This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines open now

User menu
Hobatere Lodge
Hobatere Lodge
Hobatere Lodge

Hobatere Lodge: Our full report

Situated between Damaraland and Namibia’s Etosha National Park, but somewhat off the obvious route, Hobatere ...

... Lodge was re-opened under community ownership in April 2015, having been closed for some years. The lodge is set on its own 88km2 concession, and is approximately 18km from the Galton Gate into the west of the park.

Hobatere was for many years under private ownership, but following refurbishment it is now 100% community owned through the #Khoadi //Hoas Conservancy. It is managed by the same team as at Grootberg Lodge, Desert Breeze Lodge,The Stiltz and Fish River Lodge.

Accommodation at Hobatere consists of 12 chalets and rooms, all of which have been refurbished since the lodge was taken over. A further two family rooms were under construction during our last visit in November 2016.
  • The six individual chalets, with terracotta walls and thatched roofs, are quite small, but large low windows make the bedroom nice and light,,and there are net curtains for privacy. Each room has twin beds; the design of the chalets means that they cannot be made up as doubles. There is a built-in cupboard for storing clothes, a luggage rack, and a built-in table with insect spray, and tea and coffee; a flask of hot water is provided on request. Plug points offer a selection of sockets for charging batteries, and there’s a ceiling fan, which works only while the generator is on. Between the beds, a door leads into a small tiled bathroom with a toilet, single basin and walk-in shower. Shower gel and shampoo are provided.
  • The six terraced rooms are closer to the main area and are larger than the chalets, each with a double bed and some with an additional single. Concrete floors are dotted with rugs and bright African prints hang on the walls. Large doors lead out onto a private patio with two comfortable chairs and a glass-topped table, and views onto the surrounding bush. The bathrooms are slightly larger than those in the chalets, each with a toilet, single basin and walk-in shower. Although these rooms would be our first choice of stay at Hobatere, we thought that the proportions were slightly wrong, with large, fairly sparsely decorated bedrooms and bathrooms that felt a little cramped.
  • Two new family rooms, we under construction on our last visit and plans were still very much in the early stages. We hope to update our write up once we know more but in the mean time please ask us about any further developments.
As a part of aim to becoming more family-friendly, Hobatere was in the process of being fenced in when we visited. This will afford the lodge separation from big game and make it safer for children and adults alike – particularly useful as the lion population in this area has increased significantly over recent years. We were lucky enough to see two different prides and several lone males on the reserve during our stay, and they have been spotted around the lodge on several occasions.

The newly built main area at Hobatere Lodge is large, modern and airy, with floor-to-ceiling windows and doors on three sides. This L-shaped open-plan thatched building houses a reception desk and curio shop, alongside a large lounge area furnished with comfortable leather and fabric sofas and armchairs. Cowhides are scattered on the polished concrete floors and brightly painted sculptures of animal heads hang on the walls. A large V-shaped wooden bar, flanked by bar stools, separates the lounge area from the dining area, where individual tables and chairs are placed both inside and out on the patio. On a large serving counter at the back, you'll find tea, coffee, cake and biscuits all day.

Sliding glass doors lead out onto two covered verandas, separated by a firepit surrounded by modern canvas chairs. There's a waterhole some distance away from the main building, where with the aid of binoculars you can watch the wildlife that frequents it. We were lucky enough to see a steady stream of plains game as well as elephant and lion coming to drink or hunt.

Plans to move the waterhole closer to the lodge are taking a frustratingly long time, as this can only be done with the agreement of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. For those who want to be closer to the action, however, the lodge has built a hide on stilts overlooking the waterhole. Guests may be driven out to the hide on request, and left with a radio to contact the lodge and an agreed pick-up time. We were there when the wind was in the ‘wrong’ direction after a rather old lion kill, but this would normally be a great experience!.

Beside the main area is a small swimming pool surrounded by a grassed area and a raised stone deck with sunloungers and terracotta coloured towels.

The environment around Hobatere is similar to that of western Etosha, and activities from the lodge (at additional cost) take place on the increasingly prolific reserve. These revolve largely around game drives in open-sided 4WD vehicles with a canvas canopy. Morning drives, from 6.00am to 9.00am, return in time for breakfast, while those on afternoon drives, taken between 5.00pm and 7.00pm, are back in time for dinner. Night drives are also available, leaving at about 8.30pm and returning to the lodge at around 10.00pm, depending on the time of year. Nature walks can also be arranged on request.

Although Hobatere no longer offers drives into Etosha, guests may drive themselves, accessing the park through the Galton Gate, some 18km from the lodge.


Our view

Hobatere may be slightly off the main tourist route, but it is well worth the effort to reach it, and we have really enjoyed our last few stays. Accommodation is comfortable, the food is good, and there's plenty of space, with a pool to relax by. It has been fantastic to see the game densities increase since the lodge’s re-opening. Game-viewing opportunities here are now back to a high level, making it an ideal place to stop between Damaraland and Etosha, or to base yourself to explore the western side of the park.

Tom Morris

Tom Morris

Country manager: Namibia

Geographics

Location
Etosha National Park, Namibia
Ideal length of stay
Two nights is ideal for exploring the Hobatere reserve, but you might consider a third if wanting to exploring the western side of Etosha.
Directions
Hobatere is 18km west of the Galton Gate into Etosha.
Accessible by
Self-drive

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Half Board
Food quality
During our most recent visit to Hobatere, in November 2017, the food was very good.

A buffet breakfast, usually available 6.30–9.30am, consists of cereals, yoghurt, fresh fruit and freshly baked bread, along with fruit juice, fresh filter coffee and tea. You can also indulge in a cooked breakfast with a selection of eggs of your choice, bacon, sausage and tomato.

Lunch is à la carte and is served between 12.00 and 2.00pm. We had a choice of Greek salad, Hobatere open sandwich, tuna salad, grilled or fried fish and chips, or gemsbok or oryx schnitzel served with chips and salad. Those driving themselves into Etosha can arrange a packed lunch to take with them.

Afternoon tea with a freshly baked cake can be enjoyed before the afternoon game drive.

Dinner is a set three-course menu, served 7.00–9.00pm. On our first evening, we started with a roast vegetable filo parcel with sweet chilli sauce, followed by stuffed chicken breast served with beetroot, mixed vegetables and roast potatoes. This was finished off with malva pudding. The following evening, pea soup was followed by steak with mixed vegetables and sweet potato, and rounded off by a milk tart.

Children

Attitude towards children
Children of all ages are welcome at Hobatere.
Property’s age restrictions
There is no age restriction.
Special activities & services
There are no special activities for children, although there are a few board games in the main area, and there’s a small pool.
Equipment
Two family rooms were under construction in 2017. There are currently no cots or highchairs.
Generally recommended for children
With the lodge open to the reserve in 2017 (although a fence was being erected) and unfenced access to the swimming pool, we recommend Hobatere for children aged 8 years and over who will understand the safety implications.
Notes
The lodge is presently not fenced and dangerous game wanders through day and night. Parents must supervise their children at all times.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Hobatere Lodge

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Hobatere 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.

Giraffe

100% success

Oryx

100% success

Zebra

92% success

Elephant

85% success

Lion

77% success

Eland

60% success

Wildebeest

44% success

Black Rhino

33% success

Sable antelope

10% success

Spotted Hyena

10% success

Aardvark

0% success

Brown Hyena

0% success

Cheetah

0% success

Leopard

0% success

Pangolin

0% success

Roan antelope

0% success

White Rhino

0% success

Communications

Power supply notes
Although the generator is usually switched off after the last guests have retired for the evening, the lodge charges batteries during the day to power the lodge overnight, so there is 24-hour power.
Communications
Complimentary WiFi is available in the main building, and the lodge has a cellphone signal.
TV & radio
There is no TV at Hobatere.
Water supply
Borehole
Water supply notes
All the rooms have hot and cold running water, plumbed showers and flush toilets.

Sustainability

Hobatere Lodge sustainability

A Lions’ Sanctuary and a Chance for the Community

With a unique location, Hobatere is the getaway into the Western Etosha Park and offers travelers privileged access to the heart of Damaraland. Hobatere, meaning ‘find me’, invites visitors to discover how a fully community-owned conservancy lodge is committed to economically benefit locals. The goal is to make them, in return, act as ambassadors for reducing human wildlife conflict and promoting conservation of the area.

Hobatere is involved in a range of wildlife conservation projects such as the Namibian Elephant and Giraffe Trust, as well as the study of the black mongoose. The game density, especially of lions, is high around the lodge and as a result, Hobatere works alongside ‘AfriCat North’ to actively protect the desert-adapted lions and the local people affected by the lions’ presence. The lodge is also part of the Kunene Lion Project, among others, which aims to track and monitor local lion populations.

To financially support the local community, 100 percent of the staff is made up of local Namibians. Impressively, 80 percent of them have been working for the Hobatere Lodge for over 10 years. The lodge also provides a curio shop which sells local crafts as a way of generating vital income for the community, especially women.

In 2016, the Hobatere Lodge was awarded five ‘desert flowers’ by the Environmental Initiative Eco Awards Namibia. This represents the highest score, and is given to only a limited number of exclusive lodges committed to operate entirely according to eco-friendly principles.

See more great sustainability projects in Namibia

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Yes
Medical care
Most of the staff have had first-aid training. There is a doctor and clinic at Kamanjab, 84km away by road. In an emergency, guests would be flown to hospital in Windhoek.
Dangerous animals
High Risk
Security measures
Guests are free to wander around the lodge grounds on their own during the day but must be escorted to and from their rooms after dark by a member of staff. This may change once the fence is completed.
Fire safety
There is a fire extinguisher in each room as well as in the main area.

Activities

  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

    Birdwatching

  • Guided walking safari

    Guided walking safari

  • Night drive

    Night drive

Extras

Disabled access
On Request
Laundry facilities
Laundry is not offered here.
Money
There are no safes in the rooms. All valuables should be handed in at reception to be stored in the main safe. There is no currency exchange at the lodge.
Accepted payment on location
Cash is accepted in Namibian dollars, South African rands, US dollars, pounds sterling and euros. Payment may also be made with Visa and MasterCard.

Other lodges in Etosha National Park

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


Okaukuejo Camp

Okaukuejo Camp

Set within Etosha National Park, Okaukuejo Camp is a large, well-equipped restcamp, with a productive floodlit waterhole.


83% (641 reviews)
Halali Camp

Halali Camp

Halali is a large, government-run restcamp in a convenient central location inside Etosha National Park.


79% (319 reviews)
Mushara Bush Camp

Mushara Bush Camp

The family-friendly Mushara Bush Camp offers a beautifully designed lodge, friendly service and a great base from which to explore Etosha National Park.


94% (237 reviews)
Ongava Tented Camp

Ongava Tented Camp

Built around a waterhole Ongava Tented Camp offers good service, delicious food, comfortable rooms, easy access to Etosha and wildlife in camp.


93% (146 reviews)
Ongava Lodge

Ongava Lodge

Ongava is a smart lodge with fantastic views that offers a range of driving and walking safaris on its own reserve, and guided drives in Etosha.


92% (144 reviews)
Dolomite Camp

Dolomite Camp

Opened in 2011, Dolomite Camp allows visitors access to the far west side of Etosha National Park, which was previously off limits to most visitors.


86% (94 reviews)
Mushara Lodge

Mushara Lodge

Not far from the entrance to Etosha, Mushara Lodge offers comfortable and tastefully decorated rooms in a convenient location for exploring the park.


92% (85 reviews)
Namutoni Camp

Namutoni Camp

Centred on an old fort, the government run Namutoni Camp is located just inside Etosha National Park, close to Fisher's Pan.


82% (82 reviews)
Onguma Tented Camp

Onguma Tented Camp

Onguma Tented Camp is a lovely, little tented camp which centres around an attractive waterhole a short drive from the Von Lindequist Gate to eastern Etosha.


92% (80 reviews)
Onguma Bush Camp

Onguma Bush Camp

For great wildlife viewing without breaking the bank, the affordable and understated luxury of Onguma Bush Camp could be perfect.


93% (77 reviews)
Mushara Outpost

Mushara Outpost

Mushara Outpost is a comfortable, stylish lodge, and a good base from which to explore nearby Etosha National Park on your own or with a guided safari.


93% (55 reviews)
Onguma Tree Top Camp

Onguma Tree Top Camp

For a bird’s eye view across African bush, the stilted rooms at Onguma Tree Top are truly special.


97% (42 reviews)
Onguma The Fort

Onguma The Fort

The Fort is the jewel in the crown of the Onguma lodges, and arguably the whole of eastern Etosha.


95% (36 reviews)
Onguma Etosha Aoba

Onguma Etosha Aoba

From its woodland setting on the Onguma Reserve, Etosha Aoba is within easy striking distance of Namibia’s flagship national park.


89% (32 reviews)
Taleni Etosha Village

Taleni Etosha Village

Only 4km from Etosha's southern entrance, Taleni Etosha Village is an affordable base from which to explore the park.


93% (26 reviews)
Etosha Safari Lodge

Etosha Safari Lodge

A short drive from Etosha National Park's southern entrance, Etosha Safari Lodge is a convenient base from which to explore the park.


84% (24 reviews)
Etosha Safari Camp

Etosha Safari Camp

Funky, low-key and very original, Etosha Safari Camp is well placed for visiting Etosha National Park on a self-drive or guided safari.


87% (23 reviews)
Little Ongava

Little Ongava

The beautifully located and luxurious Little Ongava is a stunning place to stay in order to explore Etosha National Park and the private Ongava Reserve.


97% (23 reviews)
Safarihoek Lodge

Safarihoek Lodge

In the middle of the Etosha Heights Reserve, Safarihoek Lodge offers comfortable accommodation and excellent game-viewing.


95% (22 reviews)
Mokuti Etosha Lodge

Mokuti Etosha Lodge

With 106 rooms, child-friendly Mokuti Etosha Lodge is more like a hotel than a lode. Facilities to include a gym, spa, tennis courts and even a snake park.


92% (10 reviews)
Mountain Lodge

Mountain Lodge

In the heart of the Etosha Heights Reserve, Mountain Lodge offers the chance for game drives and bush walks away from some of the crowds of Etosha.


97% (7 reviews)
Andersson's at Ongava

Andersson's at Ongava

With game drives on both its private reserve and in Etosha, Andersson's at Ongava also offers access to the Ongava Research Centre.


100% (5 reviews)
Vreugde Guest Farm

Vreugde Guest Farm

Vreugde Guest Farm is a delightful owner-run and working sheep farm where you can expect a warm welcome and charming hospitality.


95% (4 reviews)
Etosha Garden Hotel

Etosha Garden Hotel

Safari in Etosha National Park Namibia, whilst based at the nearby Etosha Garden Lodge.


60% (4 reviews)
Villa Mushara

Villa Mushara

Villa Mushara offers luxury in a peaceful and isolated location. It is a good choice for honeymooners & those wishing to indulge themselves.


93% (3 reviews)
Toshari Lodge

Toshari Lodge

Safari in Etosha National Park Namibia, whilst based at Etosha Gateway Lodge.


80% (1 review)
Etosha Oberland Lodge

Etosha Oberland Lodge

A short drive from Etosha National Park's southern entrance, Etosha Oberland Lodge promises a convenient base from which to explore the park.


No reviews yet
Etosha King Nehale

Etosha King Nehale

A short drive from the national park’s northern entrance, Etosha King Nehale Lodge is an interesting and comfortable base from which to explore the park.


No reviews yet
Onkoshi Camp

Onkoshi Camp

Onkoshi Camp is owned and run by Namibia Wildlife Resorts. Built on elevated wooden platforms it overlooks Etosha Pan.


No reviews yet
Safari House

Safari House

The private Safari House on the Etosha Heights reserve is a great option families or friends travelling together.


No reviews yet

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link


New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Order a brochure
  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team

Africa