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" lies Okonjima – a Herero name meaning “Place of the baboons”. This is much more than just a lodge. Both Okonjima & AfriCat are dedicated to creating conservation awareness through education; Environmental education at all ages and levels, rehabilitation and reintroduction programmes, provides solutions to human-wildlife conflict issues and conducts constructive wildlife research. As Namibia is home to the world’s largest wild/free-ranging cheetah population; the majority of Namibia's cheetahs and leopards can be found on approximately 7000 commercial farms and vast areas of communal farmland. These large carnivores occasionally prey upon the livestock that roam unprotected in the bush. As a result, carnivores are often regarded as vermin by the livestock and game-farming community and are deliberately trapped and/or killed. Among the carnivores being rescued, researched and rehabilitated by AfriCat are cheetah, leopard, lion, caracal, wild dog and hyena. Okonjima is a family-run business. Wayne, Donna and Rosalea Hanssen who co-own and live on the property, bought Okonjima from their parents, Val and Rose in 1993 turning, the then, cattle farm into a conservation project. Today the 22 000 hectare Okonjima Nature Reserve is still the ‘Home of The AfriCat Foundation’. AfriCat has given more than a 1080 carnivores a second chance since 1993. 86% have been released back into the wild! However AfriCat believes, ONLY ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION in the broad sense of the word will change 'old traditions and habits'. - BUT we cannot be species specific, for carnivores are only one link in the environmental chain. Only this concept exposed to THE NEXT GENERATION who hold the future of Namibia’s farmland in their hands, can and will make the difference. OKONJIMA activities include tracking rehabilitated carnivores on foot; visiting the AfriCat Carnivore Care & Information Centre; tracking leopards from a game-viewing vehicle. OKONJIMA also offers a guided Bushman Trail, Birding and Game drives. Learn about Namibia's carnivores and their fight for survival, and the Human Wildlife Conflict challenge that face both man and carnivore.
THE VILLA, overlooking a natural waterhole, is situated in a secluded, 16 000 ha wilderness area approximately ten kilometres from the Plains Camp. It has two separate, private suites, together with two select, en-suite bedrooms in the ‘Main House’, which together can accommodate groups of up to 8 adults and 4 children (12 yrs and older).
The graceful ‘Main House’ consists of an up-to-date, chef-designed kitchen with wine and soft drink coolers, both gas and electrical cooking facilities and an endless supply of ice from a double-door refrigerator. The living spaces are punctuated by a spacious lounge and dining area with an open, wood-burning fireplace. There are two en-suite luxury bedrooms. The bathrooms have both an inside shower and a spectacular outside bush-shower, together with a beautiful bath-with-a-view.
A magnificent infinity pool, surrounded on three sides by African red teak decking and a walkway to an open, shaded ‘Sala’ - for some serious birding and afternoon napping - incorporates a roof fan to stir the gentle breeze that crosses the adjoining waterhole.
Two separate, exquisite, thatched suites situated approximately 35m – 50m on either side of ‘The Main House’ are complemented by a well-stocked mini bar in each suite. There is a choice of either an inside or a unique, outside bush-shower. Toilets and bidets accompany the baths, all with a bush view.