Nhoma Safari Camp is a small activity oriented, luxury tented camp (ten units) situated in the north east of Namibia, 80 km from Tsumkwe and 280 km from Grootfontein.
The camp is situated on a dune vegetated with Zambesi teak trees with a 180 degree view over the Nhoma omuramba (fossil river bed). It is adjacent to the Ju/'hoan Bushman/San village by the name of //nhoqma, on whose culture the activities are based, and only 60 km, or a one-and-a-half hour drive on 4WD track, from the Khaudum National Park.
The //nhoq'ma community, of about 50 adults and 100 children, has earned between N$60 000 and N$140 000 per year since 2000 from cultural activities as well as accommodation in the camp, allowing them to buy food and supplies not provided by the surrounding environment.
Without tourism, the community would have left their ancestral land and moved to settled areas such as Tsumkwe where alcoholism is rife.
Nhoma Safari Camp offers an intensive and authentic Ju/'hoan Bushman/San experience due to the limited number of visitors, the location of the camp next to the village, the wilderness area surrounding the camp, the spontaneity of the community and the fact that every day's activities are not set, but based on where the hunters want to go and search for food that day.
The usual length of stay at Nhoma Camp is two nights, but it is possible to stay only one night or even longer.
Activities in the village depend on what individual people are doing, such as cooking, making crafts, preparing hides, making hunting equipment such as quivers or arrows, preparing medicine. Afternoon activities start at 3 pm in winter and 4 pm in summer.
There may or may not be a healing dance in the evening, but it is usual for guests to experience this on at least one evening.
Full day experiences cover:
* Cultural experience -
Guests are taken on a hunting/gathering excursion with four hunters. Skills such as fire making, rope making and setting of traps for birds and antelopes are demonstrated, as well as lesser known hunting skills with, for example, the springhare probe.
Because the Ju/'hoansi are still active hunters, the hunters will follow promising tracks and the walk can turn into an actual hunt. The duration and intensity of the walk depends on the fitness of the guests and is adaptable. No set route or programme is followed. Honey and veld food is also actively sought.
There is lots of interaction between the visitor and the hunters. In the afternoon, the community of //nhoqma awaits the return of the hunters to see what they brought back. The whole community will then participate in traditional games. This is followed by the Giraffe or Elephant healing dances in the evening after dinner, through which the healers reach an altered state of consciousness whereby they can cure illness. (Day visitors will only see a demonstration of the dance in daylight).
* Khaudum National Park
Day tours to this unfenced and unspoilt park (60 km away, but one and a half hour drive with a 4WD vehicle), is only recommended from July till October (game numbers too low in the rainy season). Overnight camping tours will again be offered when the facilities in the park are improved in 2009
* Nyae pan
Full day tour to the Nyae Nyae pan (interesting bird life) and the fascinating baobab trees to the east. (The area can become inaccessible from February to April as it may become water-logged).
The lodge is in Tsumkwe. To get to Tsumkwe, drive from Grootfontein on the B8. After 55km, you will find the turn-off to Tsumkwe, the C44.
Turn off from the B8 between Grootfontein and Rundu onto the C44, the gravel road to Tsumkwe. The turn-off to Nhoma is approximately 185 km down the C44 (40km before reaching Tsumkwe) and the sign reads Nhoma/Aasvoelnes (to the north). Nhoma is 40km further on. This is a proclaimed road (suitable for any sedan and normally in good condition, but may deteriorate unexpectedly. Keep below a speed of 80 kph). There is a parking area below the dune on which the camp is situated. Fuel is not available.
Ten spacious ensuite double meru tents of which three with double + single bed, two with double bed and five with twin beds.
Five tents have a bath with shower head above inside a partition of the main tent and five tents have showers in a thatch-enclosed area adjoining the tent.