Wilderness Safaris, Preferred, Recommended, Offical, Premier, Travel, Agency

Journeys with Insight
Grootberg Lodge

Grootberg Lodge

Grootberg Lodge is located in Damaraland in northwestern Namibia, about fifty miles from Kamanjab and 15 miles from Palmwag. On the rim of the Grootberg Plateau, the lodge stands sentinel over the Klip River Valley. The Khoadi/Hoas community set aside about fifty square miles for conservation and tourism, and it is within this conservancy that the lodge is situated.

Grootberg Lodge is unique in that it is the first middle-market establishment in the Namibia tourism industry 100% owned by the community. Funding for the development of the lodge was obtained from the European Union through the Ministry of Environment and Tourism's Development Programme. The private sector had a hand here too, supplying training and management until the community project was self-sustaining. In addition to the revenue it generates for the community, the lodge also provides employment in this remote and otherwise poorly developed area. This ensures the future viability of these cultures by providing schools, clinics, a community kitchen, and making bursaries available for promising pupils.

When it came to wildlife, an important aim of the lodge was to reduce the conflict between humans and animals by making the local population more tolerant of the lion, cheetah, and elephant populations. By giving the animals a value in tourism terms, the community has grown to appreciate the importance of the wildlife.

Attending a guided walk to the top of the plateau is a must. The Etendeka Mountains are beautiful and the Black Eagle nesting sites are of real interest. Elephant tracking is another popular activity, and these expeditions are led by a guide and an expert tracker. Make no mistake, though. As large as the elephants are, they are surprisingly elusive and have the ability to cover huge distances each day, so sightings are not guaranteed! Rhino tracking is equally popular. Guests ride in 4x4 vehicles down to the Klip River before striking out on foot in pursuit of the rhino.

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.

Take a scenic drive down the Klip River Valley where permanent springs provide water for the local population of zebra, antelope, and occasionally elephant, lion, and black rhino. Springbok, kudu, and oryx are endemic to the area. Even the skittish klipspringer is sometimes seen leaping about on the steep cliffs.

If you are ready to get started planning your journey, click here to fill out our travel questionaire.