Desert Hills


The !Nara is a thorny shrub that is endemic to the Namib Desert. The harsh desert conditions have formed a desert adapted plant, that grows on dune hammocks has up to 100 meter root systems , no leaves, small flowers but very nutritious fruit with seeds full of valuable oil…

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The fruit are harvested as a valuable food source by the Topnaar (#Aonin) living along the Kuiseb river. The seeds are sold as snacks to the local community or fairly traded with Desert Hills, a Swakopmund based company that was initiated in 2007 by Volker & Stefanie Huemmer . Desert hills adds value to the seed sales by pressing a fine virgin oil that is used in a variety of food and natural cosmetic products sold under the name “Desert Hills –food” and “BODYfoodNAMIBIA” .


The !Nara seeds are cold-pressed in a special patented spiral press without the use of solvents, chemicals or additives. The press technique allows the oil to keep its valuable healthy vitamins, pigments and flavors.


Tests (PPECB certificate no 57212 ANLA 0808) have shown that the oil has over 80% unsaturated fatty acids, with 58% being poly unsaturated and that it has a acidity of 0.5.



  • !Nara food oil
  • !Nara cosmetics
  • Marula products
  • Herbal teas
  • Home-made pasta
  • Fresh farm bread
  • Muesli
  • Vinegar
  • Pesto and sauces
  • Home-made ice cream
  • !Nara dog biscuits
  • Spice grinders and rubs
  • Eco wood blocks and composters…


1. !Nara oil cosmetics

BodyfoodNamibia cosmetics made with !Nara Oil

The Tonaar (# Aonin) pasturalists and gatherers that live in the Namib Desert, have long used an oil-paste derived from the crushed !Nara seeds as a body oil to nourish and protect their skin in the harsh desert conditions.
Today a100% pure cold-pressed oil produced by Desert Hills is used to create a fine range of natural cosmetics containing 57% Omega-6-fatty acids which positively influence dry and irritated skin conditions.


1-1. !Nara Hand & Body Cream

This smooth, rich body salve contains high amounts of !Nara oil and Shea butter. Together these African ingredients have a strong replenishing effect on dry and irrited skin. The cream havs a natural smell with a hint of sensuous ylang-ylang, and calming lavender oil.

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1-2. !Nara After shave balm for men and !Nara face cream

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– !Nara After shave balm for men

The !Nara after shave balm is a restoring cream blended with regenerative natural products for sensitive freshly shaven skin; ideal for all men looking for an alternative to often burning artificially perfumed after shave products.

– !Nara face cream

This hydrating, vitamin-rich, soothing face cream is packed with natural !Nara oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba, aloe and organic rosehip wax yet light-textured enough for every-day use and can be applied by most skin types.


1-3. !Nara Body Peeling

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The !Nara Body peelings are scrubpastes made from fine mineral-rich Namibian sea salt, pure !Nara oil and wild-harvested honey bush; invigorating organic espresso or cooling peppermint. This combination of exfoliating products stimulates the metabolism and regenerates skin cells by increasing the circulation. It leaves the skin soft, elastic and glowing.





1-4. 100% Natural !Nara Soap

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The 100% natural !Nara soap is hand-made from a selection of fine body butters and oils. With its natural glycerin and pure essential oils this face and body soap is very mild and can be used on sensitive ski.






1-5. !Nara Tissue Oil

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The !nara tissue oil can be used as a body oil, a massage oil or added to bath water. The beautifully rich and smooth body oil is easily absorbed and leaves the skin feeling clean and refreshed. The high vitamin E level helps to regenerate scared skin tissue and is excellent for blemishes and wrinkles.





2. !Nara food oil

!Nara food oil 100% pure – natural – healthy – proudly Namibian

Food connoisseurs savor the intense fruity-nutty flavor of this unique Namibian oil.
The !Nara oil can be creatively used in a wide variety of hot and cold dishes….a truly new culinary experience.

Cooking with !Nara oil….

The !Nara oil is used by top restaurants:Gathemann Restaurant Windhoek (Urs Gamma); Aubergine Restaurant Capetown (Harald Bresselschmidt);Le Quartier Francais Franschhoek (Margot Janse)


2-1. Namibian !Nara oil spice rubs (available in 100gr clear plastic tubs with screw cap)

The spice rubs are made with garden-fresh herbs preserved in sea salt and !Nara oil, they can be widely used to flavor your favorite dishes. Keep the spice rubs refrigerated, use sparingly, do not add additional salt to dishes.

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– Tomato + Herb

This sun-dried Tomato, fresh herb and !Nara oil salt rub can be used on all pasta, chicken and pork dishes.

– Pepperbell + Herb

The sun-dried sweet pepperbell combined with coriander and fresh herbs are excellent on all meat dishes

– Hibiscus + Lemon + Ginger

This spice rub with its fresh ginger, lemon and hibiscus flower is excellent on all fish and seafood dishes


2-2. !Nara oil natural

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The natural !Nara oil can be used wherever you want to use a high quality, wholesome and aromatic oil.
Salads like couscous; lintel; chickpea or bean-salad can be turned into a delicious fare with a fine !Nara oil vinaigrette. Seafood, fish, asparagus, feta cheese, risotto and pasta dishes develop a new exiting note when the !Nara oil, with its fruity-nutty flavor, is used.




Traditional Harvest

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The rural Topnaar (#Aonin) pastoralists and gatherers that live in the lower Kuiseb valley, seasonally move into the !Nara “fields” between the dunes, on their donkey carts , to harvest these valuable !Nara fruits.

The hand-picked fruit are cut in half and the flesh scraped into a large drum. The peels are used to feed the donkeys
The pulp-filled drum is heated over a low-burning fire under constant stirring to slowly separate the seeds from the liquid fruit pulp.

The fruit pulp is a valuable food resource and the seeds are sold to create important income for some 300 rural Topnaar who live along the dry river bed and depend on small stock farming and !nara harvesting for their livelihoods. This 8000-year old tradition of hand picking and preparing the fruit is kept alive as a valuable heritage passed from generation to generation.

In a quest to help secure the sustainability of the !Nara plants for future generations, Desert Hills has teamed up with the Goababeb Training and Research Centre. Among other things Gobabeb researches the ecology of this very dynamic desert plant and gives advice to harvesters in relation to conservation and sustainability. Further Desert Hills and Gobabeb exchange field data and harvest information and work on projects that envisage more community participation.


Restaurant, Shop and Workshop

Enjoy your Saturday (11 to 16 o/clock ) shopping in our Desert Hills farm stall. Find !Nara food delicatessen, home produce (see list) as well as the whole range of !Nara cosmetics.
Have a fresh wholesome light meal prepared by the Desert Hills farm bistro and enjoy the warm atmosphere and sunny desert views.

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Company information

Owner & Manager

Ms. Stefanie Huemmer

Mr. Volker Huemmer

desert hills


Office, Shop & Workshop

P.O.Box 4109, Swakopmund, Namibia

Tel/Fax: +264-64-461361

Cell: +264-81-1290375



Desert Hills was started in 2008.




Category: Cosmetics, Region: Erongo