As humans living in concrete jungles we are permanently boxed. We have learnt to accept this as the norm. We forget about the healing properties of simply having space. An endless view that is liberating and allows our souls to breathe. In the heart of the unforgiving yet endlessly beautiful Damaraland, set on the highest mountain top in the area is a place where the heart can relax and the mind can wander.
Grootberg Lodge is situated on the edge of the Etendeka Plateau, affording a spectacular view of the Klip River Valley spread out underneath. The view is so enticing that it is easy to spend an entire day staring into the expanse far below.
Managed by Journeys Namibia, Grootberg Lodge in ≠Khoadi //Hoas Conservancy is the first lodge in Namibia to be wholly owned by the community. The conservancy covers more than 3 000 km2 and is mainly inhabited by Damara people. Before it was established they mostly relied on subsistence farming or had to find work in other parts of the country. With the idea of creating shared wealth through tourism, registering a conservancy made the community the overall custodians and beneficiaries of the land. By reforming conservation efforts and educating the community on the potential benefits of being part of a conservancy, the success of this new undertaking was put into the rural people’s hands. Grootberg Lodge has created employment and also a regular income for community members. Furthermore, revenue generated through the lodge allows investment in social initiatives and provides means to assist the community.
Apart from its unrivalled views, Grootberg Lodge offers a variety of activities which venture into the 12 000 hectares area of the Klip River Valley that has been set aside by the conservancy for conservation and tourism purposes. Guests can explore this unspoilt wilderness on guided elephant and rhino tracking excursions or a relaxing scenic drive across the plateau in the morning or evening. Those who prefer to maximise their rest and relaxation can book massages or other beauty treatments while at the same time enjoying the vista.
The latest activity at Grootberg is the Damara Cultural Tour that informs guests about the ≠Khoadi //Hoas Conservancy and its people. Guests are driven through the surrounding conservancy farms while one of Grootberg’s excellent guides tells them about the area and how people go about their daily business. The first stop is at a replica of a traditional Damara homestead. Guests are able to ask questions and are shown through reenactment how daily life was for this tribe of former hunter-gatherers and herders of livestock. Through interaction and spending time with their hosts, guests are afforded an exclusive opportunity to understand their origins, history, culture and traditions.