Though harsh and inhospitable, this expanse of uncharted wilderness in the northern Kalahari has nine different habitats and supports communities of hunter-gatherers - known locally as Bushmen - and a high concentration of wild animals and birds.
The landscape includes open grasslands, pans, dry riverbeds and dense woodlands. Towards the east, the bush becomes thick and impenetrable with large stands of teak, mopane, leadwood, acacia and silver leaf supporting a dense ground cover of shrubs and thickets.
The scenery is spectacular; the remoteness complete and the excitement unparalleled. Almost inaccessible to normal sedans the Bushmanland Conservancy and the Kaudom Game Park are the 4x4 adventurer's dream come true.
Guided trips are especially suited to Bushmanland. Your guide's off-road driving experience and knowledge of the local flora and fauna will bring this wilderness to life. Namibia Tours and Safaris has been operating guided safaris since 1990 and can organise a guided Bushmanland safari as part of your Namibian holiday.
The area around Tsumeb, Grootfontein and Otavi has many caves, underground lakes and lodges that make the most of this prosperous farming region. Lake Otjikoto was one such underground lake many years ago until it's roofed collapsed. Now it is a spectacular drum-shaped lake with verdant water and a unique species of fish.
Near Grootfontein is the Hoba Meteorite: a huge hunk of metal weighing about 55 tons, 1m high and nearly 3m across, which remains the largest meteorite ever found.
Travelling east into Bushmanland the region becomes wild and remote. Fuel stations, amenities and shops are almost non-existent, making for an exciting self-sufficient 4WD excursion. A minimum of two vehicles and plenty of pre-planning is required; or you can opt for a guided tour of Bushmanland where it is all done for you.
Cultural visits - arranged by local tour operators - offer a fascinating experience with the Bushman communities who will take you on hunts and forages and introduce you to their customs, practices and beliefs.
The Kaudom Game Park is a 4WD-only wilderness with over 320 species of bird, the largest concentration of roan antelope in Namibia and the rest of Africa's big game. Though seen in small herds and with infrequent sightings the wildlife experience is exciting due to the wild, unspoilt state of the park.
Wildlife in Kaudom includes elephant, giraffe, lion, leopard, spotted hyaena, side-striped and black-backed jackal, and rare sightings of African wild dog. Other large animals include kudu, steenbok, gemsbok, wildebeest, tsessebe, hartebeest, eland and reedbuck.
About 320 bird species have been recorded at Kaudom. Rare species include coppery-tailed and Senegal coucals, Bradfield's hornbills, rufous-bellied tits, black-faced babblers and sharp-tailed starlings.
Page last updated: 16 Jan 2014