GROOTBERG LODGE – DAMARALAND

Perched on the rim of the Etendeka Plateau, Grootberg Lodge overloods the Klip River Valley where 12000 hectares have been set aside by the #Khoadi//Hoas community for conservation and tourism, and it is through this pristine wilderness that you can explore either on foot or by car to encounter the inhabitants of this remote area.

The lodge is a landmark in the Namibian tourism industry as its revenue streams provide direct benefits to the community: not only employment but also assistance in mitigating the human-wildlife conflict via specific funds set aside by the business in conjunction with continuous monitoring of the wildlife by guides and community shepherds. The lodge also supports other conservancy’s projects by purchasing vegetables grown by the local farmers, financing an education fund and collecting garbage to minimise pollution in the area.

Thanks to active conservation, black rhino and desert-adapted elephant still roam the land freely. The ≠Khoadi //Hoas Conservancy is proud to be an international case study of how sustainable conservation efforts can be successful in the long run. Activities include desert elephant and rhino tracking, sundowner drives, guided walks and cultural experiences.

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LOCATION

The lodge is located in Damaraland in northern Namiba and is a good midway stopover for visitors travelling between Etosha National Park and Swakopmund.

Access is by self-drive and is around 8.5 hours from Windhoek and just under 6 hours from Swakopmund.

LODGE

Fourteen cosy twin chalets and two-family units, powered with solar energy, are perched along the edge of the Etendeka and are built from natural materials to blend into the surroundings. Private decks provide stunning views across the Klip River Valley.

Each chalet is equipped with a private bathroom, a desk and a coffee and tea station. There are no electrical outlets, but there is a charging station in the main area of the lodge.

The main area has amazing views over the Klip River Valley and houses a comfortable lounge with a bar and dining area which extends out onto the wooden decking outside.

Enjoy a sundowner from the restaurant’s veranda, taste the hearty meals prepared by the local chefs or warm up by the fireplace in the lounge on cold winter nights.

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ACTIVITIES

Desert Elephant Tracking – set out early in the morning with a guide and tracker to the neighbouring farms in search of the elephants which roam freely in the conservancy. Sightings cannot be guaranteed. These elephants are known to migrate up to 200 km in search of water, but herds can often be spotted along the dry riverbeds. They are not a separate species of African elephant but due to their frugal diet can appear leaner and taller than their cousins in habitats with more abundant vegetation, and they have bigger feet.

A picnic lunch is served in the cooling shade of a shepherd tree.
You can expect to return to the lodge early in the afternoon.

Rhino Tracking – once listed as critically endangered, black rhino populations in Namibia have increased dramatically thanks to a conservation partnership between local communities and eco-tourism efforts. The Grootberg Conservancy has been recognised by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism as a rhino custodian and huge endeavours to protect this highly poached species continue.

This excursion is a combination of walking and driving amidst the cliffs and the volcanic basalt ridges of the Damaraland Region. At lunchtime we stop near the springs and enjoy refreshments. This almost full-day activity of driving on bumpy roads and walking in rocky terrain is not for the faint-hearted. Rhino sightings are not guaranteed.


Sundowner Drive – mammals such as zebra, antelope, jackal and occasionally also leopard, lion and hyena inhabit the plains. Springbok, kudu and oryx are a permanent fixture, and even the shy and skittish klipspringers are sometimes seen leaping from ledge to ledge on the steep cliffs of the mountain. Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain, can be seen in the distance on particularly clear days.

Moringa Guided Walk – this guided walk can be arranged either in the morning after breakfast on the veranda of the restaurant or in the afternoon after tea or coffee. Highlights of the walk include an introduction to the local flora and the medicinal use of specific plants while admiring the amazing rock formations of the Etendeka Mountains which were formed 180 million years ago when the supercontinent of Gondwana broke up.

Damara Culture tour – you will be guided through conservancy farms visiting several authentic Damara homesteads. This tour is an exclusive opportunity to spend time with your hosts and gain insight into their origins, cultures, traditions and their approach to human-wildlife conflict as part of farming in harsh desert conditions.

The tour also includes a visit to the #Khoadi //Hoas Conservancy office to meet the staff and to understand the role of the conservancy in preserving the natural resources of the area, as well as the positive impacts and benefits that the conservancy enjoys as a direct result of owning Grootberg Lodge. The Cultural Tour starts after an early breakfast.

GROOTBERG LODGE IS OPEN ALL YEAR ROUND

THE LODGE WELCOMES FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN OF ALL AGES

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Call +44 1386 830264 or Email [email protected]

Our expert staff are on-hand, happy to assist with any enquiry you have.

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