GROOTBERG

Grootberg Lodge is a landmark in Namibia for the tourism industry as it is the first middle-market establishment in the country that is 100% owned by the conservancy. The European Union funded the project through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism's Development Programme with a donation of N$4.5 million to develop the 12-room Lodge. The purpose of the Grootberg Lodge is not only to offer a professional service, great surroundings, extremely good food, well-trained guides and exceptionally good local management but, at the same time, to benefit the local community thanks to the revenues generated by the Lodge.

While sustainability of the Conservancy is a primary objective which the Lodge would contribute towards, there are additional benefits such as increasing direct job opportunities in a poorly developed area; supporting marginal people with projects such as building schools, clinics, creating a community kitchen for the elderly and vulnerable groups and award bursaries to promising pupils with the proceeds of the lodge. Another important aim of the Lodge is to reduce the animal/human conflict in this community so that the locals will be more tolerant of the lions, cheetahs and elephants and give them a value from a tourism perspective. The success of the lodge is critical to demonstrate the value of the land-use which the conservancy is promoting. The exclusive development area needs to show the value in setting aside "core" areas for tourism and biodiversity conservation.

The entrance to the main building is through a long, arched hallway. The walls are white-washed and the décor uncluttered with only a few photographs or batik paintings on the walls. This leads into one large room with a lounge area, which has a few comfortable sofas in neutral colours with casual throws. There is also a small bar and at the other end of the room are classic wooden tables and chairs for dining. The place has a very relaxed and cool feel to it. Tea and coffee is served here all day – on a 'help yourself' basis.

Outside, the wide veranda has tables and chairs and from here you can enjoy the most stunning views across the valley. Although the veranda has a balustrade, this has gaps in it; because of the very steep drop below it, we'd advise parents with young children to be very careful indeed here. The veranda stairs leads down to the swimming pool. Like many areas of the lodge, this has a most amazing view of the Klip Valley, which unfolds below it.

Each of the 12 en-suite rock chalets here are built from the local rocks that occur around Grootberg; from the outside appear to be almost dry-stone walls topped by thatched roofs. Inside they are uncluttered, and have white-washed walls, beneath the open thatch of the roof. The furniture is all wooden (pine or similar – with some quite interesting carvings on it). Twin beds, simple paintings on the walls and small branches tucked in corners are part of the décor. There is a desk with a tea/coffee station but no kettle; hot water is to be requested from reception and will be brought to you in a little flask. The cottages have no air-conditioning, ceilings fans or mosquito nets, yet mostly remain cool.

Sliding doors lead to a small, private deck with two chairs from where the endless views over Klip Valley Vlei can be enjoyed. The bathroom is not big but it is practical with a shower and separate toilet. The shower has a big window that allows good viewing! (Hot water for the rooms is heated by a wood-burning stove outside the chalets; you can request when you want these to be ready – but they're not usually on for 24-hours per day.)

PALMWAG LODGE

Palmwag Lodge is a paradise on the Uniab River in northwest Damaraland. Waving palms whispering in the wind, spectacular surroundings which harbour the famous desert elephant, the rare black rhino, giraffe, zebra, gemsbok and many other wild animal species. Sunsets to dream of – this is Palmwag Lodge, one of Namibia’s oldest and most popular places to stay. The lodge offers 30 beds in 2/3 bed thatched bungalows, and 10 beds in luxury en-suite tents, an 8-bed family unit (child friendly), a fully licensed restaurant, swimming pool under shady palms, and a very cozy “pool bar” and lapa. The well laid-out hiking trails let you enjoy and discover the neighbouring nature. To cater for the needs of campers and day visitors, the thatched pool bar under the palm trees at the swimming pool, where light meals and most drinks are available, is opened daily from mid morning until approximately 10pm.

ETAMBURA CAMP

Etambura, Namibia's first Himba co-owned camp is situated in Orupembe Conservancy on top of one of the highest hills above the holy plains of Onjuva where livestock and springbok peacefully graze together. The holy plains are steeped in mystery, with several different stories of why the area was consecrated by the semi-nomadic Himba herders who live here. But one thing is sure, hunting is strictly forbidden. Tradition has it that animals on the plains are protected by the
ancestral spirits. Etambura is the ideal place to relax. You might see a klipspringer or at dusk, a Jameson's rock rabbit. Tiny footprints are evidence of genets and African wildcats. The calls of a diversity of birds, the whispery rustle of paper-bark and other commiphora trees, bottle trees in bloom, the rich hues of purple-pod terminalia with unimpeded 360 degree views make this unique spot unforgettable. After a game drive where you might be fortunate enough to see black rhino, enjoy a stroll and explore the hill, a botanical treasure trove with its many endemic species of plants and shrubs.

The Chalets

Etambura has five canvas and thatch chalets (one of which is wheelchair friendly), each with its own private deck extending from the hill and into the beyond, conjuring illusions of "stepping into air". The twin bedded rooms are comfortably furnished and provide a wonderful retreat. Each bathroom, built either into the surrounding marble outcrops, or artfully created so as not to encroach on the endemic flora, has its own charm. Bed linen and towels are provided. Built on a wooden platform and, in some cases, on stilts, each unit is positioned to optimize the view. Lie in bed and be dazzled by an incredible sunrise. At night follow the path of the stars across a cobalt sky. Observe the skittish rock hyraxes sunning themselves on jagged rocks, listen to the calls and discover a world of birds that thrive in this environment.

Main Lapa and Look-out decks

The horseshoe-shape of our recreational area, built from natural materials, fully blends in with the contours of a hill-top skyline. Enjoy your meals on Etambura's circular decks with spectacular views over the hills, valleys and plains, or in the spacious dining room. Should you just want to relax, settle down in th

CAMPS

Permanent camp:
We use community campsites with permanent facilities like showers and
toilets. We stay where these facilities are well maintained.
Wild camp:
Sometimes we overnight in remote places where we set up a camp with portable
showers and toilets.
Tent & Equipment
Tent 2.5x2.5m and 2m height, thick and large mattress in a bedroll, stretcher (on request), table with light and mirror. Water basin with soap and towel. Bed sheets, duvet, blanket, 2 pillows, and bath towels.

BACK UP CREW

A team of at least 2 persons are in charge of the logistics and camp maintenance, setting up the tents and other equipment, preparing, cooking and serving meals cleaning and, on our longer safaris, providing a laundry service. They also act as translators and facilitate interactions with local communities.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

In addition to snacks available throughout the day (dried and fresh fruits, nuts, biltong) our "bush chef" offers fresh meals prepared on the fire:
- Full breakfast (cereals, fresh bread, jam, bacon and eggs, omelettes with fruit juice and coffee/tea),
- Lunches and 3 course dinners with fresh vegetables and meat (e.g. Greek
salad, chicken curry and chocolate mousse). We also cater for vegetarians.

Included in the price are various beverages. For example: fruit juices, still and sparkling water, sundowner drinks (e.g. gin and tonic, beers), red wine and white wine with dinner and digestives (Amarula, Whisky).

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