Ababis Guest Farm

Ababis Guest Farm: Our full report

Rooms
8 rooms
Open
All year

The traditional Ababis Guest Farm is situated on the edge of the Naukluft, just south of Solitaire, a good location for breaking the long journey between Sossusvlei and Swakopmund. Ababis's name comes from the Nama word for calabash, a gourd used for carrying water. The 160-year-old colonial house has been a guest farm since 1993.The seven double rooms here are large and clean with minimal decoration. Most rooms have two beds in them but there is ample space for extra beds to be added for families. The rooms come quipped with a lamp and a table with a vase of flowers, two chairs and a built in wardrobe. The decoration has obviously been influenced by the local scenery, with sandy neutral tones mixed with bright red, including an interesting brown and orange print duvet. On the walls are some beautiful shots of Sossusvlei. There are also two bedside tables and lamps as well as a hat stand.

The rooms are laid out in rows of two or three. Each room has a veranda which is shared with the other rooms in the same row. On the veranda is a table and chairs as well as a large carved wooden hippo. On our last visit here in April 2010 we found the rooms to be very hot, with no air-conditioning or fan. We imagine that the rooms must be even hotter in the height of summer!

Each room has a large en-suite bathroom with a toilet, a sink, a large shower and hot and cold water. The sandy colour and terracotta floor continue into the bathroom, giving it a bright and cheery feel. Personal toiletries are supplied. Most rooms have views over the pool and pretty gardens from the windows or veranda.

As well as the double rooms there is a large family room which sleeps up to four people. This room does have air conditioning, as well as an enormous bathroom.

The main area of Ababis Guest Farm is an interesting mix of old and new, as owner Katherin has used her skills as an interior designer to decorate the walls with contemporary art and lighting as well as African carvings and animal heads. There are a few Zimbabwean curios for sale in the large lounge, which is also decorated with ostrich eggs, carved wooden animals, dark wooden furniture, long couches and somewhat bizarrely, an oven. Outside are a small yet inviting pool and a braai area with tables and chairs.

Meals are served on the long covered veranda in front of the original farm building. There is one long table with painted candelabras where guests eat altogether in a group. This guest farm appeals to a mainly German clientele and on our last visit here we felt a little excluded here as the only non German speaking person at the dinner table.

Activities offered at Ababis Guest Farm include trips to the red dunes of Sossuvlei and Sesriem canyon as well as shorter farm trips and sundowner drives. The owners here offer half-day off-road driving training courses including safety driving, but if you don't want to do a full course you can always join them on a guided off-road trip to the Gamsberg and Remhoogte Passes via the Gaub River, with a stop off at Corona Guest Farm for lunch.

Ababis Guest Farm is a good base for long hikes, and for the less energetic there's a gentle walking trail around the farm. The farm is home to various animals including ostrich, gemsbok, springbok, blesbok, zebra, kudu and some bat eared foxes, as well as over 160 cattle. Guest can participate on an evening drive around the farm with the hope of viewing these animals, with a stop for sundowners. There's a small spring and a kokerboom forest in the hills that guests can visit.

For hikers the farm shares the Quivertree Trail located at Bullsport Guest Farm, and there's a 5.5km walking trail and a new 8km trail which includes one and a half hours of walking along the river bed. Another hike up a nearby mountain gives panoramic views of the farm. These can be done alone, and maps are provided.

Our view

Ababis Guest Farm offers comfortable accommodation and a variety of activities, making it a convenient place to break the journey between Sossusvlei and Swakopmund.

Geographics

Location: Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia

Ideal length of stay: 1-2 nights

Directions: On the C14, opposite the junction between the D1273 and the C14.

Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer

Key personnel

Owner: Kathrin and Uwe Schulze Neuhoff

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Half Board

Food quality: The home-cooked food is edible although nothing out of the ordinary. On our last visit we had zebra with sauce, peas and rice and carrot soup followed by lemon tart.

Dining style: Group Meals

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Drinks included: No but there's an honesty bar.

Children

Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Ababis Guest Farm.

Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions at Ababis Guest Farm.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Mains Electricity

Communications: There is a wireless internet, phone and cellphone connection.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: No

Medical care: The closest hospital is in Mariental, but in emergencies patients will be flown to Windhoek.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: Large dogs on site (friendly to guests). The gate is locked.

Fire safety: One extinguisher in each of the main areas.

Extras

Disabled access: Not Possible

Laundry facilities: A laundry service is available for an extra charge.

Accepted payment on location: All major credit cards are accepted. Traveller's cheques are not accepted.