Lodges

Damara Mopane Lodge

An unexpectedly lush lodge in north-west Namibia's ancient savanna

Damara Mopane Lodge

Lying on the C39, west of Outjo in north-west Namibia, is a wattle-and-daub lodge tucked like an African village in a stand of mopane trees. It's a little oasis in this wild landscape of shrubby savanna, dry riverbeds, stark granite mountains and extreme temperatures. Nearby is one of the largest concentrations of rock paintings, or petroglyphs, in Africa. Beneath them, lion, cheetah, endangered black rhino, springbok and oryx roam the savanna, and the famous, and endearing, desert-adapted elephants lumber through the dry riverbeds in search of food.

At the lodge

The hotel

Sundowners are served on the viewing platform that lies 300 metres uphill from the lodge (possibly a little difficult for those who are infirm). Once reached though, the platform is splendid, with wide sunset views and drinks of your choice. Then head downhill for a really good meal made from the freshest ingredients and vegetables from the gardens. Drawings on the lodge walls replicate the rock engravings at nearby Twyfelfontein. There's a large pool for cooling off after a drive.

The rooms

Paths lead from the main area to the 60 air-conditioned chalets, their gardens unexpectedly flourishing in this dry environment. The interiors are roomy and simply but comfortably decorated in shades of the mopane tree, with en-suite bathrooms and private verandas on which to sit and enjoy the garden and scrubby view beyond. There is no internet reception.

On safari

Experiences

The lodge is the perfect base for excursions to the intriguing 2000-million-year-old Petrified Forest (70 km), Vingerklip (Finger Rock) (50 km) and Twyfelfontein (130 km), a World Heritage Site where Namibia‘s original inhabitants carved animals and mysterious symbols into the reddish-brown sandstone. Most of the images portray rhino, but there are also illustrations of elephant, ostrich, giraffe and humans. Many date back some 2000 years. The basalt Organ Pipes are lovely natural work of art. Explore the Valley Walking Trail with a guide.

When to go

Damaraland by month

January

Season: Wet

February

Season: Wet

March

Season: Wet

April

Season: Wet

May

Season: Dry

June

Season: Dry

July

Season: Dry

August

Season: Dry

September

Season: Dry

October

Season: Dry

November

Season: Dry

December

Season: Wet

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