Ghaub Guest Farm is a friendly place to relax for a night or two in the Otavi Triangle
Ghaub Guest Farm: Our full report
Situated in the heart of the Otavi Mountains, the 11,800 hectare Ghaub Guest Farm was a mission station from 1895 to 1968. It was then renovated and turned into a guest farm which opened in 1999. The ten spacious rooms and main buildings have retained much of their historical character. The farm changed hands in 2007, but the new owners have kept the style of the rooms and buildings the same, simply sprucing them up with a lick of paint and a few new pieces of furniture.
The first thing that strikes you about Ghaub Guestfarm is how big the land seems around the farm. There are acres of open green grass, lots of trees, a beautifully-landscaped garden and even some maize fields. The lush greenery of the area is very unusual for Namibia, thus can seem amazing in this semi-desert country.
The central areas of the lodge are functional and homely, but quite dated. The lounge-cum-bar area is not very big – the sofas are almost on top of each other – but the room does feel very cozy. The dining area is not much bigger; expect pine chairs and square tables, set with paper tablecloths. Outside is a braai area. Again, it's functional but quite basic.
Dotted around you'll find a couple of photo albums on the coffee table, old milk jars that are now flower pots and an old 'mangle' – before the days of washing machines!
The swimming pool is big and shaded by palm and acacia trees – and from this the view of the mountain is just stunning. In the centre of the pool, accessed by a wooden bridge, is a bar, so guests can sip their drinks while in the pool. There's also a smaller children's pool on the side of the larger pool.
Further down the hill from the pool, shaded by a row of trees, is the waterhole and hide. Visitors to the hide can watch the animals coming to drink, which are most likely to be warthogs and kudus.
The bedrooms are very big and the beds are comfortable. Though the décor is very minimal, the high ceilings, large French doors and lovely “private" porch seem to make up for this – and we really enjoyed staying here. The bedding is plain and simple but clean, and an extra blanket is laid out on the bed. There is a ceiling fan, coffee/tea station, dressing table with mirror and chair, wardrobe and electric shaver point in the bathroom which is finished with marble tiles. There are plans to add airconditioning units to all rooms in the near future.
There are lots of options for activities in this area. Ghaub Guestfarm has a number of signposted walking trails, one leads through lush vegetation to a spring, where you can still find an old borehole! On the walking trails, the more prominent trees and shrubs have been tagged by a Botanist, and hikers will receive a little map with a list of the trees and shrubs, of which there are some beautiful specimens. The walks will also take you past bushman engravings, an old fountain, the mission station cemetery, and, if you've got the energy, up a hill with a lovely view over the surrounding countryside. These hikes can be done on your own, or with a guide from the guest farm.
Alternatively, explore Ghaub's area on a nature/farm drive in a 4WD in search of the farm's resident game. On our last trip, we spotted kudus, dik diks, baboons, warthogs and lots of birds. We're told that eland are also resident here – though we didn't see any! The farm also arrange for guests to participate in horse riding and mountain biking trips.
A unique activity from Ghaub is to spend an afternoon exploring the Ghaub Caves. The caves are only about 15 minutes' drive from the guestfarm, during which your guide will normally tell you some of their history of the caves. Then, with a torch provided for you by the guestfarm, you slide down into the caves. (Prepare for a lot of crawling, and to get your clothes very dirty!). Please note that climbing up and down the cave sections can be very slippery in the wet season.
It's pitch black inside the caves, which are 38m below the ground and 2.5km long, . Most sections are tall enough to stand up in; but some areas of the cave require you to squeeze a bit to get into them. Note that there are no handrails or hand-holds, and you shouldn't hold the impressive stalagmites or stalactites in case you damage them. We found that it got quite warm underground; it is very interesting, but not for the faint-hearted.
Our ViewGhaub Guest farm is a delightful spot with fresh home cooking. It is conveniently situated between Otavi and Tsumeb, and makes a good stopover if you are on your way from somewhere like Okonjima to Etosha.
Ideal length of stay: 2 nights but it is usually used as an overnight stop
Directions: Ghaub Guest Farm is located on the D3022, 37km south of Tsumeb. Travelling on the B1 from either Etosha or Otjiwarongo, you will spot the signs to the farm as you approach the turnoff (on the right if coming from the south, on the left if coming from the north). On the left, 25km along the quite sandy D3022, you will find the farm.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: The meal times are flexible but dinner – a home cooked set menu of three courses, is normally served from 19:00, but this depends on the time of year. Breakfast can be enjoyed anytime from 07:00 onwards. Expect a wholesome breakfast with homemade bread, cold meat, cheese, juice, tea/coffee, fruit and yogurt. Hot options are available. Lunches, such as a salad or a sandwich, or packed lunches, are available, with hot lunches on request.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: No drinks are included
Attitude towards children: Children will love this place because of its big open gardens, lots of space to run around
Equipment: No cots or high chairs available
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: Children aged under ten are not allowed in the cave.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: There is mobile reception here but there are no phones in the rooms.
TV & radio: There is a TV in the lounge area.
Health & safety
Malarial area: No
Medical care: The closest hospital or doctor is in Tsumeb, about 85km away.
Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk
Security measures: There is no guard on site, but there is always someone on the premises.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers outside each room. The main building has an extinguisher on the veranda.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Extra Charge – same day return
Money: Currency exchange is not possible