Erongo - first shots of new tents
Erongo in Style
The first images of the new tents at Erongo Wilderness Lodge are available on our flickr site. The complete overhaul in design has resulted in a bespoke, light, bright, contemporary take on meru tents. With glass double doors opening onto spacious decking, guests have plenty of space for enjoying the surrounding gentle Erongo Mountains. A number of the pathways have been rerouted to increase the privacy in some rooms.
The tents conclude the renovation work at Erongo Wilderness Lodge which has seen the new decking in the main area increasing the space for dining outside, overlooking the waterhole.
The Accessible Skeleton Coast
Swakopmund. This thriving coastal town offers more entertainment in a 24 hour period than any other town in the country, including the capital. Namibians love it for the cool Atlantic air, the (literally) endless beaches, the fresh seafood and the fact that Swakopmund is about playing and not working. I personally love it for the fact it sits between two contrasting habitats and contrast is what makes Namibia so special. The sun baked desert collides with a rich marine habitat in a world of breaking surf and fortified dune. The perfect day in Swakopmund starts with an exploration of Walvis Bay whose protected waters are are force fed nutrients by the powerful Benguella Current. Take a skippered speed boat out to Pelican Point or paddle yourself in a sea kayak and you will be amazed by the concentrations of wildlife. The resident fur seal colony may make the most noise (and smell) but pelagic bird life here is wonderful and the dark water also contains dolphins, porpoise, shark, sun fish and seasonal whales. Brunch on-board usually involves local oysters, sparkling wine and warm bread.
The afternoon in Swakopmund is really a toss up between non-educational (quad biking, sand boarding, sky diving) and educational in the form of a guided tour of the dune habitat around Sandwich Harbour. The latter is where I would put my money, there are some wonderful local guides who can conjure a Shovel Snouted Lizard from a dune face and wax lyrical about the Tenebrionid Beetle. You can be back in the comforts of Villa Margherita by 16h30, showered and planning your culinary route for the evening. The dining and drinking choices in Swakopmund are vast but you won't go wrong with a sun downer at Tiger Reef (to see the locals at play) followed by the genuine Italian menu at Villa Margherita or fresh line fish at The Tug.
Villa Margherita website.
Christmas and Conservation
Human-Wildlife Conflict in Etosha
Whilst we have the chance to appreciate the lion population inside the national park, Africat North (then Afri-Leo), set out in 1997 to find practical solutions to the farmer-lion conflict along the park boundaries. No easy task when the fence separating farmland from Etosha is porous and in dire need of upgrading and regular maintenance. Various programmes have been tried and tested by AfriCat, and the Communal Carnivore Conservation Project (CCCP) is now in place offering improved livestock protection from predators, especially lion. Solar-powered electric fencing is the most effective yet most expensive method, keeping warthog from digging holes under fences thereby reducing the chances of lions from entering farms. A less expensive method involves the use of old motor-vehicle tyres strategically placed in well-used warthog holes, together with rock baskets (gabions) strengthening the base of the fence, preventing further digging. The tyres allow for the passage of harmless burrowing animals such as porcupine and warthog, but generally block the movement of mature lions and spotted hyaena. The simple approach of strengthening & heightening nocturnal kraals and packing thorny acacia barriers around the outer kraal base, reduces the chances that lion will jump or climb the fence and prevents hyaena from digging underneath. In a return to the traditional approach to livestock farming, AfriCat also supports the reinstating of herdsmen to drive herds to selected grazing areas during the heat of the day as well as monitoring fresh predator tracks whilst in the field. Once predator movement is noted, cattle can be kept in the improved kraals at night. Odd as it may seem, the use of herdsmen is very limited in certain parts of Namibia. AfriCat North works daily from their base at Kavita Lion Lodge to improve the lives of farmers and predators in the region. You can visit the AfriCat North website here.
High Praise for Mushara Outpost
If you are planning to include Etosha in an itinerary, the lovely Mushara Outpost is located on the Eastern boundary. As you would expect from Mushara, a great deal of thought has gone into this eight room property with a cool lapa, wide lawns and a hide for watching the waterhole. It is a great choice for couples and I wanted to share some of the consistently excellent guest feedback with you.
"We are back home in Australia now and I decided to write you a note. We stayed with you from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, 2011, after deciding to change our itinerary and stay a second night at Mushara Outpost because we loved it so much. I’m sure you remember. Well, I just wanted to let you know that after nearly 5 weeks of travelling in Africa (Kenya/Tanzania, Uganda and Namibia at the end), Mushara Outpost was the lodge we loved best. Everything was perfect and the “Homestead” type lodge was just fantastic. Also the service, Petrus, and in particular you and your nice way, were outstanding. I will keep very fond memories of you and wish you all the very best for the future." Mr E.Benz
- VILLA MARGHERITA JOINS NATURALLY NAMIBIA
- Okonjima Reserve Goes Live!
- Okonjima Nominated in the Responsible Travel Awards
- The Sheltering Desert & Fairy Shrimps
- Etendeka Wildlife Report, August 2011
- Etendeka Mountain Camp Going Greener!
- Leopard Cubs at Okonjima
- Olive Exclusive First Images!
- Simple Solutions from the NamibRand
- AfriCat wins the coveted 'Best Wildlife Organisation' award from the Good Safari Guide