Okutala Etosha Lodge is privately owned and operated, and as part wildlife rehabilitation centre it offers accommodation to a variety of animal as well as human guests. The lodge has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor! The accommodation is booked on a B&B basis, including parking and Wi-Fi. A laundry service is available at extra cost, and there’s a reasonable mobile phone signal.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The lodge is situated approximately 50 kilometres south of the Andersson gate into Etosha National Park. You can self-drive from Windhoek, a journey of roughly 400 kilometres. Alternatively, Okutala offers a shuttle service between Namibia’s capital city and the property, using an 18-seater Mercedes Sprinter bus. Fly-ins are possible too, coming in to land within the lodge’s own fenced airfield!
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Okutala has 21 rooms, each contained within a timber-and-stone structure raised above ground level and accommodating a maximum of two adults. Family units are created by connecting two rooms via an interleading door, and the additional bedroom sleeps up to three children – with this option, there’s a shared bathroom. The rooms are air conditioned and pleasantly furnished, with bedside tables and lighting or a small lamp just above the headboards, a writing desk and chair, a wardrobe or other storage space, a separate seating area, and a palette featuring bright reds, multicoloured patterns, and depictions of wildlife you might meet on safari! The smart en-suite facilities of each standard room comprise flush toilet, twin washbasins with mirrors over, and walk-in or step-in shower. Additional amenities include mosquito nets, a tea-and-coffee station, and a hairdryer. And every room has access to a private patio, where you can relax and enjoy beautiful views across the reserve!
The views from Okutala’s communal structures are equally impressive. The property’s restaurant and bar are the setting for delicious meals, and these spaces flow out onto a deck overlooking a busy waterhole! There’s a lapa too, with adjacent swimming pool. A good range of curio items is available from the shop. And Okutala is aiming to provide village accommodation in the future, to replace the property’s current farmhouse. This will be the location for its ‘Xplorer’ programme, a range of activities for guests staying in the village for a minimum of two weeks and maximum of three months. During this time, Xplorers (up to ten persons) will enjoy camping both within the reserve and in Etosha National Park, vehicle safaris, tracking elephants, assisting with Okutala’s rehabilitation of hand-raised and wild animals, hiking and learning bush craft, cycling, cooking and baking, gardening, and all sorts of educational presentations. Corporate events and team-building exercises are also available, so please contact a member of YZ if you’d like further information.
Okutala offers both reserve-based and national park activities! At the lodge, you can meet leopard, cheetah, hyena, elephant, and giraffe, and feed them as part of their daily care. Endangered species tours are available too – a great opportunity to learn more about Namibia’s threatened wildlife and to take close-up photos of some of the animals in residence. You can explore the reserve on foot and also by bike, in the company of a knowledgeable safari guide. Bush buffets are made to order, as are picnics and sundowners. Farther afield, we thoroughly recommend fitting in at least one visit to Etosha, as there’s so much to see here!
The park is home to all Big Five species – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. The smaller predator count includes cheetah, brown and spotted hyenas, silver and black-backed jackals, and caracal, while among the hordes of other herbivores are giraffe, blue wildebeest, zebra, eland, impala, kudu, gemsbok, springbok, and steenbok. Keen birders can look out for highlights such as brown snake eagle, pale chanting goshawk, pygmy falcon, black-faced babbler, violet wood hoopoe, white-tailed shrike, short-toed rock thrush, and, in green season, the vibrant blue crane!