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“Great litte day trip”

Daan Viljoen Nature Reserve
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Small-Group Tour: Morning Hike at Daan Viljoen Reserve from Windhoek
Ranked #8 of 51 things to do in Windhoek
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Owner description: Daan Viljoen Game Park.Just 24 km west of Windhoek lies a sanctuary for a relatively large population of game species typical of Namibia's highlands. Proclaimed before Independence to preserve the ecosystem of the Khomas Hochland, the park was named after a former Administrator, Mr Daan Viljoen, who played a major part in establishing the park.The convenient location of the park makes Daan Viljoen an ideal venue for day visits and a perfect stopover for tourists seeking the tranquillity of the bush.FACT FILEPark size: 40 km2Year proclaimed: 1968Natural features: Khomas Hochland Plateau, scenic views of the Windhoek valleyVegetation: Highland shrubland, with various Acacia species, kudu bush (Combretum apiculatum) and buffalo thorn (Ziziphus mucronata).Wildlife: Mammals are springbok, kudu, eland, gemsbok, blue wildebeest, Hartmann's mountain zebra, leopard and klipspringer. Of 200 bird species, endemics include Ruppell's parrot, white-tailed shrike and Monteiro's hornbill.Tourism: The newly renovate Sun Karros Daan Viljoen opened its doors in October 2011. This privately run establishment entered into Public Private Partnership with Namibia Wildlife Resort and Sun Karros Lifestyle Safaris now offers selection of services to the leisure, business and day visitor after three years of construction. The Main lodge comprises of 19 luxury contemporary chalets, 12 well-appointed campsites, three tech-fit conference rooms. The reception area holds a, lounge, kiosk and IT station for in house guests to connect. The Boma Restaurant and pool area is where leisure, business and day visitors can enjoy scrumptious daily meals and beverages.Conservation successesWith game drives and hiking trails, Daan Viljoen is easily accessible to residents of Windhoek and provides an ideal place for visiting school children to learn more about wildlife and conservation in Namibia.Key management issuesPoaching is problematic due to Daan Viljoen adjoining a high-density residential area. The Augeigas River, which runs through the park, is polluted.
Reviewed November 25, 2013

Very close to Windhoek, with nice panorama views of the city on the way, and then you are out in the bush. Nice to be able to do walks to see the animals (and birds) and a good restaurant. Also good for Conferences and Retreats.

Thank Marcus B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 18, 2013

Daan Viljoen Nature Reserve is still one of the best spots for birding for people short on time or that do not have the opportunity to explore the rest of Namibia. Several Namibian birding specials and near endemics like Damara Hornbill, Monteiro's Hornbill, Rockrunner, Orange River Francolin, White-tailed Shrike and Carp's Black Tit, Acacia Pied Barbet, Augur Buzzard, Bradfield's Swift, Pririt Batis can be seen on the drive or on the hiking trails. You never know what you might encounter. I have on one occasion seen a leopard kill a young warthog not far from the main complex. Great for a couple of hours of birding.

2  Thank NatureTravelNamibia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2013

We visited at the end of the dry season (mid-November) and the vegetation was dry and mostly leafless. On the plus side, the staff throughout was friendly. We did not try the restaurant as it was fully booked (Sunday). Saw a number of interesting birds, kudus and a warthog near the dam. Drove the 6.5 km game viewing road (4x4 / low range required in a few places – take their sign seriously) and saw some zebras and 2 giraffes. The cottages we saw looked nice, but they are a bit expensive.

This place is OK for a break from Windhoek but don’t expect it to be full of game like Etosha National Park to the north. My impression is that it is better for birds and for a long (9km) hike on the trail if you are up to it (in the cool season).

Sadly, this park, (along with many parks of southern Africa) places a premium on accommodation and facilities – with a near complete lack of educational exhibits, brochures and other information. Bring your own bird, mammal or plant guides if you want to identify what you see.

1  Thank Sarracenia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2013

Reat service at Sun Karros restaurant! kids loved the domestic horses! We saw lots of giraffe and wild buck! :-)

1  Thank Samantha V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2013

This is a nature reserve with newly-added conference and dining facilities, as well as a campground. This review only speaks to the nature reserve.

You can spend a few hundred Namibian dollars per person and go to game reserves 45 minutes to an hour from Windhoek, or you can take a 20 minute drive to Daan Viljoen and see lots of animals (and hike around a bit) for 30-50 Namibian dollars total, depending on the size of your group. The park features a 9 km self-drive trail which only has a few tricky sections that would require a 4x4. To see as many animals as possible, recommend arriving at the gate near sunrise, filling out the entry form with the guard at the gate, doing the game drive immediately (it starts just inside the gate) and paying at the office after you've done the drive (the office is near the end of the game drive and you will need to show you've paid to get out of the park). The animals are near the roads early in the day and late in the day, and tend to disappear between 11ish and 3:30ish, making them hard to spot in the hilly terrain during the middle of the day.

In this park, you can see a group of 8-10 giraffes, singles and pairs of wildebeest, small groups of zebras, oryx, springboks, eland, and assorted other antelopes. There are also many birds. During the game drive, recommend occasionally stopping at the top of ridges, turn off the car, walk a bit into the bush, and just listen. You will smell the animals first, then hear them, and hopefully then see them.

Stay away from the semi-tame warthog and ostriches, especially if you have small children!! Seems cute but people have been hurt.

After you finish the game drive, if you still have a taste for more, take the 3 km walk from the park office aling the creek bed to the two dams - if you don't talk loudly and you pay attention to what is ahead, you are very likely to see baboons, warthogs, birds, and many other small animals coming for a drink.

You can get a coffee at the restaurant by the campground but for a meal you must book in advance.

1  Thank TAZMPictures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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