OKONJIMA PLAINS CAMP – OKONJIMA – AFRICAT

Okonjima Plains Camp is located in the secluded wilderness area of Okonjima Nature Reserve – home to Africat – and has majestic sunset views. The camp’s design reflects the Hanssen’s family cattle-farming history with its three-tier accommodation facility of 10 large View Rooms, 14 spacious Standard Rooms and six affordable Garden Rooms.

The camp is family-friendly and wheelchair accessible accommodation for those keen to explore Africat and the reserve and there is a swimming pool on site.  Okonjima was a cattle farm since the early 1920s that was bought by Brahman breeders Val and Rose Hanssen in 1970 who transformed it into a nature reserve with a primary focus on carnivore conservation through The AfriCat Foundation. Today it’s a luxurious African safari destination in the heart of Namibia that’s ideal for wildlife photography and famed for its cheetah, brown hyena and leopard sightings.

Okonjima offers a number of activities from hiking and mountain biking with your own mountain bike to bird watching and a fitness retreat. Okonjima is home to the AfriCat Foundation, an organisation whose mission is to try and ensure a future for the large carnivores of Namibia. Experience some of their projects – such as the Cheetah Rehabilitation Project – at work during your stay.

LOCATION

Okonjima Plains Camp rests at the foot of the sandstone Omboroko Mountains amidst Acacia thornveld in a malaria-free area. It is halfway between Namibia’s capital city Windhoek and the Etosha National Park – only a two-and-a-half-hour drive or a brief flight into the reserve’s private airstrip.

CAMP

The 10 spacious View Rooms have earned their name for their views across the Okonjima grass plains and are set 20-70 metres apart and some distance from the entertainment area at the Plains Camp Barn. Unit number one and the spacious family unit (a combination of rooms three and four) are closest to the barn.

The rooms have a large veranda with two day beds and two loungers and a. wheelchair ramp.  Inside there are two double beds, a working desk and comfortable reading chair, a tea and coffee station, mini fridge for own use, security safe. telephone and two roof fans.  The ensuite bathrooms are equipped with twin basins and a large twin shower.  The rooms have cell reception.

The 14 Standard Rooms also look out onto the Okonjima grass plains but are smaller in size than the View Rooms. Four of the rooms form two large family units. The family unit (rooms one and two) are closest to the barn, while the second family unit (rooms 13 and 14) are about 600m away.

The rooms are set 10-15 metres apart and some distance from the entertaining area at the barn.  Each of the Standard Room have a small veranda with two directors chairs and is accessed by a wheelchair ramp.  Inside there are two double beds, a table and two chairs, tea/coffee station, a mini fridge for own use, a security safe, telephone and two roof fans.  The ensuite bathrooms have twin basins and a large twin shower. The rooms have cell reception.

The six affordable Garden Rooms are closely situated to one another within the original homestead garden and overlook the lapa which has a tea/coffee station.  The rooms are not wheelchair accessible and all lodge facilities, such as activities, meals, bar service and curio shop, are available from the Plains Camp Barn 700 metres away.

The Plains Camp Barn is an entertainment area and gathering place that includes a dining and lounge area with Wi-Fi facilities and cellphone reception, a bar, a swimming pool and curio shop – all of which overlook a waterhole and the Okonjima plains. Undercover parking is available.

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ACTIVITIES AND WILDLIFE

The Okonjima Nature Reserve sprawls over 200 square kilometres of undulating plains, mountainous outcrops and riverine thickets and it is here that leopard – the most adaptable of all the wild cats – thrive. These intelligent, solitary predators occur in high density in the expanse of Okonjima Nature Reserve’s multi-faceted topography. The Reserve’s predator research programme has spanned three decades, and its findings have provided great insight to leopard behaviour patterns as well as offered an upbeat prognosis for a sustainable future for the species in today’s Africa.

A two-day Okonjima stay offers the best chance to view wild leopard in Namibia as well as those collared for research purposes in their natural habitats. Research programme leopard are actively tracked, and their collars are an invaluable resource for locating and then returning to the Reserve cats which have migrated to surrounding farmland where they are perceived as threats to livestock.

The Okonjima Nature Reserve – a huge, protected area set amongst the rugged commercial farmlands of central Namibia – comprises a diversified ecosystem representative of both the larger and small mammals of Namibia, as well as most of the country’s endemic birds.

Game drives and guided bush walks offer visitors an intimate, up-close perspective of Namibia’s wildlife and especially its most protected species.

The Okonjima Nature Reserve is home to and runs extensive research projects on rare and endangered species, big and small.

Okonjima Nature Trails – join a guided Off-The-Beaten-Track walk & drive activity. This undemanding combination of a short walking trail and nature drive in the Okonjima Nature Reserve is especially loved by our younger guests and families, due to interactive and informative demonstrations. The two-hour experience provides a stimulating insight into the flora, fauna and culture of Namibia.

Self-guided hiking along our nature trails – between early morning and afternoon game drives you can enjoy a self-guided hike along one of three well laid-out hiking trails. The trails vary between four and six kilometres and are clearly marked as they meander along spectacular landscapes where wildlife thrives. The trails start a short distance from either of the Okonjima Lodge camps.

Nocturnal Game Drives – after the sun has set and the temperatures have dropped the African bush comes to life once again: bat-eared foxes roam about, aardwolves are on the hunt for insects, owls observe their surroundings from a height, while leopards and brown hyaena go out in search of prey.

Bird Watching – the landscapes within the Okonjima Nature Reserve, with its elevated sandy plateau between the major escarpments of the Omboroko Mountains, boasts mixed woodland and acacia thornveld plains making it the perfect birding destination. Keep your binoculars at hand and enjoy the chance to identify over 250 bird species…

Visit the project at AfriCat’s Carnivore Care and Information Centre – a highlight at Okonjima is learning about big-cats. The Okonjima Nature Reserve is home to the headquarters of The AfriCat Foundation www.africat.org – a non-profit organisation committed to long-term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores.

AfriCat has evolved over the past three decades and what started out primary as a welfare organisation has over the years identified the need to incorporate a focus on education and develop an ongoing collaboration with researchers, scientists, and conservation authorities. This is undertaken through practical research of species-specific ecology and behaviour, as well as through the development of effective conservation and management strategies.

Some of AfriCat’s captive carnivores in care today are too old or habituated to be reintroduced into the wild and will therefore remain under the expert care of the AfriCat Team. These animals have assumed the role of being Species Ambassadors for their wild counterparts.

After an informative afternoon trail, you end the day with a sundowner in an area of the Okonjima Nature Reserve which has a high density of the secretly-social and rarely-seen brown hyaena.

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GIVING BACK

Africat’s dream is to turn their 55 000-acre nature reserve that was once denuded farmland, back to its natural state, last seen 200 years ago. This dream must be sustainable and must benefit local communities for it to survive the tide of change in Africa.

This ongoing project, headed by the Hanssen Family, is close to removing the majority of internal fences, manages water resources and hides, has opened new bush roads and is removing undesirable vegetation as part of its debushing efforts.

Both Okonjima and AfriCat are dedicated to creating conservation awareness through environmental education, preserving habitat and promoting research.

AfriCat and Okonjima have dedicated their efforts to rescuing carnivores from inhumane conditions, taking care of those that are too injured to be set free, and have rehabilitated and released more than 1080 large carnivores since 1993.

Today, AfriCat’s emphasis lies with ensuring the long-term survival of Namibia’s large carnivore species through environmental education, research and by mitigating human- wildlife conflict. In this way, AfriCat contributes to habitat and wildlife conservation, as well as uplifting affected farming communities.

Tourism and wildlife conservation is one of the most compatible relationships in Africa.

OKONJIMA PLAINS CAMP IS OPEN ALL YEAR ROUND

THE CAMP WELCOMES FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN OF ALL AGES

DUE TO THE NATURE OF SOME OF THE ACTIVITIES CHILD PARTICIPATION MAY BE RESTRICTED

Okonjima

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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