Nestled amongst the Omboroko mountains, and overlooking a small waterhole is Okonjima Villa. This exclusive property allows guest to experience the work of the Africat Foundation, a non-profit organization, committed to the long-term conservation and rehabilitation of Namibia's large carnivores, mainly leopards and cheetah.
After years of dedicated hard work Okonjima, together with Africat, have achieved notable success in this field, with over 900 big cats having been saved since 1993! They are also known internationally, after featuring in an award winning documentary on the Discovery Channel.
Hunting is instinctive in cheetahs, but many of them at Africat lack the experience, due to being orphaned or removed from the wild at an early age. This makes them unsuitable for release back into the wild. The 4,500 ha Rehabilitation Park, provides these cheetahs with the opportunity to hone their hunting skills, giving them an opening to return to the wild.
They are fitted with radio-collars prior to their release into the camp, so that their welfare and progress can be closely monitored. Once they have proved that they can hunt and cope on their own, they will be relocated to a private game reserve, where their progress will continue to be monitored.
The large Villa, consists of a main house and 2 separate suites, and the entire complex is for the exclusive use of one group only, accommodating up to 8 adults and 4children. The kitchen produces well-presented food of a very high standard, and guests have complete control over eating times and the menu.
The 'Main House' has an up-to-date, chef-designed kitchen, complete with wine and soft drink coolers, with both gas and electrical cooking facilities. There is also an endless supply of ice from the double door refrigerator.
There is a spacious lounge and dining area , with an open-wood-burning fireplace. The 2 en-suite, luxury bedrooms have bathrooms with both an inside and outside (bush) showers, and a beautiful bath. (With a view.)
It also sports a magnificent infinity pool, surrounded on 3 sides by African red teak decking, and a walkway to an open shaded 'Sala,' the perfect spot for some serious birding or an afternoon siesta. It has a roof fan, that gently stirs the breeze that crosses the adjoining waterhole.
The 2 separate, thatched suites, are situated approximately 35-50m on either side of the 'The Main House.' They each come complete with a (well-stocked) mini-bar, and once again with the choice of either an inside or outside bush-shower. Toilets and bidets accompany the baths, all with a bush view. To add to the luxury, 3 of the 4 bedrooms have magnificent, wheeled, king size beds, for rolling out onto the terraces, for a night under the stars.
All of the bedrooms have air-conditioning, high airy roofs with fans and heating facilities, dial-up Internet connection, with work space. The 3 concertinaing, glass-paneled doors, easily fold away to give magnificent, panoramic views of the bush. These open doorways can be substituted with roll-down canvas partitioning, with heavy-duty gauze screens.
The Villa comes complete with a guide and personal chef, an ideal combination to attend to your needs, both indoors and whilst out in the bush. Activities are the same as for the main camp, and commence at 15h00 in the winter, and 16h00 in the summer. They include a chance to view and photograph cheetah and leopard, wild dog, bird watching, and hiking trails, including The Bushman Trail.
No children under the ages of 8 years are permitted at The Villa.
Cheetahs: Visit the Africat Project area and meet some of the cheetah or accompany our guides as they monitor the progress of the cheetahs in the Tusk Rehabilitation camp. Okonjima is home to over forty cheetahs, many of whom were separated from their mothers before they learnt how to survive on their own. The Rehabilitation Camp will give these cheetahs an opportunity to learn survival skills such as hunting in a closely monitored environment. Successful cheetahs will be relocated to parks and game farms.
Cheetah Tracking on Foot: Cheetahs within the rehabilitation are radio tracked on foot, sightings of the cats is not guaranteed. Leopards - Wild leopards are fed every night and guests can observe these secretive predators from the safety of a hide. Okonjima is also the site of a leopard monitoring project with the resident leopard collared and tracked to determine the number of leopard in the area, their movements and activities. This information will be used to better understand leopard found on Namibian farmland and reduce the conflict between leopards and farmers.
Bushman Trail: Catch a glimpse of a day in the life of a bushman. Learn how the bushman made rope, fire and traps and lived in harmony with nature.
Mountain Walk: For the energetic, early-riser, we offer a guided mountain walk which includes identification of animal spoor, information on the local people and spectacular views.
Bird Watching: Over 300 bird species have been identified at Okonjima. Two spacious hides are within walking distance of the lodge and we now offer a hide situated at a recently established vulture restaurant a short drive from the lodge.
Walks and Trails: A variety of walks ranging in difficulty from easy to quite strenuous are available. The sundowner walk is usually done in the evening after the cheetah activity and is a favourite with many of our guests.
Night Hide: Ever wondered what those noises are at night. Guests can choose after dinner to visit a hide and observe nocturnal animals such as honey badger and porcupine as they go about their business.
A small, private safari lodge north of Otjiwarongo.
Lodging located on the property used by the Heetah Conservation Fund, this is an excellent option if you want to learn about cheetah conservation.
A friendly well run guest house in the town of Otjiwarongo.
Mid-sized hotel in Otjiwarongo offering both lodge & hotel style accommodation. All the usual facilities including a pool, air-conditioned rooms and a restaurant.
Situated to the north of the Waterberg Plateau (which is unusual as most lodges are toward the south) this highly recommenced lodge offers spacious comfortable rooms and plenty of activities.
One of the oldest lodges in Namibia, Mount Etjo has seen several historic events including the signing of an agreement pivotal to Namibia gaining independence. Still offers good quality accommodation and game drives.
A private two bed room suite, comes complete with own swimming pool, lounge and kitchen. Private chef and meals can be arranged or guests can visit Bush Camp.
Without a doubt one of the best lodges in Namibia, add leopard and cheetah viewing to stunning accommodation and well prepared meals and this place is a complete winner.
The 'entry level' camp at Okonjima offers all the same great cats experiences as the other lodges in the portfolio. A one of a type not to be missed Namibian experience.
A variety of accommodation options - ranging from large self-catering villas to double rooms. Just a few kilometers south of Otjiwarongo.
Small 8 room guest farm with an emphasis on conserving the natural eco-systems
The NWR run camp situated on the slopes of the plateau. Fairly standard and slightly overpriced accommodation, the old police station which has been converted to a restaurant is a scenic (if not taste) highlight.
Excellent choice for walking and visiting the highlights of the area
On the same property aw the Waterberg Wilderness Lodge but situated higher up the mountain offering excellent views.
These are honest reviews, both good and bad, from our travellers who visited this property.
Okonjima was by far our favorite place. The Villa is just stunning and such a great value for 2 people staying there. We would recommend it and can't wait to go back.
Words cannot describe this place. It was great to end the trip at Okonjima, our hosts were amazing and kept us going with game drives twice a day and we looked forward to coming back to an amazing meal. Will definately be back!
The Okonjima Lodge turning is 50km south of Otjiwarongo on the main B1 road. The lodge is a further 24km along this road, follow the signsDownload Map
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