Rich in landscape and wildlife
by Marita van Rooyen
Since 1993, moving away from its previous forte as a hunting farm, Epako Game Lodge has been keeping guests in awe with its wide variety of wildlife, more than 170 species of birds, and variety of Bushman paintings- and rock engravings.
Accessible from the C33, about 22 kilometres north of the artists’ town of Omaruru in the Erongo Region, Epako is a luxury safari game lodge located in beautiful mountainous surroundings on the outskirts of Damaraland. Situated conveniently midway between Windhoek, Swakopmund and the Etosha National Park, it is an ideal stopover for travellers who want to spend quality time appreciating mountainous habitat and wildlife. Says Sabine Pusch, “At Epako, every day is special and interesting, always with something new to keep ourselves busy, be it a strange question or request from a guest, or maybe some new kind of bird or animal at the waterhole. Many of our visitors arrive as guests and leave as close friends.”
Another special touch comes from Alfons Kandetu who washes your car while you explore the 11 000 hectare property. “Namibia is ideal for the adventure seeker. It’s not a place where you should lounge around the pool (even though that is always an option); it is a special country, rich with new areas to explore, activities to try and animals to look out for. In the rainy season, just before the sun goes down, majestic clouds and a beautiful- light paints the sky. It’s difficult to explain, but these are the things that make Namibia such a special, breathtaking destination, causing so many visitors to fall in love with it.”
Up close and personal
Epako, a Herero word translated as ‘at the edge of the (Otjirundu) mountain’, does much to add to that special Namibian feel. The waterhole and mostly dry Epako River runs past the front of the lodge, bringing many animals up close for optimal viewing. While enjoying dinner or drinking an early-morning cup of coffee in the in- or outside dining areas, giraffe, rhino, gemsbok, kudu and other game species appear from out of the bushes to entertain nature lovers with their grazing and water-drinking behaviour. Activities at Epako include morning and afternoon game drives, unguided hiking, excursions to view Bushman paintings, and feeding cheetah.
The main building hosts reception, a curio shop, book nook, and a large living room with flat-screen television (DStv) and a fully-stocked bar. Decorated with animal trophies, African masks and other African artefacts, the lodge oozes a strong African feel. The dining deck occupies the entire front of the building, offering spectacular views over the bush and a perfect setting for romantic dinners. A set menu features mouth-watering fare: eland carpaccio, mixed vegetable soup and gemsbok steak, rounded off with an enticing dessert buffet. Waitresses are well trained, friendly and willingly go the extra mile to accommodate guests.
Accommodation is offered in 24 spacious rooms, two of which are honeymoon suites. Five of the units only have showers, while 19 feature both a shower and a bath. All rooms have furniture made from Australian teak, air-conditioning, fridge, telephone and a terrace for views over the rock garden or bush. All rooms are wheelchair accessible. Recreational activities include swimming, tennis and table tennis. Epako, especially popular amongst bus groups, is also frequented by self-drivers and smaller groups of visitors from countries like Germany, France and Italy.
This article appeared in the Feb/March 2011 edition of Travel News Namibia.