Sanctuary Retreats overhauls Okahirongo Elephant Lodge

Wraps come off remodelled remote luxury seven suite Namibian retreat

Sanctuary Retreats, Abercrombie & Kent’s award-winning portfolio of luxury safari lodges and river cruise boats, is reimagining the latest addition to its portfolio, Okahirongo Elephant Lodge, with an extensive refurbishment, set to open in April 2023.

The lodge, located in Namibia’s distant northwest, is surrounded by the vast wilderness of Kaokoland, with various activities for exploration, adventure, and discovery. With just seven individual suites and a two-bedroom family suite, the lodge blends in perfectly against the surreal landscape of endless desert, vistas of rocky outcrops, sand dunes and mountain ranges.

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Okahirongo Elephant Lodge has just seven well-appointed suites, with four-poster beds. Each room has a private terrace with acovered day bed overlooking the desert, plus a bathroom with both indoor and open-air showers. There is also a private family villa, with two bedrooms, two spectacular bathrooms, a private terrace and personal lounge. The main lounge and dining room have open sides, for dazzling desert vistas. The infinity-edge pool has practically infinite views to the distant mountains and there’s a traditional boma, where guests can gather around an evening fire.

After a day’s safari and exploration of the Namibian scenery, guests can unwind on the shaded patio and luxurious daybed on the private veranda. Giraffes can be seen wandering down the river valley if you look towards the desert, where the shifting sand dunes can reach a height of 300 metres, making them some of the tallest in the world.

From the serene base of Elephant lodge, personalised adventure and discovery await. Expert Himba guides escort guests on morning treks or afternoon game drives to encounter a range of desert wildlife: the emblematic elephants and lions, iconic giraffe, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, and a wide variety of antelope: gemsbok, springbok, steenbok and kudu. Birdwatchers will keep their eyes peeled for native and exotic species, from large and lethal vultures to delicate bee-eaters, the distinctive Rüppell’s Korhaan and Monteiro’s hornbill.

An early-morning walking safari for Black Rhino will be an unforgettable adventure. Guests will track the endangered animals on foot with Okahirongo Elephant Lodge’s experienced guides. There are three black rhino males and two females resident in Okhongue.

For those searching for history, take a trip to the majestic clay castles of the Hoarusib river valley. These towering natural wonders are thousands of years old and soar hundreds of metres high from various gorges along the riverbed – thanks to the isolated location, guests may have them all to themselves.

The mystery doesn’t end there – spot the Lone Men of Kaokoland while on scenic drives. These almost life-size rock sculptures blend seamlessly with their surroundings, adding to the extraordinary atmosphere. At the end of a day’s adventure, stop to sip a sundowner as the sun sets over the majestic dunes.

Okahirongo Elephant Lodge is located in the remote Puros Conservancy in Kaokoland. Flying time from Windhoek to the property’s airstrip is 2.5 hours (including refuelling stops en route), or 12 hours by road transfer.

Suite rates start at NAD 15,500 (approx AU$1,275) per night in low season, to NAD 19,600 (approx AU$1,605) per night in high season, based on a 1-3 night stay. The retreat offers discounts for extended stays: For 4-6 nights, save up to 25%; for 7+ nights, save up to 30%.


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