Safarihoek Lodge

Safarihoek Lodge: Our full report

Rooms
11 thatched chalets
Traveller's rating
Excellent (97%) From 14 reviews
Children
Best for 12+
Open
All year

Safarihoek Lodge – which is being marketed as Etosha Heights Safarihoek Lodge – lies close to the south-western border of Namibia's Etosha National Park, on a hill overlooking mopane woodland to the pan beyond. Located on the private Etosha Heights Reserve, the lodge opened in its current form in 2016.

Safarihoek is newer and more modern than its sister property Mountain Lodge also found on the reserve. Each of Safarihoek's 11 thatched chalets has a mural of its namesake native tree species the wall in the bedroom. All come with twin beds or a king-size bed with a mosquito net, air conditioning, a seating area, small writing desk, minibar, coffee station, and en-suite bathroom. Outside each there's a private deck with a table and chairs offering spectacular panoramic views, it’s a great spot for a morning coffee, something stronger before dinner or simply to relax with a book between activities.

The chalets are divided into three types:

  • Two 'standard' chalets, closest to the main area, are also wheelchair-friendly.

  • One dedicated family chalet, also close to the main area, has a small living area separating the master bedroom from the children's room, making it perfect for families looking for a little more space.

  • Eight 'luxury' chalets are larger and have better views. They also come with an additional outdoor shower. Two of these chalets connect with an inter-leading door, allowing conversion into a family room if needed.
The thatched main area at Safarihoek has a shared lounge, indoor and outdoor bars and a restaurant – although meals may also be served on the deck overlooking the waterhole. Along with a swimming pool there's a second outside seating area and fireplace where guests can enjoy the sunset with a drink, discus their safari with other guests or admire the stars with a nightcap after dinner. Safarihoek Lodge also has a small curio shop and an impressive wine cellar/lounge, which is occasionally used for more intimate private dining on special occasions.

While we enjoyed our stay at here in September 2018, we felt that the lodge could do with a few more personal touches. The modern style of the large rooms and high ceilinged main area felt a little impersonal and we felt a few splashes of colour could add some extra character and warmth.

Activities at Safarihoek Lodge take place on the Etosha Heights reserve, including morning and afternoon game drives, night drives and bush walks, with a focus on the smaller things, bush meals and picnics, can be arranged on request. Because of the distance to the main Andersson's gate into Etosha National Park the lodge does not offer trips to the park. It is around 2 hours each way from the lodge to the park gate and guests are welcome to drive themselves if they so desire, although this isn’t generally recommended.

For keen photographers or simply those who want a more relaxing activity there is a photographic hide. Accessed by vehicle or a short escorted walk it was designed in collaboration with a Namibian wildlife photographer. The two levels are designed to observe animals visiting the waterhole – which is floodlit at night – without disturbing them. Due to its orientation it is best visited in the afternoon, on our last visit we found the glare off the water in the mornings made it hard to see animals let alone photograph them. This said once the sun moved the time we spent here offered a unique perspective on the wildlife that came to drink, and provided a thoroughly enjoyable way to while away a couple of hours.

Our view

Safarihoek is a solid, modern lodge in the private Etosha Heights Reserve. While it isn’t a base to visit the national park, in our experience the reserve has a high density of wildlife and provides additional flexibility when it comes to activities. The excellent photographic hide is also a real bonus. If you are considering a two-center safari in the vicinity of Etosha then Safarihoek is a great option.

Geographics

Location: Etosha National Park, Namibia

Ideal length of stay: 2-3 nights to make the most of the hide and activities on offer.

Directions: Safarihoek is located on the Etosha Heights Farm approximately 70km west of the Andersson Gate to Etosha.

Accessible by: Self-drive

Key personnel

Owner: Natural Selecton

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: The ever-friendly staff were attentive and, with advanced notice, can cater for most dietary needs.

Breakfast takes the usual form of a buffet offering cereals, juices, toast, muffins, fresh fruit, yoghurt, cold meats and cheeses. Hot breakfast of omelets, bacon, eggs and sausages are cooked to order.

We didn’t have lunch at the lodge on our visit in September 2018, instead we were treated to a bush picnic whilst watching elephant frolic in a waterhole on the reserve. The meal consisted of roasted vegetable frittata with a selection of cheeses, cold meats, bread, droewors and crackers. This was followed by fresh banana bread.

Dinner is a three course affair. For ours we enjoyed vegetable soup and fresh bread rolls to start. The main was a perfectly cooked springbok fillet (or chicken) served with carrots, courgettes (zucchini), steamed potatoes and gravy. This was then rounded off with a generous sized chocolate lava cake served with ice cream.

We were generally impressed by the food here.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: Soft drinks, local beer, house wine and house spirits are included in the full board rate. Due the high salinity of the borehole water here bottled water is provided during your stay.

Further dining info: Private dinners in the wine cellar on request.

Special interests

Birdwatching: For many the draw of the Etosha Heights Reserve is the chance to see some of Namibia's lager wildlife. However, with a superb split-level hide and expert guides Safarihoek Lodge also offers some very rewarding birdwatching.

See more ideas for Birdwatching in Namibia

Children

Attitude towards children: Safarihoek welcomes children of all ages.

Property’s age restrictions: None although families with children under the age of 12 must book a private vehicle for game viewing activities.

Special activities & services: None

Equipment: Additional beds can be requested in advance for families with young children.

Notes: There are numerous balconies, drop-offs and an unfenced, unguarded pool so children must be supervised at all times.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Mains Electricity

Power supply notes: There is a generator backup system.

Communications: Unlimited WiFi is available in the main area for a N$50 donation to the reserves anti-poaching unit.

TV & radio: None

Water supply: Borehole

Water supply notes: All the rooms have en suites with hot and cold running water and flush toilets. NB the hot water is heated by a solar gyser and so isn’t endless, especially early in the morning.

Sustainability

Creating a lion’s Haven

Creating a lion’s HavenEstablished in 2016, Safarihoek is located in the Etosha Heights Farm Reserve and is an active contributor to the Etosha Rand Lion Conservation Project, an organisation dedicated to mitigating the human-wildlife conflict in the local areas and protecting the threated species of African Lion. The number of lions is declining as a result of habitat loss, with a number of more than 1000 lions having been killed by wildlife managers or farmers. The aim of the project is to research new ways to protect the felines and stall the plummeting numbers leading to their extinction.

A similar project is developed at Safarihoek Hide, were a local team has developed vulture feeding program to help prevent the poisoning of vultures by farmers.

The lodge is also working with the Namibia National Cheetah survey which researches and monitors cheetah population across the country and aims to implement measures to reduce the decline of the species.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: The camp management is trained in first aid. The nearest doctor is in Outjo. In a medical emergency, a traveller would be flown during daylight hours to Windhoek.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Security measures: The lodge is in a remote part of the Etosha Heights Reserve, which is fenced, and there are security guards at the gate. An air horn is provided in each chalet to attract attention in case of emergency.

Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in each chalet and around the main area.

Extras

Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: A full laundry service is included. Items are usually collected in the morning and returned in the evening, weather permitting.

Money: There is a small safe in each chalet. The lodge does not offer any currency-exchange facilities.

Accepted payment on location: Mastercard and Visa debit and credit cards are accepted by the lodge. Cash is also accepted in Namibian dollars, South African rands, GB sterling, US dollars and euros.

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