Namibia, in all her might, has so much to offer – and whether travellers are domestic or international, there is a little something for everybody to enjoy.
As a country, we are largely safari and lucky to have escaped the doom – that is being a landlocked country. We have the Atlantic Ocean! (Zambia cannot relate, shame.)
Here are some examples:
The Etosha National Park
The park offers tourists the opportunity to see wild animals in their natural habitat. Inside the park, you have access to a wide range of animals, including four of Africa’s big five. That’s right – four.
The Chobe River
This river runs through three African countries: Namibia, South Africa and Botswana. The river attracts an almost unbelievable density of game that includes crocodiles of all ages and sizes, hippos like you have never seen – and if you are lucky, a herd of elephants crossing the river. Majestic!
Where do I begin with this mighty wonder? The second-largest of the world’s oceans. The one that meets the Namib Desert to make for one of the best views in the world. Home to sea turtles and dolphins. What’s not to love?
I have experienced all three, and you can too with Olthaver and List (O&L) Leisure.
I like to describe Mokuti Lodge, which is their Etosha offering, as a gem hiding in plain sight. For years, I have heard about it, spoken about it and even driven past it – but for some reason, I have never been there.
In March, this year, I finally got to experience it. The first noticeable thing about the lodge is that it covers many, many hectares. The place is huge, which made sense after I learned the below:
- It has an onsite gym.
- The lodge recently reopened its spa – Omulilo Spa.
- It has a beautiful onsite tennis court for those who do not let vacations get in the way of exercise.
- It has one of the largest pool areas I have laid eyes on.
For the adventurous and fearless traveller – a reptile park.
Here, you learn about different reptiles, how they survive and in what conditions. If you are lucky, you may get to see a snake eating a live chicken! Live, live!
Lastly, the lodge is known to be one of Namibia’s popular wedding venues.
Anyone who has been to Mokuti Etosha Lodge will come back raving about one thing – the food! Mokuti Lodge chefs cook like their hands were touched by Jesus himself.
However, if a safari is not your thing and you are more into yoga, a walk by the beach or simply enjoy waking up to the sound of the angry waves of the Atlantic Ocean, I recommend for you Strand Hotel.
My goodness, is this hotel a sight for sore eyes!
Swakopmund Strand Hotel feels largely familiar because of how accessible it is. By this, I mean the three restaurants that not only cater to hotel guests but also the general public – and if you have been to Swakopmund, you have likely eaten at one of the following:
- The Farmhouse Deli – popular for its delicious and hearty breakfast, which comes with a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean.
- Ocean Cellar, which, after my visit, has easily become my favourite. They offer the freshest oysters I have had, beautifully presented sushi and prawns, and hake stir-fry that completely changed my life! I had it twice in a space of two days.
This, paired with their aesthetically-pleasing space and top-notch service, makes them one of the best culinary experiences in coastal Namibia.
The last one is the Brewer Butcher, which caters largely to steak and beer lovers. It is always a vibe, with continuous laughter in the background and waves of the ocean. What’s better?
The restaurants are just a section of what Strand Hotel offers.
I was received with such warmth! After a short check-in, the manager wished me a lovely stay and I was shown my room, which, in essence, was probably the best part of my stay.
A subtle but significant scent welcomed us into the spacious luxury room.
There was a fully-kitted mini bar, coffee station, crisp white sheets, lounger for relaxation and Egyptian feather pillows with the karate chop that Mutindi Jacobs taught us about.
The cherry on top? The ocean view. How can you not love the ocean view?
Nothing was left to chance. Everything – down to the toilet paper tuck – was pure perfection.
This leaves us with Chobe Water Villas, which were built right above the Chobe River.
Getting to the villas was probably the hardest part; borders were closed at the time of our visit, which meant guests were required to use an alternative route.
Let me tell you: it was not easy. It felt like arriving at what was a far-fetched dream at a point, but we eventually made it.
Chobe Water Villas is literally paradise – the modern-day garden of Eden.
It is unbelievably green, with sounds of birds chirping and wind against leaves. You get the occasional hippo sound that may scare you if you’re anything like me, but that makes it even more magical, no? (laugh with me)
What’s special about the villas?
Many things. What sold me, however, was the boat cruise on the Chobe River. The experience was out of this world. I got close enough to see multiple crocodiles open and close their mouths, experienced a hippo chase, and saw quite possibly the most and largest elephants I have ever seen in my life.
It is truly a once in a lifetime experience.
So, get up; let’s go see Namibia with O&L leisure!
It doesn’t get better than local.
Should you need any travel consultations or collaboration, do not hesitate to contact me:
Facebook: Ndapanda Haininga