Along with good wine, cheese, and the founders of Natural Selection, some things get better with age – and Etosha Mountain Lodge is one of them. Located in the exclusive Etosha Heights Private Reserve on the southwest border of Etosha National Park, the lodge has been going strong for over 10 years and we were delighted to take the reins in 2018. At the lodge, you can expect nine, classically-Namibian chalets, all with 180-degree, camera-loving panoramas of the wilderness, a beautiful main ‘lapa’ area, and a cool swimming pool for the hot African days.
The activities certainly don’t disappoint either. Think morning and afternoon game drives in the private reserve, a former hunting concession and one which we are pleased to be rehabilitating into a photographic safari area. Go out in search of big cats and watch for signs of elephant on the horizon; watch all the action at the waterhole in front of camp; hop on a night drive with some of the best guides out there; and, of course, track endangered rhino, the icons of the area.
The chalets at Etosha Mountain Lodge are all incredibly comfortable and spacious. The eight double and twin rooms all have ensuite bathrooms, indoor showers, and enormous bathtubs, perfect for sinking into after a busy day wildlife-watching. At the family room, there’s even a private plunge pool on the veranda to take advantage of.
At the centre of camp is a bright and breezy ‘lapa’ area and under the thatch, you’ll find the restaurant and bar as well as plenty of sitting areas, just waiting for a sundowner cocktail. There’s also a well-stocked wine cellar, a curio shop and a swimming pool. And no matter where you choose to relax, the panoramas stretching ahead are magnificent; think dramatic skies, vast plains, and wildlife wandering to and fro, right in front of your eye.
On first glance at the vast, imposing desert-scapes of Etosha Heights, you might be forgiven for thinking that there wasn’t very much there at all. But (happily!), you would be wrong. Hop on a game drive, and you’ll find elephant crashing through the trees, and kudu and springbok scattered across the savannah, whilst the dainty herds of antelope are never far away. And of course, such a bounteous bevy of ungulates means predators, and there are lion, cheetah and even leopard lurking in the shadows and in the hills.
If there’s one animal that dominates memories at Etosha Heights, it’s the white rhino. The endangered giants amble between the private reserve and nearby Etosha National Park, ears twitching and tails flicking, and leaving unmistakable footprints in the dust. When darkness falls, head to the waterhole and watch them come to drink for a truly spine-tingling sighting.