- Excellent rock art and rock formations
- Peaceful, laidback property
- Stunning mountain backdrop
- 10 chalets, pool, lounge area, bar
Ai-Aiba Rock Painting Lodge is a uniquely situated property in central Namibia. It's located around a three-hour drive from the country’s capital, Windhoek, and is also about three hours away from the popular Etosha National Park. What makes this lodge particularly appealing is not only its fabulous setting, but also the opportunity to visit the numerous rock painting sites in the vicinity. The weather-beaten rocks and large granite boulders of the Erongo Mountain Range provide a dramatic backdrop for this lovely, relaxed resting place. The various rock formations in the immediate area were once part of a volcano and date back over 130 million years so there is plenty to explore here on guided and independent walking trails which showcase the ancient local history and rock art. The lodge provides a superb, comfortable base with a modest-sized pool, a good offering of activities and great food and wine.
There are 10 thatched, private chalets, each of which has decor inspired by various African styles and traditions. The chalets have stunning views of the surrounding rugged terrain thanks to their large windows, private patios and their strategic locations across the grounds. Air conditioning is provided, as are luxury toiletries and tea and coffee making facilities. Each chalet comes with a spacious lounge area, as well as an en-suite bathroom with a walk-in shower and toilet and two bedrooms; of the total 20 rooms, 19 are standard twin rooms, and one is a designated family room which accommodates up to four people.
For those looking to explore the mountains, guided hikes and drives are available, with several departure times throughout the day. These provide the opportunity to visit some of the many rock art sites and fascinating geological formations dotted throughout the area; it’s also possible to spot local wildlife and visit certain vantage points for breath-taking views. Tours of the San Living Museum are also on offer, providing the opportunity to learn about the locals’ rich heritage and traditions, as well as their hunting and general survival practices.
Back at base, the lodge promotes a leisurely pace of life and guests are free to lounge by the pool, unwind in the public lounge with a good book or enjoy a refreshing drink at the bar.
The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.
Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)
Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!
Woan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019
We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
Level of service, quality of food throughout
Catherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019
We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!
The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).
A few points:
Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.
Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.
Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!
The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!
Katrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019