This small, stylish guesthouse enjoys a tranquil location close to city center of Windhoek. With just 11 rooms, Olive Grove offers an intimate and relaxing stay in an environment of elegant simplicity. All guest rooms have air conditioning, fine-gauge cotton bed linens and down duvets, satellite TV, wireless Internet, safe, mini bar, and coffee- and tea-making facilities with homemade biscuits provided. Natural stone is prevalent throughout, especially in the indulgent bathrooms. Common areas include a central open-air lounge with fireplace, indoor and outdoor dining areas, plunge pool, open-air spa bath on the deck, and beautiful gardens. The Wellness Room offers a selection of spa treatments, a welcome way to unwind after a long round of travel.The open-to-view gourmet kitchen serves a full breakfast and elegant dinners. Each guest room has its own veranda with tables and chairs, for guests who may wish to dine al fresco in privacy.
Kulala Wilderness Reserve, Namibia
Little Kulala lies within the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve, the only reserve with direct access to Sossusvlei and the Namib – the world’s oldest desert with the world’s tallest sand dunes. The flight itself to the camp provides jaw-dropping views of the spectacular landscape that has made Namibia a favorite feature for National Geographic magazine. The camp offers magnificent dune scenery to the west and a rugged, mountainous Namib escarpment to the north and east, with grassy plains and “fairy circles” filling the space in between. The camp’s 11 stylish thatched villas or kulalas (meaning ‘to sleep’ in the local Oshiwambo language) merge impeccably into the timeless desert landscape, with exquisite furnishings and fixtures, innovative bleached decks, and indoor and outdoor showers. Each villa has its own private plunge pool and a rooftop 'skybed' for romantic stargazing. The main area offers a relaxed lounge, dining room, bar and curio shop all under thatch.
Early morning game drives to the magnificent dunes take guests through a private gate into the reserve, for close-up views. Guided drives and walks are also offered on the private reserve for a chance to see desert animals and smaller desert fauna and flora. During our explorations we may see lone oryx, ostrich or other wildlife as they traverse the massive golden dunes.
Etosha National Park
Ongava Lodge is situated along the southern boundary of Etosha National Park in the privately owned Ongava Game Reserve. The lodge offers luxury accommodations in 14 en-suite units made of rock and thatch. The main lounge, bar and dining areas offer impressive views, as they are situated close to the top of a hill, surveying the foothills of the unpronounceable Ondundozonanandana Range. An inviting pool beckons guests to cool off in the heat of the day. Meals are either served in the main dining area under thatch with a view over the camp's waterhole, or on the dining deck under the stars. Ongava Lodge was listed on the Condé Nast Traveler's Gold Reserve List for 2005.
Etosha National Park is Namibia's premier wildlife destination and one of Africa's largest game reserves. Large herds of wildlife teem around the waterholes and the endless plains offer breathtaking vistas. Activities include game drives in open 4x4 vehicles into the Okaukuejo area of Etosha where lion, elephant (seasonal), gemsbok, springbok, black rhino, greater kudu and red hartebeest are seen at numerous waterholes and fringing habitats. Apex predators like leopard, cheetah and spotted hyena are also present in this area.
In addition, hides and guided walks are available on the private reserve. Ongava is one of the few private reserves in southern Africa with resident white and black rhino, allowing guests the unique opportunity to see both of these charismatic species. For those who enjoy close wildlife encounters, tracking white rhino on foot with a guide is a highlight not to be missed.
Ongava Tented Camp
Etosha National Park, Namibia
Ongava Tented Camp, built of stone, canvas and thatch, accommodates 16 guests in eight large Meru-style tents, furnished in a palette of natural earth tones in perfect harmony with the surrounding environment. All tents have en suite facilities, open-air showers and private verandas. The family unit sleeps four. Activities at this comfortable camp typically take place around the common area with its relaxing bar and swimming pool fronting a much-frequented waterhole.
Ongava is ideally located near Etosha National Park, Namibia's premier wildlife destination. Nearly the size of Switzerland, Etosha is one of Africa's largest game parks. Large herds of plains game concentrate around the waterholes in the dry season, while the summer months’ sporadic rainfall produces a profusion of life. Yet, while Ongava's proximity to Etosha allows for game drives to see a plethora of wildlife in the national park, it has the advantage of being located on the private Ongava Game Reserve, equally rich in wildlife though without tourist crowds. The Ongava reserve holds one of the largest rhino custodianships and is one of the few private game reserves where visitors may see both black and white rhino.
Other species guests are likely to see include elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, springbok, gemsbok, kudu and the diminutive Damara dik-dik. Birdlife is prolific, with ostrich and local specials including short-toed rock thrush, Hartlaub’s francolin, Rüppell’s parrot, white-tailed shrike and chestnut weaver. In addition to wildlife drives, activities include guided walks and viewing wildlife from hides, neither of which is offered in the national park.
Chitabe Main Camp
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Chitabe is an elegant 16-bed tented camp on an island in the Okavango Delta, set within an enormous private reserve bordered on three sides by the Moremi Game Reserve. The reserve offers a superb variety of habitats, which include waterways and marshlands, dry acacia and mopane woodland, riverine areas, open grasslands and seasonally flooded plains. A variety of wildlife is on view: elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah, and all the plains game including zebra, impala and red lechwe. Wild dogs are also known to frequent the area.
The camp is situated on one of the most inviting islands in the delta, surrounded by ancient ebony, leadwood and sausage trees. Eight spacious Meru-style tents are built on elevated wooden decks beneath a lush canopy of indigenous trees. Each tented room features sophisticated furnishings and en suite facilities with flush toilets, shower, and basin with hot and cold running water. There is an outdoor shower for those who prefer to shower under the sky and stars. The dining area, lounge and pub are also on raised decks with views over the surrounding floodplains. Attractive raised walkways connect each tented room with the main lounge and living area. Activities here center on day and night game drives, guided walks and spectacular birdwatching.
Chitabe Lediba Camp
Okavango Delta, Botswana
Neighboring the Moremi Game Reserve in the southeast of the Okavango Delta, Chitabe Concession covers 28,000 hectares with a multiplicity of habitats, from savannah to forested islands and floodplains. Chitabe Lediba is a small and intimate camp within the concession – perfect as a private accommodation for small groups or families, as its two family units have adjoining bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms. All five spacious Meru-style tents are built on raised decks. En-suite bathrooms complement the outdoor shower "with a view." A dining area, lounge and pool have glorious views over the surrounding floodplains and a small lediba (remnant lagoon that has become a waterhole), after which the camp is named, where game comes to drink during the day.
Morning and afternoon game drives explore the area in search of its denizens, with the evening drive usually returning after dark in order to get a chance at spotting the shy nocturnal animals such as genet, civet, serval, porcupine and possibly aardwolf. Wildlife on view here includes elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and cheetah and wild dog are sometimes found in the area. Guests should also see zebra, tsessebe, giraffe, kudu and impala.
Linyanti Private Reserve, Botswana
Situated in the southern part of the Linyanti Wildlife Reserve in northern Botswana, Savuti Camp is built on the banks of the Savute Channel (yes, two spelling in this area), an elusive waterway that ebbs and flows over the years. This is the heart of a legendary wildlife region best known for its large number of predators, as well as one of Africa’s biggest elephant populations. These are Kalahari elephants, the largest elephant species.
Accommodating 14 guests in seven spacious walk-in tents, Savuti Camp is a small and intimate enclave in an isolated area, far from other visitors. Each elevated tent has its own bathroom with a large indoor shower, twin copper hand basins and a separate flush toilet. Four-poster beds are draped in gauzy mosquito netting and ceiling fans keep the air moving overhead. Look out onto the riverbed from oversized chairs on your private veranda, or pen a safari-inspired letter at your writing desk. Each room has a private safe. In the common area, relax in the lounge and enjoy fine meals in the separate dining room and pub, sheltered under reed and thatch. A plunge pool is also available for afternoon refreshment.
The Savute Channel has been in flux in recent decades, creating an ever-shifting habitat for a wide range of wildlife. It stopped flowing between 1980 and 2008, and what was a once hippo-filled river became wide-open grasslands. Curiously, in 2008, the Savute Channel once more became a deep, clear waterway harboring hippos, aquatic life, and myriad water birds. In 2016, the constant shift of the earth’s tectonic plates caused the Savute Channel to again become a dry wilderness. The erratic source of water creates both opportunities and challenges for local wildlife, which have to adapt to a shifting environment. Besides the normal plains game, the area has good concentrations of roan, sable antelope and southern giraffe. All the predators are found in the area—lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena and wild dog. Game-viewing activities include day and night drives and walks with an armed guide. There are also a number of hides where guests can view animals quietly and safely away from vehicles.
Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Little Makalolo overlooks a vibrant waterhole in the heart of Hwange National Park. The camp's six luxurious rooms have en suite facilities with both indoor and outdoor showers. Solar power provides electricity, to ensure a lighter environmental footprint. The living areas include a dining room, lounge, plunge pool and an open fire area for convivial evening storytelling. There is a log pile 'tree house' hide overlooking the waterhole where guests can enjoy wildlife viewing during the siesta hours.
Activities center on game drives in open 4x4 Land Rovers and guided nature walks throughout the Makalolo concession. The area's large number of waterholes attracts game in both quantity and variety, especially in the winter months when Hwange is home to a Noah's Ark parade of animals as they come down to quench their thirst. Makalolo is one of the best areas for seeing impressive herds of buffalo and elephant as well as apex predators such as lion, leopard, wild dog and cheetah. Other general game is also abundant in the park. Bird life in the area is also prolific (more than 400 species have been identified), with species that frequent teak woodlands as well as those more typical of the drier Kalahari.
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