A new “off-the-beaten-track” offering has been put together by the NPO Open Africa, taking in the less visited but incredibly beautiful northern reaches of Namibia.
Named after the distinctive Makalani palms that somehow survive in this unforgiving arid landscape (known as Omulunga in the local Ovambo language), the Palm Route stretches from Ruacana in the west to Nkurrenkuru in the east, also taking in Etosha National Park along the way.
Open Africa is aimed at uplifting and sustaining local communities through tourism activities, and in keeping with this the new route gives travellers a unique insight into both traditional and contemporary Ovambo culture as well as the area’s fascinating liberation history.
The cultural, heritage and wildlife attractions en route are complimented by a constant sense of adventure and breathtaking natural beauty and isolation.
The route is designed to let travellers explore at their own pace,providing a guided outline to their self-drive experience that they tune to their own preferences and needs.
The Route is split into two authentic “experiences”: The Roof of Namibia Experience and the King Nehale Experience.
The Roof of Namibia experience spans 467kms and links the Kunene River (at Ruacana Falls) and the Okavango River. The suggested time for this route is 1.5 to 3 days, taking you through an array of salt pans and flooded channels that move southward from Angola towards the Etosha Pan.
You’ll also pass through bustling African markets and indiginous communities and conservancies and can stop at a range of interesting museums.
At 641kms and with a recommended time of 2 to 4 days, the King Nehale Experience passes through the towns of Oshikate, Ongwediva and Ondangwa and the rural areas of Owamboland. Attractions on this route include Lake Oponono, Uukwaluudhi Royal Homestead as well as our very own Etosha National Park. And a whole lot more besides.
Both experiences can be combined and if you have the time it is well worth seeing as much of this spectacular new route as possible. You’ll certainly be in for an unforgettable experience.