Etosha Safari Lodge
My wife and I have visited Namibia three times and on each occasion our base for covering the Okaukuejo section of Etosha was Etosha Safari Lodge which, being only 10 km from the Von Lindequist Gate, is ideally situated for self-drive trips into the park. The lodge is a good alternative for anyone who cannot secure accommodation within Okaukuejo Restcamp which tends to fill up with advanced bookings well before the peak tourist season.
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This property, and the adjacent less formal and child-friendly Etosha Bush Camp, both owned by the Gondwana Hotel chain and are of a good standard.
The main block contains the reception, a souvenir shop, and bar. The restaurant, which is built on a terrace at the rear, has excellent views over the surrounding landscape and guests can witness spectacular sunrises and sunsets from a purpose-built viewing deck. There are also three swimming pools, one at the main block and one at either end of the chalet rows.
Unfortunately, the staff failed to heed our request for one of the chalets close to the main building. Individual well-spaced accommodation units line the crest of the ridge on either side and ours turned out to be the second from the end on the far side of the complex. Restaurant info*
The chalet was a bit more rustic than I’d remembered and on hindsight an extra day or two at Mushara and less time here may have been the better option, but the Etosha Safari Lodge is quite good. The main gripe was that everywhere else we stayed had mesh netting covering the doors and windows to keep out unwanted visitors, especially mosquitoes.
The units at the Safari Lodge don’t have any protection whatsoever and everything from insects and spiders to small reptiles and scorpions, could easily sneak in through the gaps under the doors, amongst other places. There was a mosquito net but it had holes in it. Also, the curtains where fitted are totally see through, front and back, with none at all on the shower room windows and those of the separate toilet. Ideal though if you want to wave to staff or passing guests while getting ready or `seeing a friend off to the coast!`
The uphill stroll for dinner may prove too much for some less-able guests if they’re staying at either end, especially in the heat. Walking back down the path is less of a problem though, but there are plenty of snakes here. Although we didn't spot any, we saw a distinct slithery trail along the path on our way back from dinner on our first night which had us scanning the undergrowth on either side with headtorches.
Each chalet has its own walled seating area at the rear which looks onto open woodland and colourful birds can be seen flitting about the branches, especially early morning or late afternoon when the temperature is cooler.
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This is the excellent pool which lay just a few metres away from our chalet.
Different bird species regularly swoop down for a sip.