Ai Aiba Lodge

Ai Aiba Lodge: Our full report

Rooms
20 twin rooms
Traveller's rating
Good (88%) From 8 reviews
Children
Best for 10+
Open
All year

Nestled at the foot of a granite kopje, Ai Aiba Lodge – sometimes marketed as 'Ai Aiba – The Rock Painting Lodge' – enjoys views of Namibia's Erongo Mountains. The lodge is in an area with a large concentration of Bushman rock art, some of it up to 2,000 years old and much of it in good condition.

Ai Aiba used to be one of our favourite lodges – a good-value place to stay in an interesting area with a lot to offer, and many of our travellers used to stay here. Unfortunately over time we felt that the standard of the accommodation and service here had dropped below the standard we aim for so we stopped featuring the property. Now, though, we are delighted to hear that the management of Ai Aiba has been taken over by the team behind Erongo Wilderness Lodge. Erongo is a firm favourite of ours, and one of our most visited lodges in Namibia.

While we have yet to visit the revitalised Ai Aiba, we expect to find things back to a high standard and running smoothly again. In the meantime, here is what we know so far:

The lodge offers 20 twin rooms, set up in pairs in ten thatched chalets. Each air-conditioned room has a small lounge area, a veranda and an en-suite shower room, and comes with an electronic safe for valuables.

The main area of Ai Aiba is a large thatched building where you’ll find the lodge’s reception, lounge area, bar and restaurant. Outside is a swimming pool surrounded by palm trees and sunloungers, and a lush garden where tables and chairs are set out in the shade.

Activities from Ai Aiba concentrate on visits to the rock art and walking. Guests may join a morning or afternoon nature drive on which the lodge’s guides will show you some of the best rock art in the area, with the opportunity en route to see some beautiful scenery and a smattering of game. There are also guided walks both morning and evening, or you can explore one of the lodge's self-guided walking trails. Finally we are told that Ai Aiba can arrange tours of a local San (Bushman) living museum where guests can learn about the San people and how they used to live in the Namiban wilderness.

Our view

We are tremendously excited to see Ai Aiba Lodge back on the map. This is another option in a less-visited area of Namibia with some superb examples of rock art and we cannot wait to visit again. We will keep this page up-to-date with any new information we receive and look forward to giving our full report once we have visited.

Geographics

Location: Central Highlands, Namibia

Ideal length of stay: Two nights to make the most of the rock art and walking in this area.

Directions: Ai Aiba Lodge is approximately 45km west of Omaruru located just off the D2315 in the Erongo Mountains.

Accessible by: Self-drive

Key personnel

Owner: Marketed by Big Sky Lodges Namibia

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Half Board

Food quality: We have not yet visited Ai Aiba in its current form, so cannot comment on the quality of the food, but we hope to find it of the same high quality that we have come to expect from Erongo Wilderness Lodge.

Children

Attitude towards children: Ai Aiba Lodge welcomes children of any age.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Mains Electricity

Communications: We are told that there is cellphone service throughout the lodge and complementary WiFi on offer in the main area.

Water supply: Borehole

Sustainability

Keeping local traditions alive

Keeping local traditions aliveLocated in the Erongo mountains, Ai Aiba lodge offers its visitors the opportunity to see plenty of traditional Bushman rock art, some of which dates back 2,000 years. For this reason, it is also named ‘the Rock Painting Lodge’.

The lodge is comprised of 20 twin rooms, housed in thatched chalets, which complement the natural surroundings. Staff at the lodge offer informational foot tours, indicating their commitment to preserving their home and local area. Visitors can discover the local wildlife as well as learn about the native San people (bushman).

Tours to the Living Museum of the Ju/'Hoansi-San can be arranged for those interested in embarking on a cultural expedition. The Living Museum is an open-air museum where guests can experience the local way of living and learn how to shoot an arrow, try the unique Ju/'Hoansi rope skipping or sing-along traditional anthems. This interactive programme has been carefully designed to keep local traditions alive, while providing employment opportunities for San communities nearby. Guides are trained to speak English, thus facilitating the incursion in San culture and creating a more familiar environment for foreign guests.

If that is not enough, guests can also enjoy a heavenly ‘sundowner’ drink whilst watching the sunset over the Erongo Mountains. Ai Aiba lodge has been recently taken over by one of the founding members of the Erongo Mountain Nature Conservancy. Whilst guests can still enjoy luxuries in the wild, they can take comfort in the knowledge that they are contributing to sustaining the local community and its endangered wildlife.

Health & safety

Medical care: There is a doctor and small hospital in Omaruru (45km away). In an emergency, guests would be airlifted to Windhoek.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: We understand that there is 24 hour security on site.

Extras

Disabled access: On Request

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