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Escape to another world at our ultra-remote lodges in western Namibia09 May 2022

Two of the most remote camps in Namibia have joined the Sanctuary family from May 2022. These extraordinary destinations may be the most unique places you will ever visit.

Extraordinary safaris and adventures

Few visitors have witnessed these surreal vistas, encountered the special desert adapted elephants, giraffes and lions, or met the indigenous Himba tribespeople, who find their own ways to thrive here.

The silence is striking. Soak in the stillness, whether you’re tracking a desert elephant, sipping poolside sundowners or wondering at the dazzling canopy of the vast night-time sky. Stay at both the luxurious Okahirongo Elephant Lodge and boutique eco-friendly Okahirongo River Camp for an unforgettable Namibian safari experience.

Okahirongo Elephant Lodge

This tiny oasis of luxury is nestled in the heart of the deserted Kaokoland, ensuring a rare tranquil experience. The magnificent lodge sits atop the banks of the Hoarusib riverbed. The dramatic earth-coloured architecture suits the rugged landscape, with a striking dome styled after a signature Himba home.

The main lounge and dining room walls are open to the evocative views, a perfectly peaceful setting for a delicious meal and fine wine after a day of adventure. The infinity pool has practically infinite views to the mountains on the horizon and there’s a traditional boma, where you can gather around an evening fire for conversation or stargazing.

There are seven private suites, with windows that open wide to spectacular views. Each spacious bedroom is uniquely decorated with an African ambience, in tones of sand and ochre. There are characterful touches, from hand-carved wooden furniture and tasteful African fabrics to distinctive sculptures, lamps made of porcupine quills and kudu antler door handles.

Each suite has a private veranda overlooking the desert. From the shaded daybed – spot giraffe strolling along the river valley or watch the moon rise. The ensuite bathroom includes a bath with a view, indoor shower and a spectacular open-air shower. There is also a private family suite, with two bedrooms, two stunning bathrooms, private terrace and an open lounge.

This is a most serene base for your adventures, which include game drives with expert Himba guides to track desert elephants, lions, giraffe and plentiful gemsbok, springbok, steenbok and kudu, as well as exotic birds. You can even track black rhinos on foot, followed by lunch in the bush. Or take a trip to the phenomenal clay castles of the Hoarusib River valley, keeping an eye out for elephants, giraffes, oryx and jackals. Another must-do is sipping a sundowner as the sun sets over the majestic dunes.

Okahirongo River Camp

This luxurious tented camp lies on a ridge above the Kunene River in northwest Namibia. If you fly in, you’ll get an amazing perspective on the breathtaking Marienfluss Valley, surrounded by the Baynes, Otjihipa and Hartmann mountains. The serene desert stillness is captivating. Often, the only sound you’ll hear is the soothing ripple of the rapids below.

The tranquil atmosphere is enhanced by the well-appointed yet earth-conscious tented river camp. The natural colours and materials suit the environment, as do the solar panels and traditional lighting. The open-plan main lodge dazzles guests with stunning views of the river and mountains. Enjoy views of the Kunene from the cool waters of the camp’s swimming pool – you may even spy crocodiles in the river.

The camp is very intimate, with just five tented cabins. Each has a covered deck with amazing river views. The rooms include a luxurious indoor shower plus an outdoor shower with panoramic views. There is also a private tented family villa, with a spacious king bedroom, twin room and expansive decking area.

Despite its remote locale, Okahirongo River Camp prides itself on delicious food prepared with passion. Guests can also eat outdoors to soak in the atmosphere and those captivating views.

Encounter this amazing ecosphere from every perspective. A river cruise gives you a croc’s-eye view of the scenery, as you cruise along the Kunene in a small pontoon boat, spying crocodiles, native birds and other wildlife. On an early-morning walking safari you really feel the scale of the landscape, while a sundown climb will reward you with picturesque mountaintop views. Or enjoy a scenic drive to the Moon Valley.

Another extraordinary activity is a visit to an authentic Himba village, where you’ll meet the indigenous people and learn how they have adapted to desert life. Their distinctive reddish hue is thanks to the ochre pigment balm that protects their skin and hair from the harsh sun. You’ll learn of their traditions, such as the sacred fire (okuruwo) that burns day and night.

Your Namibian experiences will have a lasting effect, long after you leave this extraordinary land.