About the Hotel
Teeming with wildlife and primitive tribes, the country is a hotspot for travelers around the world. From the vast Namib desert and the dead-tree valleys at Sossusvlei to the Sandwich Harbour and Skeleton Coast, Namibia is a mixture of the pristine and the primitive, the exotic and the elegant. The lodging spaces, though luxurious have managed to capture the essence of Africa. The Okahirongo Elephant Lodge, located near Windhoek, is possibly one of the remotest lodges in Namibia, South Africa.
Read on to know more about this amazing hotel and reasons why you should be here this holiday season.
Finding a good lodge in Namibia is not an easy task, not because the country lacks good lodges. There are so many five-star hotels and luxury resorts that people often get confused as to where they should spend their days. The Okahirongo Elephant Lodge, is one such luxury lodging space, standing on the banks of Hoarusib River, in Purros Conservancy. The locality is malaria-free and is easily among the most pristine regions in the country. Surrounded by vast open spaces, there’s no dearth of animals here, including elephants, black rhino, giraffe, lions, zebra, and springbok. And unlike other places where these animals are kept caged in zoos, where they roam wild and free in their natural habitat, free from the shackles and chains we bind them in, in cities.
Okahirongo Elephant Lodge is the perfect retreat for couples and solo travelers alike. Here, you can spend some quality time with yourself or with your partner with only the sand dunes and dessert for company. Set in the Kunene region, about 55 km from the coast- you get a stunning view of coastline whilst living in the throes of a desert landscape. The area is home to the enigmatic Himba people, and the sustainable relationship between the natives and the foreigners can be seen in the ethnic architecture and décor of the hotel.
Set in the high and remote areas of northern Namibia, the Okahirongo Elephant Lodge and the River Camp are the crown jewels of Kaokoland. This paradise is in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by vast areas of empty, uncultivated land, the home to the Himba tribe. One of the unique things about the Okahirongo that sets it apart from other accommodations in Africa is its harmonious relations with the indigenous people. The construction and décor of the place pay homage to this bond, featuring several ethnic furnishings peppered throughout the hotel.
The owners of Okahirongo Elephant Lodge have embarked on a journey that’s just not about building an eco-friendly lodging space but also empowering the natives of the land. They have collaborated with the Porrus and Himba tribespeople building schools for kids and training young men and women in different departments of hospitality. What started out as a hotel business, soon grew up to forge a bond between the native communities and the foreign investors. Guests can interact with the locals and get interesting insights into their lives and everyday struggles.
There are many places around the world that cannot be labeled with mere adjectives like “picaresque”, “stunning”, “magical”, and more. The Okahirongo Elephant Lodge is a place whose beauty and charm aren’t easy to express. Okahirongo is not just a lodging space but a piece of life wrapped up in luxury. However, in spite of all the polish, it still manages to retain some of its roughness and primitive charm intact.
The architecture of the hotel perfectly adheres to this notion. There are two different lodging spaces under the Okahirongo property and they can accommodate about 18 guests at a time. The 7 en-suite terracotta chalets and 1 presidential suite look over the Hoarusib River, flanked by enormous bathtubs and a series of indoor and outdoor showers. The open-air lounging area features an infinity pool in the guest room along with a library, two dining rooms, and a traditional bomba.
The terracotta suites are designed as dome-shaped structures with huge entrances and bay windows that overlook the vast Namibian landscape. The suites are decorated in earthy tones staying true to the authentic African aesthetics. At a glance, the suites look like simple native huts of the tribesmen, albeit with the modern touch. The architecture combines the best of both worlds offering guests an experience that is quintessentially African yet replete with international luxuries.
On the outside, the Okahirongo Elephant Lodge looks like a simple yet sophisticated lodging space. The warm earthy tones and authentic furnishings give the place a sense of belonging. It blends into the landscape and is a part of the desert. The insides resonate with this sentiment, although the interior décor is a lot more vibrant and spacious.
On entering you’d first come across the open-air lounge and the guest area where an infinity pool, a mini bar, a library and a traditional bomba await you. The en-suite bedrooms are placed adjacent to one another with thatched roofs and terracotta construction. Every chalet has a bathroom and an indoor shower, along with a gazebo situated nearby where guests can relax under the stars. The gazebo with its sun beds, embroidered cushions, and a thatched roof is a private and relaxing space where you can crash in after a hectic day of sightseeing.
The open and airy bedrooms are well furnished and equipped with local paintings, sculptures, andartifacts made by the natives. The private presidential suite consists of two rooms and a lounging area. Every accommodation offers you a panoramic view of the rugged Purros Valley and the Skeleton Harbour at a distance.
Imagine waking up to the chirruping of birds and grunts of wild animals instead of the honks of vehicles. Imagine waking up to a view of rolling sand dunes and valleys instead of skyscrapers. Imagine getting to watch lions, elephants, and monkeys up close, in their natural habitat.
At the Okahirongo Elephant Lodge, you can experience all that and more. The luxury suites are beautifully decorated, offering a stunning view of the desert whilst keeping you cool and protected. There are a number of activities you can partake in while staying indoors. Pamper your senses with a relaxing spa, take a swim in the infinity pool, lounge around in the Gazebo, interact with the locals, indulge your taste buds to the finest of Namibian and Italian flavors at the local dining space – there’s never a dull moment here at Okahirongo.
However, if you want to experience Africa in all her glory, we suggest you head out and explore its wildlife. The Okahirongo Elephant Lodge arranges several safaris and trips to the nearby areas where you can spot the desert elephant, lions, gazelles, rhinos, and giraffes. You can also pay a visit to the nearby villages and splurge on the local artifacts at bargain prices.
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Okahirongo Elephant Lodge is among those rare places where you can experience both the beauty of nature and the luxuries of civilization. Overlooking the magnificent Purros Valley, the hotel has a private airstrip where private jets and helicopters can land safely. This five-star lodge in the heart of Kaokoland also comes with exceptional dining facilities. Here are a few other titbits and interesting trivia about the hotel that visitors might want to know about.
- There is no internet connectivity, TV or other electronic amenities here.
- There is a television in the public lounge area, also Wi-Fi is available in public areas only
- Pets are allowed without any extra charges
- Children older than six years are welcome, also you can request for two extra beds per suite
- Access to the golfcourse, the fishing area, and horse-riding facilities are chargeable
- The Okahirongo Elephant Lodge can be hired for weddings, business meetings and corporate events as well
- You can customize your meals, and get it delivered to your rooms
- Multi-lingual friendly staff and reception area can be reached anytime of the day or night
Okahirongo Elephant Lodge is your escape from the din and chaos of urban life. It takes you far away from civilization, straight into the lap of nature. However, that doesn’t mean you will have to do without the bare necessities of life. Here at the Elephant Lodge, you get a few days of absolute bliss with your loved one, without any technological interruptions or calls from work. This holiday season, check out the arid deserts of Namibia for a change, soak in the wilderness and embark on a journey back to your roots, back to nature. That’s the vacation we all deserve.