by the immense open space of the area, where the aeons-old impact on the geology is somehow amplified here.
7 one-bedroom Suites
1 two-bedroom Family Unit
Pool in main area
Safari Trading Store
Sunken viewing deck
Lounge/dining and bar areas
In-suite massage treatments
Guided nature walks
Nature drives, day and night
Guided quad bike excursions
Star gazing with a laser pointer
Visit to a working Himba village
Back of house tours
Indigenous tree planting
Olympus Photo Hub experience
In keeping with their objective of reducing energy consumption and fuel use at all the camps, Sierra Cafema is 100% solar powered, with electricity and hot water provided via solar panels and inverters.
- With the utmost respect for the Himba peoples and culture, Serra Cafema has been able to establish excellent relationships with the Himba when they move into the area and stay for a while in one of their village sites. Guests are able to experience traditional Himba culture in a respectful interaction, to the benefit of all.
In addition to Serra Cafema’s community success story, the camp is also driving sustainable conservation by helping rehabilitate the island on which the camp is built. They have started a nursery, planting trees and shrubs indigenous to the area, such as mustard, ana trees and sandpaper fig. A sapling is given to guests on their last night in camp, and they are then invited to plant their tree as part of the rehabilitation process, thus directly contributing to the restoration of the island
Staff are hired from neighbouring communities and undergo continual training and upskilling workshops.
- More than just a movement to introduce a larger variety of plant based dishes into their menus, and prioritising fish and chicken over red meat, they also prioritise legumes, grains and other plants over animal protein in the majority of Serra Cafema’s menus.
Serra Cafema is designed to enhance the stunning natural features of its beautiful desertscape surrounds, while drawing guests into the world of the statuesque and semi-nomadic Himba.
The conceptual organisation of Serra Cafema’s main area emulates the structure of a Himba village, with social functions divided into related groups and accommodated in smaller buildings or “huts” that ensure an intimate scale. The furniture was sourced from a group of makers in Katutura (a lively township outside of Windhoek), while the servers and tables for the dining area at the camp were produced by the young craftsmen and women of TABLED, a social enterprise that gives orphans a future perspective by involving them in crafting designer furniture.
Waste water (sewage and grey water) is treated in an Above Ground Sewerage Plant, ensuring that the water is clean before being allowed to enter the natural environment.
- In order to reduce the use of bottled water, reverse osmosis filtration is done on site to provide guests with high-quality drinking water.
In partnership with a group of Himba women, Mbiri, a local Namibian company, has developed a range of products based on the Himba tradition of sustainably harvesting the resin from the omumbiri tree (Commiphora wildii) and using it as a perfume. Mbiri products align perfectly with the Wilderness Safaris ethos of retaining a light camp footprint and supporting local communities and businesses.
Namibia is a true year-round destination with less extreme seasonal changes than other parts of southern Africa, although, along the Namibian coastline, the cold Atlantic Benguela Current dictates the weather. Summer allows the possibility of a ‘green desert’ with profusion of colour and life in the form of young antelope, grass and even flowers.
Good to Know
The land on which Serra Cafema is constructed is leased from the 300 000-hectare Marienfluss Conservancy, which is owned primarily by the Himba people, who are amongst the last semi-nomadic peoples on the planet.
FOOD & WINE
The holistic approach to reducing their foodprint means sourcing indigenous ingredients, supporting local communities and farms, and reducing their food waste substantially through innovative menus using root to stem dishes and upcycling ingredients.
Hosea Kutako International Airport is the main international access point for Namibia. Wilderness Air transfers guests between Serra Cafema and Windhoek, and return, for onward connections.