Elegant Farmstead: Our full report
The Elegant Farmstead, previously known as Otjisazu Guest Farm, sadly closed indefinitely in early 2020 when ...... the lease expired. The information here reflects things as they were on our last visit. Situated approximately an hour-and-a-half's drive north-east of the Namibian capital, Windhoek, in an area of commercial farmland that is home to a variety of plains game including giraffe, kudu, oryx and black-faced impala.
Years ago, the 28km2 farm served as a mission station for the German 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 this, there are goats, hens, geese and a pond with ducks close to the parking area, and the manager’s small dog roams the property. The farm animals are proving a hit, especially with younger travellers, who are allowed to help feed them.
The interior of The Elegant Farmstead, however, is a big contrast: light and modern, with high ceilings, whitewashed walls and shiny white-tiled floors.
The 11 spacious bedrooms, all located in the old farm buildings, 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. 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 shower gel is provided.
On a small patio in front of each room, two chairs face the garden, whose gravel surface is beautifully planted with grasses, aloes, cacti, small trees and palms. 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 as in the bedrooms, 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. 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 serves as an honesty bar, for guests to help themselves to brandy, whisky and cigars. More comfortable leather sofas, a coffee table and a selection of wildlife and interior-design magazines complete the scene.
Double doors lead from here to The Elegant Farmstead's well-tended gardens and patio, where pathways lead to seating areas and to a few shaded day beds. Large palms and other tall trees afford plenty of shade, while a separate 'dry' garden features a collection of succulent plants that need very little water and are able to survive the region's dry climate.
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, which doubles as the breakfast room. In the adjacent wine cellar, guests can choose their wine before dinner.
Steps from the boma lead down to a large turquoise swimming pool, with several comfortable sunloungers. After dinner, guests gather in the lower garden for cheese and biltong around the campfire.
Activities at The Elegant Farmstead focus on early-morning and afternoon/sundowner game drives and walks on the land surrounding the farm. During an afternoon drive on our most recent visit in March 2017, we were taken around the farm and along dry riverbeds before heading up the nearby Signal Hill for our sundowner. Amongst some cattle, we saw a number of giraffe, kudu, springbok, oryx, black-faced impala and a couple of blesbok, which have been introduced to the area.
For those wishing to explore the area on foot, it is possible to do so independently, or on a guided walking tour. There are two self-guided walking trails, of 5km and 8km in length; these are marked by painted rocks, and you can also get a map from reception. Guests are asked always to inform the staff if they are going for a walk independently.
It is also possible to do a cultural tour taking in local initiatives to support education and industry, as well as a Damara and a Herero village
TThe 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, breaking the journey between Windhoek and Etosha. It also offers an opportunity to see plains game on drives or walks on the farm.
- Central Highlands, Namibia
- Ideal length of stay
- 1–2 nights
- The Elegant Farmstead can be reached from Windhoek City centre on tar and gravel roads, in around 1½ hours under normal conditions. However, we have had recent reports that condition of the D2102 from the main arterial B1 road to Elegant Farmstead has deteriorated, forcing one traveller in a saloon vehicle – which they reported as otherwise fine for the rest of their trip – to have to turn around. We would now expect this road to be more manageable in a vehicle with better ground clearance, but travellers should be aware of the condition of the road and allow extra time to get to Elegant Farmstead. We would also encourage travellers to check for any updates with us before they travel.
It is worth noting that, at the time of writing (Dec 2017), the back road between Elegant Farmstead and the Windhoek International Airport is reported to be in a better condition. If you’re coming from the international airport, there is no need to drive through Windhoek city centre. Instead, you turn right off the B6 towards the city onto the M53 and thence onto the D2102. The journey in this direction takes approximately two hours.
- Accessible by
- Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Half Board
- Food quality
- On our most recent visit to The Elegant Farmstead, in March 2017, the food was generally tasty, with a home-cooked feel. Guests with any special dietary requirements or allergies should notify the manager in advance.
Breakfast is served 07.30–09.30am, and consists of a buffet of fruit, yoghurt, freshly baked bread, cake, cereals and jam, followed by a cooked breakfast. They also offer two breakfast specials named after two of the chefs, which makes a nice addition to the norm. The Moesikie-Full House Omelette is filled with cheese, ham, tomato, onions and peppers, while a Josuma-Special Brotchen consists of a roll topped with cheese, baloney, fried eggs and fired onions. Tea, coffee and fruit juice are available to drink.
A light lunch, of a sandwich and salad can be taken between midday and 2.00pm. .
Tea and coffee are available throughout the day, with homemade cake at 3.00pm.
Dinner is a four-course menu. We started with asparagus soup, followed by a Greek salad, then slices of roast kudu in a mushroom sauce with rice, carrots and peas. Although we enjoyed the first two courses we found the vegetables and the sauce of the main to be strangely sweet. Dessert was a malva pudding and custard.
- Family holidays
- With a family room sleeping up to five, and two triple rooms, Elegant Farmstead is well suited to travellers on a family safari holiday in Namibia. Children (all ages welcome) can feed the farm animals, watch game at the waterhole or enjoy the spacious gardens and large pool.
- See ideas for Family holidays
- Attitude towards children
- Children of all ages are welcome at The Elegant Farmstead.
- Property’s age restrictions
- There are no age restrictions.
- Special activities & services
- The lodge does not lay on any special provision for children, but they are welcome to help feed the farm animals, and there is also a large swimming pool.
- No special equipment is available for children.
- Generally recommended for children
- With spacious gardens, farm animals to feed, animals visiting the waterhole and a large swimming pool, we think that there is enough to keep youngsters occupied here.
- Children must be supervised by their parents at all times, and particularly around the pool area, which is not fenced.
- Power supply notes
- Back-up generator
- The lodge has cellphone reception, with a stronger signal in the rooms than in the main area. Guests may use the landline phone, fax and internet service in the reception area, where there is also free WiFi.
- TV & radio
- There are no TVs or radios
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- The toilets are flush and the showers are plumbed in
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- 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.
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- Not Possible
- Laundry facilities
- Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge
- There is no currency-exchange service. Each bedroom has a safe, and there is also a large safe in the office that can be used by clients; only the manager has a key.
- Accepted payment on location
- Visa and Mastercard are accepted, as is cash in Namibian dollars and South African rand, but not travellers’ cheques.
Other lodges in Central Highlands
Alternative places to stay in this same area.