A history concealed
by Yolanda Nel
Situated 85 km from the capital along the B1 road from Windhoek to Okahandja, The Elegant Farmstead is far enough from the noise of the city but still close enough to break away for the weekend.
First known as Otjisazu, The Elegant Farmstead was named after the red cattle that belonged to a Herero man who once lived there. Built in the 1870s, it was used as a missionary station to convert Herero and Mbandero people to Christianity.
Missionary Irle and his wife stayed on Otjisazu for 31 years, where he gained much insight into Herero culture, recording and sending it to interested parties in Germany. His successor was Missionary Brockmann, who was asked by Senior Chief Samuel Maherero to leave Otjisazu and move to Okahandja in accordance with a resolution Maharero had passed on 11 January 1904 to protect non-German whites, German women, children and missionaries against harm. The station was subsequently looted and destroyed. Today guests at The Elegant Farmstead have the option to visit Ovitoto, a Herero village, to see the Herero graves and visit Okahandja’s famous wood-carving market.
The Elegant Farmstead offers guests other activities such as guided and unguided hiking trails through the dry riverbeds or on the open plains. Guests can also enjoy game drives during the late afternoon or in the early morning. Animals likely to be seen are kudu, eland, hartebeest and blesbok.
Ideal for small conferences
The 11 rooms at the farmstead, decorated in a modern and classy style to ensure elegance, can accommodate up to 27 people. Eight are double and two are triple rooms, and there is one family room with five beds.
Before dinner, guests can visit the cellar and choose wine from a wide selection to accompany a set three-course dinner of beetroot soup, tender gemsbok fillet and homemade granadilla mousse, served either in the lapa or on the wooden deck. After dinner a cheese and biltong platter can be enjoyed next to the fire or while partaking in a cigar and cognac.
Guests are welcome to make themselves at home in the lounge area complete with magazines and large sofas, where they can sit and relax with a cup of coffee and homemade cookies. Clientele includes business groups, for whom conference facilities can accommodate up to 16 people.
This article appeared in the Feb/March 2011 edition of Travel News Namibia.