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A private luxury retreat for family, friends and home to The AfriCat Foundation

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Okonjima is a family-run business and is so much more than simply an luxury African safari lodge. It is also home to The AfriCat Foundation, which was established when Chinga the Cheetah was bought by the owners Hanssen’s, at a cattle auction and given a home on Okonjima.

West of the Waterberg Plateau Park, vast plains are occasionally broken by remnants of ancient sandstone outcrops, which once covered large areas of northern Namibia.

Nestled among the Omboroko Mountains, in a Malaria-free area, lies Okonjima – a Herero name meaning “Place of the baboons”.

AfriCat became internationally renowned after featuring in an award-winning Discovery Channel documentary filmed in 1995 and 1996.

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.

Where is Okonjima located and how do I get there?

Okonjima is half way between Windhoek and Etosha National Park. It is centrally located and ideally suited as a base from which to organise various excursions to other locations.

There is an excellent tar road from Windhoek (B1). Okonjima is a two-and-a-half hours’ drive from Windhoek; three hours’ drive from the International Airport – Hosea Kutako; and three to four hours’ drive to Etosha National Park.

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What sort of accommodation is available?

The Grand African Villa

The Villa at Okonjima was originally conceived as a fully-staffed private house, which included a private guide and game drive vehicle. Okonjima has decided to change the booking status of the exclusive African Villa to a luxury, boutique lodge that can be booked by a guided group or families and friends.

The Villa is the only Okonjima lodge situated within the 200km² private nature reserve – there are no barriers between you and the wildlife. It is a boutique property concept with emphasis on the high standard of service and secluded privacy in Okonjima Nature Reserve’s most prestigious setting. Combined with an array of unique activities, you will enjoy a Namibian safari experience to remember.

As of 2018, the Okonjima African Villa can be booked as:

  • A small, luxury, four-suite, boutique lodge (up to 6 pax).
  • The entire Villa can be booked exclusively. If two or four guests want to book the Villa exclusively, they will have to pay the full rate for the three double luxury suites.

When is the best time to visit Okonjima?

The Villa is closed during certain periods in December, January and February each year for maintenance and upgrading. Please contact us to confirm closing dates.

The most pleasurable months to visit Namibia are April, May and June, but you will always feel welcome no matter when you visit Namibia!

What should I pack and bring with me?

Your safari suitcase, packed properly, will ensure that you have everything you need for the ultimate African bush experience. Cotton clothing in neutral colours is recommended for all game drives and bush walks. It is best to avoid white clothing and dark colours for bush activities, as they tend to attract certain bugs. Formal wear is not required.

We recommend packing the following:

  • Comfortable walking shoes/track shoes/hiking boots for walks; and sandals to wear around the villa.
  • Swimming costume/bathing suits, sun block, sun hat, sunglasses, lip balm, mosquito repellent.
  • Camera and video camera, binoculars, spare memory cards and charging equipment. 
  • The villa is located in a remote area and therefore you should remember to bring an extra pair of spectacles (if required), contact lenses and an extra set of contact lenses (if required) as well as a sufficient supply of any prescription medication.

What Activities are Available?

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 behavioural patterns as well as offered an upbeat prognosis for a sustainable future for the species in today’s Africa.

A stay at Okonjima offers the best chance to view wild leopard in Namibia, as well as those collared for research purposes, in their natural habitats. 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 you an intimate, up-close perspective of Namibia’s wildlife and, especially, it’s most protected species. The Okonjima Nature Reserve is home to, and runs extensive research projects on rare and endangered species big and small.

You are invited to 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 children and families, due to interactive and informative demonstrations. This two-hour experience provides you with a stimulating insight into the flora and fauna, as well as culture, of Namibia.

Self-guided hiking along our nature trails:

You are also encouraged to seek some self-reflection and solace in the Namibian wilderness, surrounded by Okonjima’s striking natural beauty and abundant wildlife. Between early morning and afternoon game drives, you may go on a self-guided hike along one of three well laid-out hiking trails. The trails vary between four and six kilometres and, clearly marked, they meander along spectacular landscapes where wildlife abounds.

How important is Conservation at Okonjima?

The dream is to turn the 50 000-acre nature reserve that was once denuded farmland, back to its natural state, last seen 200 years ago. This dream must be sustainable and will 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.

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

Okonjima and The AfriCat Foundation have embraced tourism as both a conservation strategy and sustainable business model. This close relationship has resulted in the creation of a 50 000-acre (220km²) reserve, providing refuge for some of Namibia’s most vulnerable carnivores as well as a platform for environmental education and funding for relevant conservation activities.

Contact us to Find Out More

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A Fixed Wing Flying Safari is a unique concept of travel in Africa. It introduces another dimension to a typical African safari, that of the beauty of the continent from the air. Accompanied and guided by experienced pilots who are also experienced safari guides a Fixed Wing Flying Safari is a truly memorable and exclusive experience.

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Epic helicopter journeys exploring corners of Africa that few have been to or even ever heard of. We specialise in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, the Congo and Namibia. Our tailor-made safaris cover wild and spectacular mountains, valleys, forests and deserts, with a focus on ‘remote and unknown, unexplored and unforgettable’.

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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore – Dream – Discover - Mark Twain - You can view clips of some of our own favourite discoveries here.


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- An amount from each holiday is donated to our selected conservation and humanitarian charities


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