Okonjima Nature Reserve
Okonjima Nature Reserve, in the heart of Namibia, is in a Malaria-free area midway between Windhoek and Etosha National Park. This 20 000ha nature reserve, which is surrounded by the sandstone Omboroko Mountains, is equally famed for its wildlife sightings as well as its picturesque landscapes that marvel guests – from first-time visitors to our regulars. It is also home to The AfriCat Foundation, which is renowned for its conservation work with predators across Namibia.
Okonjima offers a number of accommodation options to suit any budget or traveller, making it the perfect African safari destination in Namibia. If you’re looking for a luxurious experience, the exclusive Okonjima Villa is located within the 20 000ha Okonjima Nature Reserve, while the affordable, family-friendly Plains Camp, the safari favourite Luxury Bush Camp, the Private Bush Suite, and the Omboroko Campsite, as well as the PAWS Environmental Education Centre are found within a 2 000ha non-rehabilitated area.
Frequent leopard and cheetah sightings during game drives is what an African safari is made of! The 22 000ha nature reserve also boasts an array of indigenous African wildlife, such as Zebra, Giraffe, Eland, Kudu, Gemsbok (Oryx), Impala, and Springbok as well as an abundance of bird life, which make for superb wildlife photography opportunities. Our guests also indulge in smaller pleasures that make their African safari one to remember, such as the peaceful atmosphere of the African bush, spotting wildlife at the watering holes situated at each accommodation, our flavoursome food, and welcoming hospitality. Okonjima also offers a number of activities to guests and day visitors , from hiking and mountain biking to bird watching and a fitness retreat.
Over the last century, over grazing and controlled natural fires as a result of commercial farming have damaged Namibia’s natural habitat. Many of the country’s open plains are becoming thorny thickets as a result. At Okonjima, we are trying to reclaim and rehabilitate the grassland plains to their natural state, as part of our debushing efforts. The Blackthorn (Senegalia mellifera) and the Sicklebush (Dichrostachys cinerea) are encroaching on the nature reserve, which results in an imbalance in the grass to bush ratio and decreases biodiversity.
Mechanical removal can clear around 7ha daily, but carries a hefty price tag and can also damage the soil while taking with it vital grass species too, which makes it a costly operation in terms of funding and conservation. The time-consuming and labour-intensive manual method is preferred in areas where care needs to be taken during selective de-bushing. We retain high grasses, which are a useful resource and source of employment for many Namibians.
Through our ongoing conservation and debushing efforts, Okonjima hopes to preserve this part of Namibia for centuries to come, so that it is always a peaceful African safari retreat for our visitors.