Etosha National Park to //Huab Under Canvas
Today is a long day, but filled with many memorable experiences!
Today after breakfast you depart and head into the heart of Damaraland where you will spend the next three nights at your specially erected //Huab Under Canvas Camp. Damaraland is typified by displays of color, magnificent table topped mountains, rock formations and bizarre-looking vegetation. The present day landscape has been formed by the erosion of wind, water and geological forces which have created rolling hills, dunes, gravel plains and ancient river terraces. It is the variety and loneliness of the area as well as the scenic splendor which will reward and astound you, giving one an authentic understanding of the word 'wilderness'.
En-route to your camp your guide/s will take you to visit a local Himba settlement – you may have to search for a while as the semi-nomadic Himba people sometimes move location with no notice. They are one of the last most traditional peoples of Namibia and have little time for conventional practices. You will learn about the customs and traditions of this very proud nation, and will be given insight into their beliefs, way of life and everyday routine. Your guide/s will prove invaluable to ensure an interactive encounter with these fascinating inhabitants of a harsh environment. You also have the opportunity to visit a local school which Ultimate Safaris supports (provided it falls during the week and not school holidays).
After a delectable picnic lunch at a suitably scenic location, you continue on to the Under Canvas Camp with the last stretch into the camp being on tracks which are well off the beaten path. You will arrive in the late afternoon after what would have been a long yet rewarding day – with time to enjoy fireside sundowners at your camp that will be your home for the next three nights.
The Himba: The Himba, Tjimba and other Herero people who inhabit Namibia’s remote north-western Kunene Region are loosely referred to as the Kaokovelders. Basically Herero in terms of origin, language and culture, they are semi-nomadic pastoralists who tend to tend from one watering place to another. They seldom leave their home areas and maintain, even in their own, on which other cultures have made little impression. For many centuries they have lived a relatively isolated existence and were not involved to any noteworthy extent in the long struggle for pasturelands between the Nama and the Herero. The largest group of Kaokovelders is the Himba, semi-nomads who live in scattered settlements throughout the Kunene Region. They are a tall, slender and statuesque people, characterized especially by their proud yet friendly bearing.
The women especially are noted for their unusual sculptural beauty, enhanced by intricate hairstyles and traditional adornments. They rub their bodies with red ochre and fat, a treatment that protects their skins against the harsh desert climate. The homes of the Himba of Kaokoland are simple, cone-shaped structures of saplings, bound together with palm leaves and plastered with mud and dung. The men build the structures, while the women mix the clay and do the plastering. A fire burns in the headman’s hut day and night, to keep away insects and provide light and heating. A family may move from one home to another several times a year to seek grazing for their goats and cattle. Men, women and children wear body adornments made from iron and shell beads. A Himba woman spends as much as three hours a day on her toilette. First she bathes, then she anoints herself with her own individually prepared mixture which not only protects her skin from the harsh desert sun, but also keeps insects away and prevents her body hair from falling out. She uses another mixture of butter fat, fresh herbs and black coals to rub on her hair, and ‘steams’ her clothes regularly over the permanent fire. Men, women and children adorn themselves with necklaces, bracelets, anklets and belts made from iron and shell beads. With their unusual and striking designs, these items have gained a commercial value and are being produced on a small scale for the urban market. Sculptural headrests in particular are sought-after items.
Under Canvas camps : are non-participatory and are serviced and equipped to ensure that guests can stay in great comfort while allowing them to relax and revel in the feeling of space and solitude that makes Namibia so special. Good food and wine are an important part of the overall experience, so our camp catering is of a suitably high standard - even in dry, desolate areas where this can be hard to maintain. Our camp chefs have their own unique specialties so delicious, wholesome meals and local delicacies are prepared for each meal using fresh local produce wherever possible. Guests are looked after by a caring, warm tribe of ‘safari magicians’ who love what they do and whose main ambition is to ensure that each moment spent Under Canvas is as perfect as possible. Days are filled with thrilling encounters and nights are spent entranced with exclusivity beyond most people’s wildest expectations.
//Huab Under Canvas is located in a core desert adapted black rhino area in the //Huab Conservancy in Damaraland, approximately 90 km north west of Khorixas, and it is nestled in a grove of Mopane trees on the banks of a tributary of the //Huab River. Protected from all the prevailing winds and sun, the semi-mobile camp is virtually invisible from anywhere around and it carries arguably the lowest environmental footprint of any camp in Namibia.
Our Under Canvas camps use large rectangular Meru tents (4m x 3m and 2.5 m high) with built in groundsheets and mosquito screens on all doors and windows. Each spacious tent is equipped with standard height camp beds, solar lighting, and storage for clothing and other belongings that need to be accessible. Each also has a bathroom which has its own flush toilet, bucket shower and washbasin. A small table, mirror, towels and toiletries as well as solar lighting are also provided in the bathroom, and chairs on the patio allow guests to relax and enjoy the surrounding view. Activities include tracking desert adapted rhino which is completely private and done in an area that has the highest tracking success rate in north western Namibia; exploring the upper and less crowded //Huab River in search of desert adapted elephants (if in the area); nature walks and scenic game drives; as well as the possibility of visiting some nearby prehistoric rock engravings.
Accommodations: //Huab Under Canvas Camp