Guineafowl have been cackling raucously in the undergrowth for quite some time. They seem to be determined that the quiet night must end. So we decide to rise and shine with the fowl. We are well rewarded, as moments later we witness the rock face turn dazzling red under the first rays of sunshine.
This wonderful part of Namibia is on the farm Otjosongombe on the eastern slope of Waterberg, about 12 km north of the state-run Waterberg Plateau Resort. Otjosongombe’s owners, Caroline and Joachim Rust, have been running Waterberg Wilderness Lodge and Waterberg Plateau Lodge for years. They opened the Waterberg Plateau Camping Site in a tranquil side valley on their farm in mid-July.
Visitors who arrive at the thatched reception office before 16:30 are welcomed by a large notice board inviting them to choose a site. There are six, each equipped with barbecue facilities, a tap and a supply of firewood. Shaded by large trees they offer privacy and plenty of space. The bathroom cottage in the centre has showers that yield a steady supply of gloriously hot water from the ‘donkey’, a wood-burning boiler fired by camp managers Elizabeth and Albert Kauremi. The couple comes over in the evenings to ensure that all is well, and to sell barbecue meat and beverages. They live just a few hundred metres away, which is comforting to guests who are not used to such solitude and dark nights.
The variety of animal and bird life at the former cattle farm is remarkable. Black eagles, for example, roost at the striking tip of Ferdinand Peak, which towers above the camping site. On some mornings there are traces of nightly camp inspections by the wary brown hyaena or an inquisitive giraffe. Kudu, zebra and eland can usually be seen in the valley below the viewing point close by.
A swimming pool with soft spring water provides respite to camping guests, who also have the option of participating in guided tours to explore the wilderness on the plateau. These are quite special because Otjosongombe is the only farm around Waterberg to own a section of the plateau. Most of it is contained in the Waterberg Plateau Park and may only be accessed with a special permit. (MK)
Joachim and Caroline Rust
P.O. Box 767
Tel +264 (0)67 687018
Fax +264 (0)67 687020
This article was made possible by Cymot Namibia
This text originally appeared in the Travel News Namibia September 2005 edition.