Ai Aiba Lodge: Our full report
Nestled at the foot of a granite kopje, with superb views of Namibia's Erongo Mountains, Ai Aiba Lodge is ...... sometimes marketed as 'The Rock Painting Lodge'. It stands in an area with a high 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.
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.
Country manager: Namibia
- Central Highlands, Namibia
- Ideal length of stay
- Two nights to make the most of the rock art and walking in this area.
- Ai Aiba Lodge is approximately 45km west of Omaruru located just off the D2315 in the Erongo Mountains.
- Accessible by
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.
- Attitude towards children
- Ai Aiba Lodge welcomes children of any age.
- Generally recommended for children
- Despite the lodge being child friendly we understand that there are no specific child services on offer and believe that younger children may be a little bored here.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Ai Aiba Lodge
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Ai Aiba Lodge have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- We are told that there is cellphone service throughout the lodge and complementary WiFi on offer in the main area.
- Water supply
Keeping local traditions alive
Located 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.
See more great sustainability projects in Namibia
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.
- Fire safety
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- On Request
Other lodges in Central Highlands
Alternative places to stay in this same area.