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Fort Sesfontein Lodge

Fort Sesfontein Lodge

Fort Sesfontein Lodge inhabits the old Fort Sesfontein, which was built in remote northern Namibia in 1896, during the German Colonial. Fort Sesfontein was the gateway to Kaokoveld, an area of nearly 20,000 square miles between Namibia’s Hoanib River and the Kunene River, which forms the boundary between Namibia and Angola.

Namibia was known as “German South-West Africa” during the colonial period, and the fort was erected by the German government to monitor cattle disease, illegal hunting, and arms smuggling. It was abandoned in 1914 and fell into ruin. The only reminder of its grand past is the small army cemetery. It took nearly 100 years, but the fort has been reborn. The modern lodge makes full use of the fort. What was originally the officer’s mess hall has been refurbished to serve as the lodge’s restaurant, lounge, and bar.

Accommodation is in sixteen comfortable en-suite bedrooms and family units. The units are arranged around an inner courtyard. Each room has solar-heated bath/shower, four-poster beds fitted with mosquito nets, and ceiling fans. A swimming pool brings much relief after days of hot and dusty adventure. Building materials local to the area were used to construct the units. These include clay walls, stone floors, and reed lining.

This is the land of the Damara, Herero, and Himba peoples, so guests are encouraged to discover and interact with the local cultures. Indeed, all the staff at the lodge are from the local communities and are most keen to ensure the success of your visit. The staff will entertain you with their traditional dances and are eager to share their culture and language.

There is much to see and do here in the southern Kaokoveld. And you will certainly be tempted to take a guided day trip into the surrounding terrain. Another worthwhile trip is along the dry Hoanib River, where the landscape changes from grasslands to desert and even mountains. It is here that you are most likely to encounter the unique desert-adapted elephant of the Kaokoveld. It is also possible to see giraffe, antelope, and maybe even lion.

For a once-in-lifetime opportunity, take the “Himba Tour.” A member of the Himba tribe (more correctly known as the Ovahimba) will guide visitors into the Kaokoveld north of the lodge. The guide will explain fascinating aspects of his nomadic people and their traditional way of life. The Ovahimba are an ethnic group of semi-nomadic, pastoral people, closely related to the Herero. Members of an extended family typically dwell in a homestead that surrounds an okuruwo (ancestral fire) and a central livestock enclosure.

A fairly recent discovery is the rock engravings of Sosos. Hidden away in a particularly remote canyon are ancient drawings of lion, elephant, zebra, giraffe, and rhino.

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