Come for the views, the tumbled landscape and the black rhino
Grootberg Lodge lies in (and is owned by) the communal #Khoadi//Hoas conservancy in Namibia's stark north-west. Perched atop one of the flat-topped mountains that characterise the landscape, the lodge's exterior appears rugged and wild, but its interior is luxurious, with every creature comfort catered for stylishly. From all points the views across the valley to the horizon are mesmerising – with black eagles soaring near the cliffs. The lodge is the first of its kind in Namibia, and plays a primary role in the environmental, tourist and financial development of its owners. Here you'll also find the world's largest population of black rhino.
At the lodge
The communal building is a white-walled, thatched structure with dining and seating areas that make the best of the views. Deep leather sofas invite you to settle back with a drink, and the catering is excellent. The staff (all employed from the community) are friendly and efficient and the bartender awaits your order. Outside, a small pool overlooks the valley. If your muscles are aching from the day's activities, certified masseuses are on hand to pummel them back into shape.
Stay in one of 14 twin and two family-sized rock-and-thatch chalets, each with an en-suite bathroom, a writing desk, a tea- and coffee-station and a small exterior deck. The family units are designed for two adults and two children. The chalets are solar-powered, so you'll need to head to the main area if you want to charge your cellphone or access wi-fi.
Grootberg offers guided walks on top of the plateau (starting early to avoid the heat), elephant tracking on the surrounding farms and, for the adventurous, a day-long rhino-tracking excursion. Visit one of the last remaining Himba settlements to learn about these herdsmen of cattle and goats who lead a semi-nomadic life. Take a guided game drive to the Klip River Valley to see zebra, antelope and occasionally elephant, lion and, of course, black rhino. Or meander through the valley on horseback. A unique addition to the activities list is solar biking, an eco friendly and energy efficient means of exploration.