False Air Namibia has increased the number of its flights from Windhoek to Katima Mulilo, in the Caprivi region, to three per week. The extra flights are because of increasing visitor numbers to the Caprivi Strip. From Katima Mulilo, which is on the Zambezi River, it’s possible to transfer to Lianshulu Lodge and Susuwe. The transfers take between 45 and 90 minutes. Extra flights to Caprivi Olweendo 38 Travel Namibia Safari InIn April, whilele the panan waswaswas fullll of water, the Minister of Environment and Tourism Netumbo Nandi- Ndaitwah cut the first sod of earth on the lodge’s site. She said that none of the existing three camps in Etosha offered visitors an opportunity to stay close to the 4,500 km2 saline pan. Onkoshi Camp, built on a secluded peninsula, will do exactly that, and with only 15 bedrooms, guests will have a very different experience from the other camps in the park. Run by Namibia Wildlife Resorts, Onkoshi Camp will be an exclusive, low- impact lodge on elevated wooden decks. It will have a restaurant, bar area and infinity pool overlooking the pan, and is due to open in August 2008. Guests will park their cars at Namutoni and be taken to the lodge by Namibia Wildlife Resorts guides. No self- drives to the lodge will be allowed in order to preserve the delicate environment of the pan. Last year Namibia Wildlife Resorts opened the Sossus Dune Lodge in the Namib- Naukluft Park. The developments are in line with the country’s long- term goal to be a boutique tourism destination offering up market, low- impact holidays. Thriller The ststunnnning islanslanslansland of Impalila where four countries – Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia all meet - is to have a new 5- star development. The island hit the headlines in 1988 when popstar Michael Jackson was flown there in Namibia’s presidential jet after mentioning he might like to build a luxury lodge there. Nothing came of Jackson’s visit but now South African Laurence van Schalkwyk is going ahead his own plans for the site. Impalila is sandwiched between the Zambezi and Chobe rivers and is famous for its birds and fabulous fishing. It already has a number of lodges but it’s hoped the new development will provide more, much- needed, employment for the island. Onkoshi Camp, the first new lodge inside Etosha for four decades, is opening this year. New lodge overlooking Etosha Pan DID YOU KNOW? Namibia is one of the most sparsely- populated countries in the world. View from Onkoshi over flooded pan NWR Colin Mead Enterprisesnterprisesnterprises Gettetty Imagesmages
False Travel Namibia 39 n Wild Dogs have returned to Mudumu National Park in the Caprivi Strip, according to guides at Lianshulu Lodge – the only lodge inside the park. The dogs have just successfully raised a litter of six pups and are a welcome and important addition to the park’s eco- system. Also in the Caprivi Strip, Islands of Africa’s Susuwe Island Lodge, reports elephants starting to return to the area, and a hippo has taken up residence in front of the lodge. n Namibia Tracks and Trails has increased the frequency of its mobile safaris into the northwest of Namibia. The trips ( both tailormade and scheduled departures) range from two nights searching for elephants and black rhino to longer trips for eight nights. Many of the shorter trips are perfect for people wanting to spend a couple of nights close to nature in the complete wilderness with a highly experienced guide. n Two Namibian hotels and two lodges are going to be revamped following a deal with one of the world’s oldest luxury hotel chains. Kempinski plan to redevelop The Strand Hotel in Swakopmund, King’s Den Lodge in Caprivi, Mokuti Lodge close to Etosha and a hotel in Windhoek. n Mushara Lodge has opened an outpost on the bank of a dry riverbed. Mushara Outpost sleeps 16 and each en suite tent is on a wooden deck giving great views into the surrounding bush. The Outpost’s cool main area is built in the style of an old farm house with high walls and a corrugated iron roof with a large wrap around veranda that offers plenty of shade. Owners Marc and Mariza Pampe say they want to create a ‘ lived- in feeling’- friendly, warm, extremely comfortable, with a homely atmosphere. n Boulders Camp, the newest property in the exclusive Wolwedans Collection, has opened deep in the heart of the NamibRand nature reserve. Boulders accommodates guests in four spacious Travel updates rooms that are sited around the base of a rock strewn mountain. It is private in the extreme. There are no well- trodden paths here, just thousands of square hectares of the oldest desert on the planet. Boulders Camp is seasonal and is open from Easter to October, the prime desert months. n Okonjima Bush Camp – the home of AfriCat – has added a wheelchair friendly room to its accommodation. Okonjima is famous for its cheetahs but, a couple of years ago, adopted some wild dog puppies. The pups’ progress was followed in the BBC’s Wild in Africa programme. They are now happily settled in a new large enclosure. n A new pile of rocks at the entrance to the reception of Cañon Village replicates numerous similar piles that can be found in many parts of Namibia. They are usually next to ancient paths and passes, or sometimes in the vicinity of watering places. Among the Nama people they were known as Haitsi Aibeb, the grave of Haiseb, a deity. If you come across a Haitsi Aibeb you are meant to add a stone or a twig and ask for Haiseb’s blessing for your journey. FROM THE TOP: AfriCat wild dogs, Namibia Tracks and Trails, Mushara Outpost, Boulders Camp, Cañon Village.