Known as the land with the world’s oldest desert and the second largest canyon in the world; Namibia is, without a doubt, one of our continent’s greatest assets.
With a mere flight of less than 2 hours from the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg to the Hosea Kutako International Airport, is it possible for one to be in two completely different worlds within a few hours time. Thus, from the concrete man-made jungles of South Africa to the incredible array of landscapes of our beloved neighbouring country, Namibia.
For over the past 7 years, has Gerrie Pretorius, world-renowned traveler and host of the ever popular travel program on Kyknet, named Leef Jou Reis, been travelling to Namibia; sharing this friendly nation to more than hundred #LeefJouReis friends annually. A program offering the highlights of some of our favourite stops and attractions, over a period of 10 days, which one is without a doubt the Erindi Private Game Reserve.
Situated within 180km’s from Windhoek, lies Erindi Private Game Reserve, being one of the largest privately owned game reserved in the Sub-Saharan region. If we think of an oasis, we think of this over 70 000 ha reserve, and is it clear why it is called the “Place Of Waters” in Herero… Greeted with pristinely neat conditions of this reserve, we were equally impressed by the various volunteer projects this reserve has dedicated their efforts to, which includes the Spotted Hyena Project, the Pangolin Project, the Aardvark Project and the San Rock Petroglyph Project. Ploughing back into nature and their community forms part of their success story.
Each stylish and upmarket suite, with complete amenities and african touches, is tucked away between soft green lawns and indigenous trees exuding the classic safari aesthetic. They take you stylishly back to a by-gone era and make you feel like David Livingstone himself , so no wonder one of the rooms are named after him. Basically all the rooms over-look various waterholes and the soft rubmle of Elephants or the water splashing from their trunks is a frequent sound you will encounter.
As the sun rises over the 51 luxurious suites of the Old Traders Lodge we were greeted by the snorts of hippos. Being a reserve known for its wildlife conservation and Big 5, it is easy to spot these five wildlife giants during a gamedrive. More than 20 000 animal species, including those that are rare and endangered; and more than 300 bird species chose this reserve as its home. The viewing deck of the Old Traders Restaurant, appears to be a gamedrive of its own as all these animal species takes turns to visit the watering hole, leaving us in complete awe. During afternoon tea we spotted giraffe, hippo, crocodiles, rhinos and impala all at once; which equalled our morning gamedrive. Wild dogs are also frequently spotted and we once had the privilidge of them taking down an Impala right in front of us while sitting on the deck overlooking the activities around the waterhole. The Impala went to find safety in the water while a crocodile was lurking by…the Wild dog was overly brave and went after the Impala. In the end, the Impala got away but unfortunately the wild dog was not so lucky.
It is no wonder why this reserve is so popular with some of the world’s most renowned photographers and videographers, to document rare findings of nature on a continuous basis, which has been featured on National Geographic and the Animal Planet.
Everyday there is the option of Game drives with a professional Bushmen tracker. Their eys are so well trained and to have them spot a pangolin is always a highlight of the trip. At some point a nice viewpoint is chosen and the tables are set-up Safari style while guests are treated to drinks and snacks while the Bushman gives a demonstration of their ancient fire making skills ,obviuosly without the use of matches.
When time comes for dinner it is an exquisite affair with fine dining and a wide range of wines next to a crackling fire, whilst being entertained by locals singing and our #LeefJouReis friends dancing. After a busy day ticking off our list of spotted animals it was time to make our ways to our luxurious and spacious suites to end off another perfect day in Africa.
Being the world’s thirty-fourth largest country, Namibia offers an endless world of opportunities to its over one million visitors annually which includes from the soaring sand dunes of its desert and slabs of ancient granite mountains, to rock-strewn moonscapes, salt pans and endless savannahs.
There is never enough time to visit Erindi and this is the reason why we’ve been returning year after year; and the reason why we will be returning for many years to come.
As the sun sets, and we sip on our local Namibian Gin, and being stared at by eyes peeping out of the waters of the waterhole in front of our unit, are we once again reminded how a life can be changed through the beauty of traveling.
Erindi, you have changed our lives…