Okapuka Awakens To New Life After Renovation

5 Apr 2023

"Beautiful!" - "Open terraces, beautiful facilities." - "I like the colour scheme." - "Every room looks a little different." - "The lodge invites you to stay." Many of the approximately 250 invited guests from Namibia's travel industry were impressed by the new look Okapuka presented itself in, after six months of intensive renovation and in the 25th year of its existence.

The first surprise was the invitation to the opening event. It consisted of a train ticket. No joke: the meeting point was the railway station in the city of Windhoek. From there, a specially chartered train took the guests the approximately 40 km out into the savannah landscape north of the capital. At the "Okapuka" station, Gameviewer vehicles were ready for the five-minute transfer to the lodge (see video on YouTube).

Aha moment on arrival: The nostalgic train ride was supposed to prepare guests for the safari romance that was evident in the new design of the lodge. However, Meryl Streep and Robert Redford would have thought they were in the wrong film on Okapuka: not a colonial setting from the 1920s. Instead, a fresh, elegant design and clear lines. With finely dosed quotations from that era.


In Africa's nature, and less than 30 minutes from Windhoek

The location is also attractive. In the middle of the African bush savannah. In the 73 km² nature reserve, giraffe, oryx & co can be observed in the morning, at noon or in the evening on a game drive. And yet Okapuka is less than 30 minutes away from Windhoek. No, not by train. But by car. The highway not far from the railway tracks has been upgraded to motorway standard. So much for "Out of Africa". Sorry, Meryl and Robert.

The 21 rooms are also 21st century. Shower instead of bucket or bowl, flush toilet instead of... Thanks to progress! In addition to four standard double rooms, Okapuka offers 16 larger "Safari" double rooms, two of which can be used as family rooms via inner doors. There is also a "Luxury Safari Suite" with two separate bedrooms and a shared living room.

Modern design with a touch of safari nostalgia: "Safari" double room at Okapuka Safari Lodge north of Windhoek. 
Photo: Gondwana Collection Namibia


The spacious restaurant with its originally styled bar looks out over a pond, bordered by a lawn and tall camel thorn trees. The pond and lawn attract game, as they did before the renovation, and are illuminated in the evening.

Windhoekers who want to soak up nature or invite their partner to dinner in a special ambience are also welcome. However, you can't drop in on spec, you have to book your visit (see the Okapuka info page on the Gondwana Collection website).


Also a popular excursion destination for Namibians

Established in 1998, Okapuka was already a well-known accommodation for tourists and a popular excursion destination for Namibians before its reshaping. Since last September, it has been managed by the joint venture Okapuka Hospitality Management (Pty) Ltd. According to the press release at the time, equal partners are Gondwana Collection Namibia (Pty) Ltd and Klein Okapuka CC.

The first result of the cooperation, as the guests from the travel industry agree on the train ride back, is an absolute success. As one of them puts it: "Okapuka awakened to a new life".

The latest member of the Gondwana Collection: Okapuka Safari Lodge about 30 minutes by car north of Windhoek. 
Photo: Sven-Eric Stender


Sven-Eric Stender

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