The Elegant Farmstead is located an hour and a half's drive north of Windhoek.
Elegant Farmstead: Our full report
The Elegant Farmstead is on the farm previously known as Otjisazu Guest Farm. Situated approximately an hour-and-a-half's drive north-east of Windhoek, this lodge re-opened in September 2010, having been extensively renovated. In an area of commercial farmland, on our last visit here we spotted a number of warthogs, kudu and baboons from the road on the way to the lodge.
Years ago, the farm served as a mission station for the Italian church and there is still a wall from the original building standing. Today, from the outside, The Elegant Farmstead looks every inch the traditional farmhouse. In keeping with the farmstead theme, there are goats, hens, geese and a pond with ducks close to the parking area. These are proving to be a hit with younger travellers especially, as they can help feed the animals. The interior, however, is a big contrast: light and modern, with high ceilings, white-washed walls and shiny white-tiled floors.
The Elegant Farmstead has 11 spacious bedrooms, all located in the old farm buildings. They include eight twin rooms, a family room that sleeps five and has its own veranda, and two triple rooms. All are beautifully decorated in soft browns and creams, with abstract art on the walls adding splashes of colour. Baskets of fruit and snacks are supplied, as well as bottled water, while useful extras include a hairdryer, a torch and a clothes brush – all squirrelled away in a dressing table. Although all the rooms have air conditioning, none of them faces the sun, and their tiled floors and high ceilings make them feel cool both day and night. The en-suite bathrooms are clean and tidy, with a large shower and with shower gel and shampoo provided.
On a small patio in front of each room are two chairs facing the garden. Although this area is shared with neighbouring rooms, it is otherwise quiet, the only sounds coming from the water fountain and the birds.
The main building of The Elegant Farmstead is made up of open-plan areas, some linked by wide arches. Huge windows look onto the front garden from the office/reception area, where some curios are in a glass display case and the day's dinner menu is displayed on a blackboard.
In the tastefully decorated lounge are large, comfortable leather sofas and armchairs, a coffee table, animal-skin rugs, and a beautiful tripod-stand lamp with a bright-red shade. Over the brick fireplace, a large rock shaped like the map of Africa is embedded into the wall, and elsewhere abstract art adds a touch of colour. There's also a mural depicting the mission as it was in 1878, and a small library – albeit with books mainly in German.
In an adjacent area, a selection of teas and coffee is available throughout the day, laid out on a cream-coloured Aga along with glass jars of home-baked biscuits. We tried the refreshing ginger and honey tea. A delicious home-baked cake is served for afternoon tea at 3.00pm.
A wide archway leads to a cigar lounge, floored with polished black and white tiles. Here a large wooden cabinet with brandy, whisky and cigars serves as an honesty bar, for guests to help themselves.
Moving on through, there's a second lounge area with more comfortable leather sofas, a coffee table and a selection of wildlife and interior-design magazines.
Double doors lead from here to The Elegant Farmstead's well-tended gardens
In warm weather, dinner is often served on a raised deck, overlooking a small, floodlit waterhole where wildlife sometimes comes to drink. In cooler weather guests eat in a thatched boma area near the pool, which is also used as their breakfast room. After dinner, guests gather in the lower garden for a cheese and biltong platter around the campfire.
Steps from the deck lead down to a large turquoise swimming pool, with several comfortable sunloungers. On one side is a shaded breakfast area, open on one side, and a bar with some interestingly designed hanging chairs. An iron gate leads to the wine cellar, where guests can participate in wine tastings before dinner.
Activities offered from The Elegant Farmstead focus on early-morning and afternoon/sundowner game drives and walks, with opportunities to see kudu, impala, oryx, red hartebeest, blesbok and ostrich, as well as various birds; when I visited we saw an augur buzzard during the afternoon game drive. Of the two walking trails, the first is a leisurely 3km walk into the dry riverbed where you might see wildlife; the second, for the more adventurous, a 4.5km hike to Signal Hill from where you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the area.
The Elegant Farmstead is a beautifully refurbished, stylish lodge with friendly staff and well-designed gardens and rooms. It makes for a tranquil and peaceful overnight stop at the start or end of your holiday. Its only real drawback is that it's located about 40 minutes' drive from the main tar road.
Ideal length of stay: 1–2 nights
Directions: From Windhoek City centre, head north on the B1 until just before Okahandja, where you will reach the D2102 on the right. The Elegant Farmstead in 26km along this road on the right. (Please note that this part of the drive takes approximately 40 minutes as the road crosses two riverbeds and – while usually well maintained – can on occasion be very uneven.) From the airport, it is possible to reach The Elegant Farmstead without travelling through Windhoek city centre. Take the B6 towards Windhoek, then turn right onto the M53 and, after a further 12km, left onto the D2102. From here, it's a further 110km to the lodge entrance, which is on the left. The journey from the airport to the lodge takes approximately two hours. We would advise travellers who are visiting during or soon after the rainy season to ring ahead to enquire about the road conditions before setting off.
Owner: The Elegant Collection, Jorn & Birke Dedig
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: Food at The Elegant Farmstead is both tasty and prepared to a high standard, with a home-cooked feel. Guests with any special dietary requirements or allergies should notify the manager in advance.
Breakfast consists of a buffet of fruit, yoghurt, bread, cake, cereals and jam, followed by a cooked breakfast. Tea, coffee and fruit juice are available.
For those guests who are staying for lunch, a cold platter is available.
Tea and coffee are available throughout the day, with homemade cake at 3.00pm.
Dinner is a three-course menu with a choice of salads or soup (or both) for starter, followed by a meat and vegetable dish and dessert, which on our last visit was granadilla mousse.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: No drinks are included in the rates.
Family holidays:See more ideas for Family holidays in Namibia
Birdwatching:See more ideas for Birdwatching in Namibia
Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are welcome at The Elegant Farmstead.
Equipment: No special equipment is available for children.
Generally recommended for children: Children would enjoy the pond, helping to feed the farm animals, enjoy the spacious gardens, and watching the animals that visit the waterhole. There is also the added bonus of a swimming pool.
Notes: Children must be supervised by their parents at all times, and particularly around the pool area.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: There is cellphone reception at the lodge, but the signal is weaker in the main area and stronger in the rooms. Guests can use the landline phone, fax and internet service in the reception area. WiFi is free for guests and is available 24 hours a day.
TV & radio: There are no TVs or radios in the lodge.
Health & safety
Malarial area: No
Medical care: The nearest doctor is located in Okahandja, and there are many hospitals and medical centres in Windhoek, around an hour-and-a-half's drive away.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: The lodge is surrounded by an electric fence, and there is also an electric gate which is guarded during the day and locked at night.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in all the rooms.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge
Money: There is no currency exchange service and no travellers' cheques are accepted. There is a safe in each room. There is also a large safe in the office that can be used by clients; only the manager has a key.