Kaokoland is Namibia’s most isolated region, and perhaps also its most beautiful. That might be going too far in a country so full of incredible landscapes, but Kaokoland is particularly special precisely because of its remoteness and inaccessibility. You can drive for days without seeing another vehicle and it feels as if you have the whole, spectacular desert to yourself.
Highlights of the region
Southern Kaokoland is a mix of open grassland, sandy riverbeds and sun-blasted, treeless mountains. The region begins properly at the Hoanib River and from there you can follow a network of stony 4×4 tracks and dry, sandy riverbeds that extend north towards the Kunene River. Look out for desert elephants in the riverbeds and lions around Puros. Take the time to soak in the amazing desert scenery and to camp wild in majestic canyons under the stars.
Practical + driving advice about the region (time needed)
Kaokoland is best from April to September when conditions are cooler. April may still bring some late summer rain so beware of flash floods in the riverbeds. Earlier in the season the landscape is greener, but the wildlife may be more dispersed and sightings less likely. This is a completely wild region and the animals are not used to human contact. Be especially mindful of the desert elephants and give them plenty of room if encountered.
It’s essential to have a GPS, loaded with a detailed map of the region – Tracks4Africa is the map of choice. There’s water in Sesfontein, Puros and Orupembe, but otherwise you’ll need to be completely self-sufficient and, for safety, it’s best to travel with more than one vehicle. Give yourself at least a week to explore the region and don’t attempt it without a 4×4.