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Discovering Namibia’s newest luxury lodges

Hoanib Valley .jpg
Hoanib Valley .jpg

Namibia has scenery and wildlife-spotting opportunities in abundance, and now two new luxury lodges are opening up one of its most remote areas, discovers Sarah Gilbert.

With the wind direction in our favour, we creep stealthily over the rocky ground to within 75 metres of him.

 

He’s hard to spot at first, earth-coloured from dust-bathing and snoozing under a tree he looks like a giant boulder – until his trumpet-shaped ears start to twitch.

 

Black rhinos make up for their poor eyesight with excellent hearing. A rock shifts, and within seconds he’s on his feet, annoyed and staring in our direction. I hold my breath; it’s time for fight or flight. Not for me – I’ve been told not to move – but for Harry the black rhino. Luckily he chooses flight and heads off in the opposite direction at astonishing speed.

 

It is a memorable end to my time at Hoanib Valley Camp in Kaokoland.

 

The wild north-west of Namibia is harsh and unforgiving yet stunningly beautiful, bordered by the Kunene river – the watery frontier with Angola – to the north, the isolated Skeleton Coast to the west and the Hoanib river to the south. Its epic landscapes provide refuge for a surprising variety of desert-adapted flora and fauna – elephants, lions and oryx among them – alongside the Himba, one of Africa’s last semi-nomadic cultures.

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