We can all come out of mourning now. As of August 2015, Hobatere Lodge is back in business after a fire-induced hiatus. Though some might bemoan the loss of Steve and Louise, this community-run lodge is in excellent hands and the wildlife, service, food and all-round wilderness experience are still top-notch.
Hobatere is an 8,000-ha community-owned concession managed by Journeys Namibia who run the wonderful Grootberg Lodge along the same lines. They also manage the successful Fish River and Auas Safari Lodges so they’re no strangers to the business.
West of Etosha, Hobatere is the complete safari experience and the only complaint we’ve ever had about this place is that we didn’t book our clients in for long enough. The refurbished thatch chalets are not overly luxurious - there’s no air con for example - but they remain secluded and spacious with comfy beds, an en suite bathroom (shower only, this is an eco-camp after all) and a private balcony.
The main building faces the waterhole about 200m away and you can spend all day watching elephants, lions, cheetah, leopard, giraffe, zebra and all manner of antelope; birding is still excellent of course as is the quality of the guiding.
The food is excellent the highlight being a three-course set menu dinner and the staff, who are all custodians of the conservancy, are friendly, keen to help and, with first-class training from Journeys Nam, pretty good at what they do.
DBB accommodation in thatched chalets with double, twin or triple configurations; en suite bathroom with hot shower, flushing toilets and wash basin; tea/coffee; balcony overlooking the bush; main building with dining area, bar and terrace all facing a busy waterhole; swimming pool; game viewing hide; air strip; curio shop
All activities are optional extras for your account and they include: game drives (morning, afternoon and evening); walking safaris; full-day guided Etosha safaris
The reserve has a rich diversity of wildlife including elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, eland, giraffe and Hartmann's zebra and many other species of plains game; night drives are particularly rewarding with nocturnal raptors and predators on the hunt. Waterholes, hides, guided nature walks, game drives and cultural interaction are some of the unmissable activities on offer at Hobatere Lodge.
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With more than just a little touch of wholesome, home-grown goodness, Toshari Lodge (previously known as Etosha Gateway Lodge) is the kind of place that can add 'Arrive a stranger, leave a friend' to their brochure without fear of being lynched by the anti-cliché mob.
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