Kunene, Namibia

Wilderness Serra Cafema news – May/June 2024

Camp news

Camp Manager


RIP Vengipo “Mengipo” Tjambiru

We are deeply saddened to advise that Vengipo “Mengipo” Tjambiru, one of the original founding Himba families to move to the Marienfluss Conservancy and help set up their partnership with Wilderness Serra Cafema, has passed away. 


Her passing prompted this note from Wilderness Namibia’s senior management, Alex Henderson, Carina Losper and Agnes Tjirare-Kerii.



It is with profound sadness that we must inform you all of the passing of our esteemed community leader, mother, sister, grandmother and friend, Mengipo Tjambiru, on Monday 24 June.


Mengipo was a cherished member of the Marienfluss Conservancy, community and surrounding areas, and leaves behind an enduring legacy over the many years that we have worked closely with her. She, among other fellow outstanding community members, played an instrumental role in facilitating the Himba village experience that significantly contributed to our organisation's success. Many of our guests and staff had the privilege or meeting Mengipo personally during the Himba village cultural experience, and will cherish the memories of such experiences. 


We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family, Serra Cafema staff and the rest of the community during this difficult time. Mengipo’s memory will forever be entrenched in our hearts, and we honour her contributions by striving to live up to the high standards she set.


With our deepest sympathy,
Alex, Carina and Agnes 


Mengipo was born in Orutue and grew up in in the small village of Otjitenda. Her family moved to Otjinungua (in the Marienfluss Conservancy) during her teenage years. Here, she met her first daughter’s father, and gave birth to Vemutarera Tjambiru (now a Housekeeper at Serra Cafema). Unfortunately, he died right after Vemutarera was born. 


Due to the war up north in Angola, in 1985 she took her daughter and fled from Marienfluss to the Hartmann’s Valley where she met her now husband (Tueizara Hepute) who was in the army. They married in Okanguati, thereafter moving to Etanga, a village on her husband’s side of the family.


Mengipo gave birth to her second daughter in Etanga, after which they moved to the village of Oruumwe, where she had her twin daughters, and made the village her home. Mengipo and her family were among the first to move to Serra Cafema when Wilderness set up the camp in the Kunene region. 

Always in our hearts

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Camp news from Wilderness Serra Cafema

Landscape and weather along the Kunene River


Winter is not really noticeable in this remote far northern corner of Namibia yet, but the temperatures are very comfortable, varying from 16° C in the mornings and evenings to 29° C in the afternoons. 


With no rain, the landscapes and dunes are dry, and we are grateful for the lovely ana and fig trees that provide welcome shade. 


The Kunene River water level is low, around half what it was at the same time last year.

Wildlife and birds seen from Serra Cafema

Most wildlife sightings are recorded during the mornings and late afternoons around the river. Guide Moses created some wonderful moments for his guests, who saw, amongst others, a lovely white lady dancing spider, web-footed gecko, horned adder, Nile water monitor, puff adder, Namib sand snake, yellow-legged burrowing scorpion as well as the black hairy thick-tailed scorpion.


One sight that stood out was of a crocodile trying to hunt baboons drinking water from the Kunene River. 


On the birding front, hamerkops, bokmakieries, stately goliath herons, common reed warblers, and red-faced mousebirds were ticked.
Guest activities


The river naturally provides some gorgeous settings for drinks and lunch stops on the banks, which our guests really enjoyed.

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Community, Culture and Conservation

The local Himba children are on school holidays and we had fun with some soccer balls kindly brought by a guest.

Let’s plan your next journey


When we say we’re there every step of the way, we mean it, literally. From planning the perfect circuit, to private inter-camp transfers on Wilderness Air, and easing you through Customs. We’re with you on the ground, at your side, 24-7, from start to finish. Ready to take the road less travelled? Contact our Travel Designers to plan an unforgettable journey.