Photos and text by Marita van Rooyen
“After a tour around the country you should stay at Onjala Lodge to sit down and look back, set out on foot to view the wildlife on your own, enjoy the tranquillity of the African savannah, and return home peaceful and relaxed.”
Prepare to unwind into oblivion at ZenSations, to be treated by Zelda Soltau’s golden fingers, to feel like a queen (or king!) for a day, and to let your sorrows dance away on the fresh autumn breeze.
Then, by the time your body has recovered from this splendid state of stupor, walk over to the stables, ask Steven Skrywer – the horse professional – to saddle up your stallion of choice and then gallop away into the open savannahs. Join a herd of zebras en route, or follow the trail of a wildebeest, but stay away from the giraffes! (Horses don’t seem to like animals with long necks).
By the time you’re back at the lodge, cake and coffee will be waiting, enhanced by Leticia Coetzee’s friendly smile and the cool, and invitingly azure waters of the swimming pool.
So where would you land this kind of pampering? At Onjala Lodge and Private Nature Reserve situated about 80 kilometres from Windhoek in the Seeis Conservancy is where. Set against a mountainside in the 1700-hectare reserve, panoramic views are enjoyed from every corner of the property.
Here you can take all the time in the world to savour the flavours of a locally brewed beer while enjoying the buzz of the Bird Restaurant and admiring Klaus Lubowski’s solar cooking.
And that’s not all. If you prefer to rest your legs, then a game drive through the reserve is just the thing for you. Or be energetic, don your sun hat, put on comfy shoes, take your walking stick and pick a trail for your own personal wildlife and botanical exploration.
Otherwise pick a two-wheeler and cycle into the beyond; or be a night owl and admire the evening skies through the astronomical observatory. The carnivore feeding tour could further set your blood pumping, or just emerge yourself in cocktail hour on top of one of the surrounding hills.
Onjala is Namibia’s own personal story lodge. Starting with the arbitrary meaning of the Onjala, a Herero word meaning ‘finger’; and including general manager Heiner Soltau’s involvement in the building process; his wife Zelda’s amazing initiative in creating the best wellness centre in the middle of the African bush, and Steven the Horse Guy, who is also Steven the Waiter. There’s a story around every rocky corner.
The latest addition to this unpretentious little haven is a romantic Bush Spa, ideal for that final dose of leisure.