Okahirongo River Camp
On the Kunene River in Kaokoland
Situated in the heart of the Kaokoland Mountains is the spectacular Marienfluss Valley, home to the Himba people. Set in this valley, which stretches north all the way until it reaches the banks of the Kunene River, is the Okahirongo River Camp. Perfectly sited amongst several hills, it overlooks the Otupambua Rapids, with stupendous views of surrounding landscapes, dotted with elegant palm trees.
Catering for only a maximum of 14 guests, Okahirongo River Camp is the ideal fly-in destination for tourists and travellers seeking an ultimate and exclusive hideaway in the spectacular and most northern area of Kaokoveld. Fly-in transfers from Okahirongo Elephant Lodge to the River Camp take around 40mins.
The main complex at the river camp has been constructed right at the top of the rapids. It has 2 lounges, a library, curio shop and a dining room with fabulous views of the river. Centrally located here is the swimming pool, and the spacious, beautiful sun deck is a great spot to relax and unwind. Meals here are inspired by a fusion of Africa & Italy and are always accompanied by fine South African wines.
The accommodation at Okahirongo River Camp has been built into the rocky terrain:
- Tents: 4 luxurious Double Tents and 1 twin Double Tent are constructed from wood and canvas and each offers magnificent river views. Interiors have been stylishly designed and furnished and include mosquito netted four-poster beds. All of the rooms have inside and outside showers and a viewing deck overlooking the Kunene River.
- Family Suite: The Family Suite provides similar facilities, views and accommodation to the Double Tents but for 4 guests.
The main highlight at Okahirongo River Lodge are visits to a Himba village. The Himba people live in the seclusion of Kaokoland are the Himba, a tribal group, who have maintained their traditional, ethnic individuality, pastoral way of life and culture, despite the increasingly surrounding influences of the modern world closing in on them. These friendly people are closely related to the Herero and both ethnic groups speak the same language. They predominantly breed cattle and goats and lead a nomadic life, and depending on the time of year, they move with their herds to different watering places.
Clothes, hairstyle and jewellery are all of particular significance to the Himba and play a significant role in their tradition and culture. Newborn babies are adorned with pearl necklaces and when they are a little older, bangles made of beaten copper and shells are added. The proud Himba women take several hours for beauty care every morning, rubbing their bodies with a cream, which consists of rancid butterfat and ochre powder, scented with the resin of the Omuzumba bush. The cream lends the body an intense reddish shine, which corresponds to the Himba ideal of beauty.
- Visits to a Himba Village
- One of the highlights of a stay at Okahirongo River Camp is visiting a Himba village. Learn about their customs, traditions and beliefs. Each village comprises of several families, who live in wooden huts covered in earth mixed with dung.
- Game drives
- Join a guided game or scenic drive into the mountains and red dunes of Marienfluss.
- Boat cruises
- A jaunt down the Kunene river by boat is an exciting way to spot a variety of birds and watch as crocodiles bask in the sunshine on the rivers banks. Interestingly crocodiles do not have any sweat glands and they cool off by keeping their mouths open.
- A great way to explore the area is by an early morning walk, a highly recommended way to see Marienfluss Valley close up and personal.
- Scenic flights
- Fly to the nearby Epupa Falls and enjoy a birds-eye view of the valley, before munching into a tasty picnic lunch.
Okahirongo River Camp is best used as fly in destination (due to the treacherous 4x4 driving conditions). We can arrange flights to the lodge from any point in Namibia. Many people choose to leave their vehicle at a lodge fly to the camp, then return to collect their vehicle and continue on their self-drive trip in Namibia
For those wishing to drive use the following route. From Puros drive towards Orupembe and then onto Onjuva and then towards Red Drum. From Red Drum drive into the Marienfluss (Otjinungwa) Okahirongo River Camp is at the rapids on the Kunene River, 2km past the community campsite.
A tented camp on the banks of the Kunene River close to Epupa Falls and Himba settlements
A rustic option but closest situated to Epupa Falls, this site previously only provided campsites, but recently added rooms on stilts overlooking the river and falls
On the border between Kaokoland and Damaraland this fort was built at the same time as the fort of Namutoni in Etosha
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Up-market luxury safari camp in a spectacuar setting overlooking the Kunene River. A range of activities are included and a highlight is a visit to the local Himba community
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