Bullsport Guest Farm is situated near the Namib Naukluft National Park…
Bullsport Guest Farm: Our full report
Bullsport Guest Farm (also known as BuellsPort or BüllsPort) stands approximately 250km southwest of Windhoek, and about 50km south of Solitaire, in its own section of the majestic Naukluft Mountains. Offering hiking and horseriding, Bullsport is one of Namibia's oldest farms.
The guest farm is owned and run by Johanna and Ernst Sauber who have always offered a very warm welcome and great hospitality.
Over the years the accommodation in the original Bullsport farmhouse has been augmented by the extension of the original buildings and the addition of some well-designed luxury and family rooms, bringing the total to 16. There's also an entirely separate campsite. The farmhouse accommodation is painted a cheerful orange on the outside and in cool cream and terracotta tones on the inside.
- Four 'standard' rooms (Bullsport's original rooms) are fairly simple, but all are en suite and have mobile gas heaters and fans. There is a rolling programme of renovation and extension to convert these rooms to 'luxury' rooms.
- Ten 'luxury' rooms, which we'd always recommend, are larger and come with private verandas, en-suite bathrooms and separate toilets. These rooms have fans and mobile gas heaters for cold nights, and the water is solar heated. There are also tea- and coffee-making facilities in the rooms, and the bathrooms have hairdryers and liquid hand soap, although no other toiletries.
- Two family units situated next to the pool are the newest addition to the guest farm. Each unit consists of two twin rooms with a shared bathroom, a separate toilet and a private terrace. The second of these units has been designed to be wheelchair accessible.
- BüllsPort's camping facilities are set about 3km from the main guest farm, and divided into one exclusive camping site for the use of a single group, and a second shared site. Both are tucked away in the Naukluft Mountains, so ideal for nature enthusiasts. Each site comes with two flush toilets, two showers (with water heated by wood-fired donkey-boilers), two sinks and a shaded lapa area, although there's no electricity.
The central facilities at Bullsport Guest Farm include a sparkling swimming pool set in palm-dotted gardens. There's also a big shady veranda, which is popular for sundowners, and is where hearty Namibian dinners are served when the weather's good. Indoors, there's a spacious dining room with a large glass sliding door that opens onto the patio and garden, a well-stocked honesty bar and a small library. A WiFi connection is available here, and the farm has a computer station available for guests to use. The atmosphere is homely and we've always found it welcoming. Visitors should be aware that the friendly farm dogs (one Great Dane and four Jack Russells) are free to roam the communal areas during the day but are removed for meals.
Activities focus on hiking and horseriding. Information on all the activities can be found in the reception area, along with maps for the walking trails and a selection of field guides on local flora and fauna.
There are superb hiking opportunities on Bullsport Farm itself and in the surrounding Naukluft Mountains, ranging from short strolls to more challenging day-long hikes; Johanna and Ernst are happy to advise on those that would best suit your ability.
On our last visit, in October 2016, we hiked the Quiver Tree Gorge Trail, which was a real highlight of our stay. This trail has been graded ‘moderately difficult’ and it was a little challenging in places, with some scree-like patches, but it was nonetheless rewarding, with stunning scenery throughout. You can choose to do this trail one of two ways depending on how energetic you’re feeling! If you’ve got lots of energy you can hike the 12km circular route that winds its way up to the gorge, through it and back down again, taking an average of six hours. If you don’t fancy the climb, then Bullsport will drive you to the descent point (at about 1,800m) from where you can walk the 5.5km through the gorge to a pick-up point at the bottom. On our drive up to the start of the trail we spotted several groups of mountain zebra and kudu, and on the trail itself we had a lovely close-up sighting of a klipspringer family, as well as baboons and rock hyrax.
Shorter options include the Kudu Trail which, at just over 3km, is an easy walk over flat terrain – the perfect way to walk off a hearty breakfast or exercise your legs after a long drive. The walks are self-guided but all trails are well marked and easy to follow, and the flora and fauna is rich and beautiful, which makes walking here a real pleasure.
The horseriding here is also excellent. Bullsport is a working farm and one of the few registered studs in Namibia. Riding lessons for beginners are available, and there are several short, guided horseriding trails around the farm, taking between one and three hours. Sometimes zebra and kudu are seen on these rides. For more experienced riders, Bullsport's owner, Johanna, runs guided horseriding trips into the mountains and through neighbouring farms, lasting between one and three days. Horseriding must be pre-booked prior to arrival, and it’s possible to borrow hard hats, gloves and chaps.
Other activities at Bullsport include birdwatching, with over 200 bird species here; some specials on our last visit were bokmakierie, augur buzzard, Verreaux’s eagle, and rosy-faced lovebirds. Scenic/game-viewing drives, guided tours to Sesriem and Sossusvlei (although it is a quite long way), and guided 4x4 excursions up the Naukluft Plateau are also offered.
It is worth noting that some of the money paid for accommodation at Bullsport goes to a community trust that has been set up to provide members of the local community with guide training programmes, and to help other projects come together.
Our viewBullsport Guest Farm is a great place to stay near the Naukluft Mountains, and appeals to those who love to walk or ride. It's a real Namibian farm, with very welcoming owners, so staying here is quite a personal experience: down-to-earth and friendly. It's a far cry from the regimented atmosphere of some of the purpose-built lodges – and great value compared with many of the lodges nearer Sesriem.
Ideal length of stay: Although Bullsport is quite often booked as an overnight stop to break the drive between Windhoek and Sossusvlei, two or even three nights would be ideal for keen hikers and horseriders.
Directions: Bullsport Guest Farm lies about 250km southwest of Windhoek, a drive of about three and a half hours. There is shaded parking for self-drivers.
Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Owner: Owned and run by Ernst and Johanna Sauber
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: Most guests will have dinner and breakfast included in their stay at BuellsPort, and can expect hearty, home-cooked dishes. Special dietary requirements can be catered for, but should be advised well in advance.
Breakfast is normally served at 6.30am (May–Sept) or 7.00am (Oct–Apr), although it's possible to arrange to eat a little later if you prefer. Eggs are cooked to order and there is a selection of cereals (including delicious homemade muesli), yoghurt, cold meats, cheeses and homemade bread.
A packed breakfast can be prepared for anyone who would like to head out early.
We didn't have lunch here on our last visit in October 2016, but a light lunch can be arranged. Lunch packs containing a sandwich, some nuts, a cereal bar, fruit and a carton of juice (perfect for a long drive or to take on one of the walks) are also available. Both of these need to be requested the day before.
Afternoon tea, including a freshly baked cake, is served at 2.00pm (May–Sept) or 3.00pm (Oct–Apr).
Dinner is a three-course set menu served around a family-style table at 7.00pm (May–Sept) and 8.00pm (Oct–Apr). On our last visit we started with carrot soup, followed by oryx steak with mashed potato, beetroot, peas and a tomato salad. Our meal was rounded off by malva pudding served with cream.
Dining style: Group Meals
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £5-10
Drinks included: Drinks are not included. We are told that the water is safe for drinking, but bottled water (extra cost) is available in the bar for those who prefer it.
Further dining info: There is no room service available at Bullsport Guest Farm.
Riding holidays: Bullsport is a great option for horseriding in Namibia. A working farm that also breeds and schools Namibian horses, it offers riding lessons in the lounging circle or the dressage arena, and guided horse trails of up to three days into the Naukluft Mountains.See more ideas for Riding holidays in Namibia
Walking: Bullsport Guest Farm, in the Naukluft Mountains, offers fantastic variety for those interested in walking in Namibia. Eight well-marked trails (the Quiver Tree Gorge Trail is our favourite) lead through the farm and surrounding area, with stunning scenery.See more ideas for Walking in Namibia
Attitude towards children: Well-behaved children are very welcome at Bullsport Guest Farm, but there are no special activities for them.
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions.
Special activities & services: Babysitting is available if requested in advance (additional cost), although this would be done by a member of staff and not a trained childminder. There are several board games available.
Equipment: Cots and highchairs can be provided.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: The pool is unfenced. Children should be supervised by their parents at all times. Children must be happy with dogs as the well-behaved and friendly farm dogs are free to roam the communal areas during the day.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Power supply notes: There are plug points in all the rooms and adaptors are usually available on request, although we recommend that you bring your own in case there are none available. In the event of a power failure, a generator is run between 7.00am and 10.00pm to provide lights and electricity. A candle and matches are provided in each room.
Communications: WiFi is available to guests free of charge in the lounge and dining room area. There is intermittent cellphone reception on most areas of the farm; we found the signal to be best around the main building.
TV & radio: None
Water supply: Borehole
Water supply notes: All the rooms have flushing toilets and showers, which are plumbed in. Only the family units have a bathtub.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: There is a basic first-aid kit on site. The closest hospital is in Rehoboth, about two hours' drive from the farm. Bullsport has links to a medical-rescue company for use in an emergency.
Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk
Security measures: There is no security guard, but Johanna and Ernst live on site and the rooms can be locked.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers outside the rooms and in the main area.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Laundry can be done for an extra charge of about £4 per load.
Money: Currency exchange is not possible. Some of the rooms have built in lockable storage areas large enough for your bag. For added security, valuables can be handed in to Johanna or Ernst to be stored in their central safe.
Accepted payment on location: Bullsport Guest Farm accepts payments in cash (Namibian dollars or South African rand only), as well as Visa and Mastercard credit cards.