Namib Kaokoland Desert Rivers
11 night / 12 day (Tented accommodation)
The Desert Rivers of Kaokoland are a unique part of the North West of Namibia. On first impression, this land looks deserted, uninviting and devoid of any life. But Kaokoland is full of surprises, filled with rich treasures of discovery for those fascinated by its unique beauty and wildlife.
With the Bhejane 4x4 Adventure team, you will experience the wonders of Kaokoland and its Desert Rivers. Our tours are conducted in a safe and environmentally sensitive manner.
• Kunene river
• Epupa Falls
• Van Zyls Pass
• The Red Drum Crossing
• Khumib River
• Hoarusib River
• Hoanib River
• Amspoort Gorge
• The Khowarib Schlucht
On this specific tour:
• You will need a 4-wheel drive vehicle with good ground clearance and low range.
• The tyres on your vehicle cannot be low profile road tyres but must be high profile floating tyres with off road capabilities.
• You do not need any previous sand and rock driving experience.
• Petrol vehicles will need at least 200 litres of fuel and diesel vehicles 180 litres (this is inclusive of what is in your on-board fuel tanks)
• Bhejane provides all the tents and meals, and sets up and takes down the camps.
Your tour leader is an experienced nature conservationist and adventure guide. He will be in radio contact with you at all times and impart a wealth of biological, cultural, historic and 4-wheel drive knowledge.
Three meals a day will be prepared by our experienced bush chef in his mobile kitchen, with fresh salads, potjiekos, braais and many other surprises appearing on the menu. The good old “koffie pot” will be on the fire from six ‘til late.
Though this self-drive adventure can get “exciting” and is sometimes not a “walk in the park”, we will at all times practice safe off-road driving techniques and should you experience any difficulty, the Bhejane crew have the “know how” and recovery equipment to assist with off-road problems.
Some of our overnight stops will be rustic and unusual, but you will nevertheless at all times be safe. The crew will spare no effort to make you comfortable, provide you with good wholesome food and, most importantly, see that you have a good time.
The group will meet in Ruacana at the Ruacana Eha Lodge between 1:30pm and 2pm Namibian time. After completing the indemnity forms, we do a quick radio check and make sure we have filled up our fuel tanks. We take to the road in convoy to the Kunene River Lodge. If time allows, en route we will have a quick visit to the Ruacana Falls and site of the old Ruacana power station, an area of great significance during the Angolan bush war.
Our first evening is spent settling in at the Kunene River lodge and meeting the crew and our fellow travellers. Your tour guide will elaborate on what lies ahead over the next few days.
Day 2 & 3:
An essential safety briefing follows an early breakfast. This is not intended to intimidate, but rather to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the challenges that lie ahead. Then it’s time to begin our incredible journey. Our day is spent following the Kunene River in a westerly direction with the Angolan border on our right and Namibia on our left. We pass though magnificent scenery, enjoying a lovely lunch next to the river.
In the afternoon we arrive at our destination - the spectacular Epupa Falls. We will be spending two days at Epupa Falls, where we will have enough time to view the falls and, for those who would like, pay a visit to a Himba Village. Our second evening we will be treated to one of Africa's most awe inspiring sunsets over the beauty of Kaokoland with the voice of a spectacular waterfall in the background.
With a long day ahead of us we have an early start after a hearty breakfast. We leave Epupa Falls behind, heading in a southerly direction to a small village called Okangwati and here we will be turning west into the heartland of Kaokoland. We will spend the night at the foot of Van Zyls pass, enjoying a hearty dinner and preparating for the next day’s rocky ride over Van Zyls pass into the Marienfluss. Our camp will be situated under some big Ana Tries with the Bhejane team ready to treat you with their bush cuisine.
The camp site for tonight is a rustic bush camp with toilets and shower facilities – Our water availability for the night is limited, but we will ensure your comfort and needs are met.
Days 5 & 6:
Today we will take our time to get to the top of Van Zyls pass with a few surprises in store for our drivers on the famious decent on the other sid of the pass. We spend some time at the top of Van Zyls pass overlooking the breath-taking views of the Marienfluss before we take on the real challenge of Van Zyls Pass - which is descending! We will make our way through the grass fields of the Marienfluss valley in a northerly direction back to the Kunene River.
Our campsite for the next two nights is on the banks of the Kunene River with toilets and shower facilities. There will be time to relax the next day and explore and discover the Marienfluss on your own or just relax at camp and re-live the past few days’ experiences.
Sadly, after breakfast, we have to leave the banks of the Kunene River behind and drive down through the beautiful Marienfluss to our next destination.
We will be stopping for lunch at a famous landmark in Kaokoland called the Red Drum. The original drum was a red Caltex 45 gallon drum that Mr Ben Van Zyl left there after using it as a petrol stash. In those years you could actually leave petrol like this there without it being stolen!! In the end he used it as a marker and called it Rooidrom. The original drum at Rooidrom was taken by Hereros who would fill it with river water and take it to their cattle in the Marienfluss. This is one of the reasons why the area about 20km from Otjinungwa is so badly overgrazed. Chris Eyre, who was the nature conservator there, replaced it with a new drum that he painted red and it was immediately taken again. The last and third drum, he made full of holes and put gravel inside. It is still standing
After lunch we head for a camp site on the banks of the Khumib River called Marble camp. This camp is named after the mine in the area called Marble Mine, which we will visit in the afternoon en route.
The campsite for tonight will have toilets and shower facilities - again rustic, but we will ensure your comfort and needs are met.
Days 8 & 9:
After breakfast we will drive to the best little shop in Kaokoland, in a small village called Oropembe, for an ice cold beverage. We then follow the Khumib River for most of the morning, keeping a lookout for possible sightings of Desert Elephants and other wildlife. After lunch we enter the Hoarusib River which takes us all the way to Puros and our campsite. We will spend the next 2 nights here, enjoying the surrounding areas and the silence of nature in the evenings around the camp fire.
An early start at around 7am finds us heading down the Hoarusib River, crossing over to the Hoanib River at Amspoort and heading to our next destination, the Khowarib schlucht. A long but beautiful day will see us searching for elephants, rhino and other wildlife and experiencing the ever changing landscapes of Kaokoland. We will have the opportunity to refuel at Sesfontein that afternoon before heading for our campsite.
Our final day of driving will also see us driving in our last river in the Desert Rivers tour, leaving the Haonib river behind and entering the Ombonde River. We will be spending most of the day in the river, driving in thick sand and through big dust holes and earning our 4x4 driving badges - a great way to finish off our unbelievable journey.
Our last night we will be camping outside Kamanjab at the Rustig Toko Lodge where the Bhejane team will have camp ready and a great dinner to end off our trip.
Sadly after breakfast we have to say our goodbyes after a memorable trip together - that is until your next Behjane 4x4 Adventure experience.