The design of this camp is a tribute to the history of cattle-farming in Okonjima, dating back to the early 1920s, through 1970 when the grassland was purchased by Val (VJ) & Rose Hanssen.
The Hanssens continued to breed and rear livestock until it became apparent there was a need to solve the problem of increasing animal losses, and interest in Namibia as a tourist destination took off after independence. In 1993, they sold their herds, got involved in conservation and set up Africat Foundation, irrevocably changing the face of Okonjima. In 2012 and 2013 the grassy plains were recovered by removing cattle fences and burning invasive acacia bush, creating great sunset views.
The complex now offers three levels of accommodation, plus The Barn or entertainment area, a traditional lapa (which means 'gathering place') construction with a dining and lounge area, swimming pool and curio shop.
The accommodation stretches out on either side: six budget Garden rooms – the oldest of all – are located in the lush garden of the original homestead. Each has a double and a single bed, an en suite bathroom, roof-fan and safe. These rooms are situated quite close together and do not have views over the plain, however the choice of activities is identical, and all meals are taken at Plains Camp.
All 14 Standard rooms, on the other hand, enjoy a view across the plains. Four of these form two large two-roomed family-units. The rooms are set some 15-20 metres apart, at a discreet distance from The Barn, with one family unit closest to it, and the other furthest away. Each room has two double beds, an en suite bathroom with twin basins and a shower, a small verandah, tea and coffee-making facilities, two roof-fans, mini-fridge, room safe, telephone to contact reception, and a ramp for wheelchair access.
Finally, 10 spacious and exclusive View rooms were completed in 2014, all with a view across the plain. Two of these form a single large two-roomed family-unit. The rooms are set 25-75 metres apart at some distance from The Barn, which affords greater privacy. In addition to the facilities offered by the Standard rooms, these have a large verandah, a larger shower, a desk and a comfortable chair for reading.
Namibia in Focus
Along with the world’s oldest desert and highest dunes, Africa’s deepest canyon, some of its oldest cave paintings and earliest evidence of human civilisation, Namibia also has rich and varied wildlife.
Carnivores of Etosha: Human vs Wildlife Conflict
Take part in the Etosha National Park lion survey and help farmers build a kraal on this physically demanding and highly rewarding adventure into the wilderness of Namibia.
Land of Contrasts Self-Drive
This is Namibia at its very best, a wilderness destination of outstanding beauty at every turn. Choose between a self drive or fully guided itinerary.
This novel trip, which is self-drive as far as Kasane just inside Botswana, combines Namibia’s premier wildlife hotspot, Etosha National Park, with the lush Caprivi Strip which leads along the Kavango River into Botswana, then on to Chobe National Park before ending at Victoria Falls.