This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines now closed

User menu
Serra Cafema
Serra Cafema
Serra Cafema
Serra Cafema
Serra Cafema
Serra Cafema
Serra Cafema
Serra Cafema

Serra Cafema: Our full report

Serra Cafema is probably Namibia's most remote camp.

In the extreme north-west, at the end of the vast Hartmann Valley, this luxurious lodge nestles in a lush belt of riverine forest beside the Kunene River, overlooking Angola. This river stands in total contrast to the arid desert and rugged mountains around it making this a very special location.

Serra Cafema is a small camp which combines rustic and with luxury. The wood and thatch main area sits on the bank of the Kunene River nestled in amongst the reeds and shaded by large trees. There is a sunken lounge to the front, a bar area, indoor and outdoor dining areas as well as a small library, curio shop and plunge pool. All have views over the Kunene River.

Serra Cafema has eight luxurious en-suite villas raised on wooden decks. Constructed from canvas and thatch, each spacious room has a large double bed surrounded by a mosquito net, lounge area, an en suite bathroom and private veranda. The large glass doors all along the front of the room can be opened giving stunning views across the Kunene River to Angola beyond.

Due to its location, a stay at Serra Cafema enables you to explore a diversity of landscapes and eco-systems on a variety of activities. The lodge offers nature drives into the rolling yellow dunes of the Namib Desert, and well as quad biking. (NB: It’s essential that you read the Quadbike warning in the ‘Health & Safety’ section below for our comments on insurance issues regarding this activity.) Both are done sensitively so as not to disturb this fragile environment. You can also take drives and walks into the Hartmann’s mountains, where the scenery is stark but breath-taking. Boat trips along the Kunene add another dimension – water birds abound and crocodiles bask – so different to the arid landscape that surrounds this oasis. There is also the possibility of visiting a Himba community, which too is done with sensitivity.

Please note that due to the remote nature of this camp we tend not to get to visit it as often as some of the more accessible camps unfortunately.


Our view

Serra Cafema is one of Africa's most magical areas, so staying here in great comfort, with enthusiastic guides, is a real privilege.

Tom Morris

Tom Morris

Country manager: Namibia

Geographics

Location
Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland, Namibia
Ideal length of stay
Three nights
Accessible by
Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board & Activities

Special interests

Honeymoons
For a magical and exclusive honeymoon in Namibia, Serra Cafema is a very special choice. The camp is one of the most remote in southern Africa, and combines rustic and luxury elements in a starkly beautiful and peaceful location.
See ideas for Honeymoons
Birdwatching
On the banks of the Kunene River, Serra Cafema is one of the most remote camps in Southern Africa. The river’s permanent water and accompanying vegetation provides sanctuary from the surrounding desert, making this a top spot for birdwatching in Namibia.
See ideas for Birdwatching
Photography holidays
Namibia abounds with otherworldly environments but the often Martian like landscapes around Serra Cafema are some of the most remote and photographic in Southern Africa.
See ideas for Photography holidays
Cultural experiences
Arguably Namibia’s most remote camp, Serra Cafema offers visits to traditional Himba villages. They’re authentic experiences; off the beaten track, away from most tourists, and conducted with great sensitivity. Learn about the lifestyle and customs of these semi-nomadic people.
See ideas for Cultural experiences
Luxury
Nestled in a thin strip of luxuriant palm-forest, Serra Cafema stands beside a linear oasis: one of the country’s two permanent rivers through the desert. This is Namibia at its most remote, yet with beautiful suites where velvety bedspreads and sumptuous leather armchairs exude luxury.
See ideas for Luxury

Children

Attitude towards children
Children aged 6 years and older are welcome at Serra Cafema
Generally recommended for children
This camp is probably best for older children.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Serra Cafema

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Serra Cafema have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.

Oryx

100% success

Brown Hyena

0% success

Cheetah

0% success

Elephant

0% success

Giraffe

0% success

Leopard

0% success

Meerkat

0% success

Spotted Hyena

0% success

Sustainability

Serra Cafema sustainability

The signing of an agreement with Marienfluss Conse

It’s been over 15 years since the first joint venture agreement between Wilderness Safaris and Marienfluss Conservancy in Namibia to open Serra Cafema Camp was signed. Although the camp has been recently renovated, their partnership with the conservancy has not changed. The main reason behind is the camp’s choice to help create a thriving living environment for the semi-nomadic Himba people who inhabit a mosaic of villages in this vast stretch of wilderness.

The success of the agreement was certified through its renewal in 2017 for further ten years. Up-to-date direct benefits from Wilderness Safaris to the Marienfluss Conservancy include payment of bed-night fees to the Conservancy and local employment and skills transfer. Currently, 70% of Serra Cafema’s employees come from local areas. Himba people are assisted with transportation to the local clinic or hospital when needed, and funding to building a borehole for people and livestock has been provided. Employees benefit from a small shop for daily necessities, a transport service and a communication centre available for emergencies or to help staff keep in touch with their families as well as first aid supplies to help with minor injuries.

The camp has also contributed to the building of the first school in the Conservancy - Marienfluss School from Grade 0 to 7, with 70 students and six teachers. Children’s wellbeing is further taken care of by inviting them to participate in Children in the Wilderness camps.

See more great sustainability projects in Namibia

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Medical care
There is an on-line doctor in Otjiwarongo who the staff can speak to if necessary, and the camp has emergency evacuation plans in place.



Quadbike warning: quad-biking is sometimes available as an activity from Serra Cafema. As with any potentially dangerous activity, it’s vital that you take responsibility for ensuring that you have adequate travel insurance prior to getting involved. Be aware that some insurances cover quad-bike activities only for bikes with lower engine ratings: check such clauses particularly carefully before you get on a bike.
Dangerous animals
Moderate Risk
Fire safety

Activities

  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

    Birdwatching

  • Boat trip

    Boat trip

  • Cultural excursion

    Cultural excursion

  • Guided walking safari

    Guided walking safari

  • Night drive

    Night drive

  • Quad-biking

    Quad-biking

Extras

Disabled access
On Request
Laundry facilities
Included

Other lodges in Skeleton Coast & Kaokoland

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


Cape Cross Lodge

Cape Cross Lodge

Right on the Skeleton Coast, between Swakopmund and Damaraland, Cape Cross Lodge has easy access to Cape Cross Seal Reserve.


87% (57 reviews)
Terrace Bay

Terrace Bay

Terrace Bay is bleak. However, those that stay here come to experience the remote and inhospitable nature of the Skeleton Coast.


78% (35 reviews)
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

Hoanib Skeleton Camp

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp is actually situated 42km inland in Kaokoland, this said they offer a superb guided day trip to the coast.


99% (33 reviews)
Schoeman's Skeleton Coast Safaris

Skeleton Coast Safaris

Skeleton Coast Safaris is a small, family-run operation that has organized trips here for 20 years.


98% (26 reviews)
Opuwo Country Lodge

Opuwo Country Lodge

Opuwo Country Hotel provides comfortable accommodation is well situated for a night's stop before travelling into remote parts of Kaokoland.


83% (6 reviews)
Skeleton Coast Shipwreck Lodge

Shipwreck Lodge

The only property on this desolate stretch of coastline, the extraordinary Shipwreck Lodge opens up a new section of the Skeleton Coast National Park


100% (5 reviews)
Hoanib Valley Camp

Hoanib Valley Camp

The intimate and remote Hoanib Valley Camp offers a rare chance to explore this dramatic corner of Namibia and to search for its sparse desert-adapted wildlife.


100% (5 reviews)
Epupa Camp

Epupa Camp

Epupa Camp is a welcoming oasis set on the palm-fringed banks of the Kunene River in north-west Namibia and close to Epupa Falls.


100% (2 reviews)
Kunene River Camp

Kunene River Camp

Used exclusively on Schoeman's Skeleton Coast Safaris, Kunene River Camp occupies a pretty location on the banks of the Kunene River.


100% (1 review)
Okahirongo Elephant Lodge

Okahirongo Ele. Lodge

Tucked away in Namibia's far northwest Okahirongo Elephant Lodge offers luxurious chalets, with stunning views and plenty of activities.


80% (1 review)
Leylandsdrift Camp

Leylandsdrift Camp

Used exclusively on the Schoeman's skeleton cost safaris, Leylandsdrift Camp is a great place to track desert elephant.


100% (1 review)
Kuidas Camp

Kuidas Camp

Kuidas Camp is usually the first-night stop on a Schoeman's safari. It is a very simple camp with stunning views of the Huab River Valley.


100% (1 review)

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team

Africa