Through the Savannah on foot or on wheels

Frans Indongo Lodge is situated in the heart of a 17.000 ha (170 km²) farm in the bush savannah. Only a small part of the farm is still utilised for agricultural purposes. The focus now is on caring for the game. Apart from Gemsbok, Zebra, Kudu and Springbok there are also rarer species like Eland, Sable and Roan Antelope, Impala and Black Wildebeest, as well as White and Black Rhino. A game drive in an open off-road vehicle (about two hours) offers plenty of opportunity to watch the animals and take pictures.

Those who like to go exploring on foot, have three trails of differing length (1.5 to 4 hours) to choose from. Quite often antelope will cross your path. The effort of climbing the hilltop is rewarded with wonderful panoramic views of the vast bush savannah plains right across to Waterberg. Furthermore, there is much to learn about trees on the wayside. A botanist has numbered many typical trees and shrubs according to the ‘Pocket List of Southern African Indigenous Trees’. These are standard numbers, used in any good guidebook on plants, so that you can read up on any tree or shrub bearing a number.


Sprint-training for Cheetah

The natural habitat of Cheetah in the wild has shrunk dramatically all over the world. Thus the fastest terrestrial animal on the planet has become a highly endangered species. With about 2,500 animals, Namibia boasts the largest Cheetah population on earth. In order to protect Cheetah in Namibia, the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) was founded in 1990.

The CCF information centre is as entertaining as instructive and definitely worthwhile. Cheetah which no longer can be released into the wilds for various reasons, are kept in large enclosures next to the centre. You will be able to take stunning pictures of the big cats. On certain days visitors are also welcome to watch Cheetah at full speed during their sprint-training.

From Frans Indongo Lodge it takes around 45 minutes to drive to the CCF. For this excursion you need about half a day. [more on the CCF at www.cheetah.org


Restaurant for vultures

The Rare and Endangered Species Trust (REST), established in 2000, is mainly concerned with protecting the Cape vulture which is an endangered species in Namibia. Once there were seven colonies of about 2,000 birds in the country. Now, only one colony of eleven Cape vultures remains in the cliffs of Waterberg. For observing and studying the birds, REST set up a vulture restaurant with an observation screen. Carrion is regularly laid out at the restaurant, which does attract Cape vultures and hundreds of White-backed and Lappet-faced vultures.

The screen is very suitable for taking good pictures. Visitors can also get acquainted with Nelson, a flightless vulture which is kept in a large aviary. A host of interesting facts about these useful scavengers can be learnt at REST’s research and study centre.

From Frans Indongo Lodge it is a one and a half hour drive to REST. For your encounter with vultures plan two to three hours in the morning or afternoon. [more on REST at www.restafrica.org


Self drive excursion to Waterberg

Thanks to rich springs, the eastern cliffs of ‘Water Mountain’ are characterised by an almost subtropical abundance of flora. The plateau of this table mountain was proclaimed a nature reserve in 1972. Animal species in need of protection – such as Sable Antelope, Buffalo and Rhino - were resettled there. Furthermore, Rüppell’s parrot and other rare types of birds can be spotted. From the semi-state restcamp a path leads up to the rocks at the edge of the plateau where Rock Hyrax and Klipspringer are found. The historic police station now houses a restaurant with numerous pictures from the olden days.

For this self drive excursion you should reserve one day.


OvaHerero cultural centre

Farm Hamakari is situated east of Waterberg, close to the little town of Okakarara. At Hamakari OvaHerero fighters suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of German troops in 1904. At the historic site a cultural and tourism centre is now being established, which will house an exhibition on the history and culture of the Ovaherero people; local arts and crafts will also be sold there.

The centre is only a short detour on your way to or from Waterberg.


Quick tour of Otjiwarongo

This friendly little town is just a half-hour drive away. OMAUE offers a large selection of local minerals and gemstones. You can join a guided tour of a crocodile farm and learn interesting facts about these primeval reptiles, about breeding them and the processing of crocodile skins. Objects and implements from farms in the area are on show at the local herit.

 

 

 update: 19.01.2009 10:14

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