The landscape of Namibia's Central Highlands is a mix of commercial farms and rolling mountains.
Hohenstein Lodge: Our full report
Hohenstein Lodge is located at the foot of the 2,319m Hohenstein Mountain, on the south-western edge of the Erongo Mountain range. Between the lodge and the mountains is a wide valley dotted with ancient camelthorn trees.
On one side of the lodge is the 1,469m Mount Kainachab, on the other the Hohenstein Mountain, the highest in the Erongo range. You can even see the stunning Spitzkoppe Massif in the distance.
Each of the 14 en-suite bungalows has been designed to make the most of the views of the surrounding mountains. The rooms are clean, spacious, each with a safe for valuables. The rooms are built in pairs, each one having its own private entrance and outside shaded veranda. One of the pairs has inter-connecting doors, making them suitable for families. All rooms have mosquito nets over the beds and mesh in the windows.
Hohenstein Lodge's main building has a spacious patio where meals can be taken, overlooking a waterhole that is visited by a variety of wildlife such as Springbok, Oryx, Red Hartebeest to name a few.
There is a separate barbecue area for groups. The Erongo Mountains are also a superb birdwatching area, with numerous species attracted to the water points in front of the lodge's main area. We were told that leopard tracks have also been spotted on the property but without any specific sightings. Also local to the area are kudu, giraffe, springbok, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, brown and spotted hyena, and oryx, and we were told that there were plans to introduce impala in the future.
The lodge offers a range of activities, including sundowner drives to visit ancient Bushman and Damara paintings (there are rock paintings at Philips cave, about 10km from the lodge). Afternoon drives to a small-scale gemstone mine take in a walk of about an hour with a few rocks to navigate, albeit not too steep. For walkers, there are guided hikes to the 'boulder forest', and a number of walking trails varying in length: The Damara Trail – is the shortest of the trails, starting at the lodge’s main area and along the dry riverbeds to the rocky outcrop. The Panorama Trail is the longest of the trails taking you all of 1½ and 2½ hours. Hohenstein Lodge also makes a great base from which to take day trips to explore the Spitzkoppe and Brandberg mountains.
Ideal length of stay: 1-2 nights
Directions: From Usakos drive along the D1935 for about 25kms before arriving at the gate on your right hand side and then it is a further 2km on the property to reach the lodge.
Accessible by: Self-drive
Owner: Ondili Lodge company
Staff: Managers at the time of our visit in November 2015 were Ralph and Karin
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: Dinner is a set menu, although we did not eat here, the dinner menu that evening was game sosaties, potato wedges, and vegetarian quiche, followed by pear Hélène for dessert.
Dining style: Mixture of group dining and individual tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £5-10
Drinks included: none included
Property’s age restrictions: Children all ages welcome
Equipment: Cots are provided but no highchairs
Power supply: Solar Power
Power supply notes: The power supply is 24 hours
Communications: There is WiFi in the main area only, but there is generally a good cellphone signal throughout the lodge.
TV & radio: no tv or radio
Water supply: Borehole
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: The nearest doctor is in Usakos, about 27km away.
Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk
Security measures: A security guard is on duty at the main gate and a guard on duty throughout the night at the entrance gate. There is also a 2,000 hectares game fence around the entire property.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in all the main areas and one fire extinguisher between each pair of rooms.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Laundry is at extra cost and is charged per item.
Money: Each room has an electric safe.
Accepted payment on location: Visa and MasterCard are accepted, as are cash payments in South African rand and Namibian dollars.