The Okonjima Nature Reserve is one of Namibia’s hidden gems, a safari destination whose limitless beauty matches its soul of preservation. Safari-goers will notice that the landscape here has some of the same characteristics of the quintessential “Out of Africa” wilderness: sprawling open grasslands undulate towards the horizon, punctuated here and there with yellow wood, a variety of acacia, and sandstone outcroppings that are many centuries old. The reserve comprises some 55,000 acres halfway between Etosha National Park and the capital city Windhoek, and a safari through Okonjima is best known for its outstanding cheetah and leopard sightings. Okonjima Nature Reserve places a special focus on the preservation of their natural habitats, and effort born out of the need to balance the expanding farmlands with the conservation of these two legendary big cats.
In colonial times, Okonjima’s high altitude and backdrop of the Omboroko Mountains made it an attractive pit stop for German military and their horses. After being converted to a cattle farm in the early 1920s, Okonjima was purchased by the Hanssen family in 1970, cattle farmers by trade who bred Brahman and Jersey cattle. The Hanssens combined their family farm with four neighboring homesteads to develop the nature reserve in 1986. Since then, the surrounding region has benefited from the multitude of environmental programs and research efforts provided by the reserve, helping farmers to coexist in harmony with the area wildlife.
Making its home within the Okonjima Nature Reserve since 1993, the AfriCat Foundation provides rehabilitation not only to resident cheetah and leopard, but to wild dog, hyena, and other big carnivores as well. Today, the Hanssen family still administers these important efforts, and visitors can enhance their safari experience with an enriching tour of the conservation projects of AfriCat.
A safari through Okonjima Nature Reserve is a fulfilling experience, a chance to reflect on a harmonious existence with the creatures of the world. Make Okonjima a part of your Namibia luxury safari by contacting your Ker & Downey luxury travel consultant.