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Otjimbondona Kalahari
Otjimbondona Kalahari
Otjimbondona Kalahari
Otjimbondona Kalahari
Otjimbondona Kalahari
Otjimbondona Kalahari

Otjimbondona Kalahari

22°47’39.1"S 18°8’15.9"E

Otjimbondona Kalahari: Our full report

On the edge of the Namibian Kalahari in a 30km² private reserve, Otjimbondona Kalahari is a luxurious lodge ...

... in a convenient location, some 81km south-east of Windhoek International Airport. With a surprising proliferation of game, a relaxed atmosphere and charming hosts it offers some gentle game viewing, as well as easy access to Namibia’s longest cave system at Arnhem.

The prospect of a luxurious lodge relatively close to the airport that offered a tranquil stay away from the bustle of Windhoek city was appealing. And so much more so when we visited Otjimbondona in May 2018 to find our expectations surpassed.

Otjimbondona has just four villas, so even if the lodge is full you are guaranteed an exclusive and highly personalised stay. Although broadly similar in layout, each villa is individually designed and decorated: one inspired by the Namibian landscapes; another draws on the people of this vast and varied country. The open-plan design, glass front and tasteful, personalised décor make for a welcoming, warm and homely feel despite the villa’s vast size. On one side is a sitting area/kitchenette complete with satellite TV, wood burner, coffee machine, kettle, fridge/minibar and seating area. To the other is the bedroom/bathroom with 2 queen-size beds (which can be made up as a king), his and hers sinks, a deep, free-standing bath, a large glass-sided shower with stunning views of the bush and a separate toilet cubicle. Despite the open-plan layout, screens afford a good level of privacy.

Through a sliding-glass door at the front of each villa is a large deck complete with sunloungers, parasol and a private infinity plunge pool, while a little away from the villa is a separate private day bed. The deck looks over a small waterhole where the reserve’s wild residents occasionally come to drink, especially in the mornings and evenings.

Linking the villas to the main area or Manor House are sandy paths that wind through the Kalahari bush. From the closest villa there is also a hard pathway designed to make it more wheelchair accessible, although we suspect that being able to walk a few steps would still be necessary.

Otjimbondona’s manor house is the original farm building, inherited by owners Anita and Wilfred Slaney and since heavily restored and extended with the assistance of their architect son. The use of glass is again prevalent here, making the most of the views across the Kalahari, particularly from the open-plan dining area/lounge, which is fronted by decking around a narrow infinity pool. There is also a small curio shop, a cosy library and even a small gym here as well. In the evenings, before dinner, guests tend to congregate outside around the firepit for snacks and drinks while enjoying the sunset.

Activities here are very flexible and there is plenty of choice, though you could be forgiven for not wanting to leave the comfort of your villa. Wildlife watching either on foot or by vehicle is the norm, although note that there is only one game-viewing vehicle. You could also pedal a fat bike across the sand into the reserve or – if you have a penchant for enclosed spaces and bats – visit Arnhem Caves.

For a more sedate and altogether more relaxing experience there is a sauna at the lodge and you can arrange treatments (generally in your villa) by an in-house massage therapist from an extensive treatment menu. We understand that there are plans to create a more formal wellness village in due course.

Our view

Otjimbondona is a very different prospect from the majority of properties within reach of Windhoek’s airport. This truly is a destination that you might want to enjoy for more than one night, with a luxurious yet relaxing ambience that make it an ideal stop at the beginning or end of your Namibian adventure.

Tom Morris

Tom Morris

Country manager: Namibia


Southern Namibia, Namibia
Ideal length of stay
Two nights is ideal to recover after an international flight or after your Namibia journey.
Otjimbondona lies close to Arnhem Cave, approx 81km south east of Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako Airport.
Accessible by
Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board & Activities
Food quality
On our visit in May 2018 we were impressed by the quality of food at Otjimbondona Kalahari; even the biscuits and bread were homemade (and delicious). We also thought that the menu offered a little more variety than is often found in safari camps. Where possible the ingredients are grown locally in the Slaney’s garden or on their farm.

Breakfast was the usual selection of cold meats, cheeses, cereals, fruit and yoghurt with hot dishes cooked to order. Our hosts graciously sat and chatted to us and were more than happy to accommodate us with a later sitting than other guests, who were in a rush to catch an early flight.

Due to arriving late and (sadly) having to depart relatively early we didn’t have time to enjoy the light lunch, which is usually a salad or something similar.

Dinner is typically a three-course meal. We enjoyed melon wrapped in Parma ham served with a fresh green salad and honey vinaigrette for starter. Our main course was pan-fried oryx fillet with Kalahari truffle cream sauce and seasonal vegetables from the garden. Dessert was a nut-encrusted ice-cream roll served with berries – a light and refreshing way to finish the meal.
Dining style
Individual Tables
Dining locations
Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Further dining info, including room service
Meals in your villa can be arranged with advanced notice.
Drinks included
Local drinks including bottled water are included in your stay here.

Special interests

The villas at Otjimbondona are perfect for honeymooners. Indeed, with so many creature comforts you could be forgiven for hiding away in your villa and never venturing out on activities or to the main area to enjoy the fantastic Namibian hosting.
See ideas for Honeymoons
Private villas & houses
By booking the four villas at Otjimbondona exclusively a family or small group can have the whole manor house and its 30km2 reserve to themselves. Perfect for a bit of R & R at the beginning or end of a Namibian adventure.
See ideas for Private villas & houses
Otjimbondona has clearly been built with a high attention to detail and the lodge exudes class. Vast villas, flexible activities and a relaxing atmosphere are the lodge’s hallmarks and with only four villas, your luxury escape in Namibia is sure to be exclusive too.
See ideas for Luxury


Attitude towards children
Children aged 12 and older are welcome, and younger children might be accepted on request.
Property’s age restrictions
Usually 12+
Special activities & services
Generally recommended for children
Otjimbondona has an undeniably adult feel and we think that families with young children would feel out of place here.
There are numerous raised decks and uneven walkways here. Couple this with the risk of wildlife in camp, and children staying here would need constant adult supervision.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Otjimbondona

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


100% success

White Rhino

100% success


100% success


75% success


50% success


25% success


0% success

Brown Hyena

0% success


0% success


0% success


0% success

Spotted Hyena

0% success


0% success


Power supply notes
There is a back up generator.
There is mobile reception at the lodge and free WiFi is available in the villa and the Manor House.
TV & radio
Each villa has a satellite TV
Water supply
Water supply notes
Each villa has flush toilets, hot and cold running water.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Medical care
The closest doctor or hospital is in Windhoek, a drive of about 1hr 50min from the lodge.
Dangerous animals
Moderate Risk
Security measures
The owners live on site.
Fire safety
There are fire extinguishers in villas and main area.


  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Guided walking safari

    Guided walking safari

  • Mountain biking

    Mountain biking

  • Self-guided walking

    Self-guided walking


Disabled access
On Request
Laundry facilities
Each villa has a small electronic safe.
Accepted payment on location
Visa and Mastercard are accepted for card payments, with South African rand and Namibian dollars accepted for cash payments.

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