As a consultant at a local tour operator I was invited along with another colleague for a night at Amani Lodge, just outside Windhoek.
Instead of leading you through my varying emotions during the short stay, I think it would be more useful to express my eventual satisfaction with an enjoyable nights stay.
The activities are based on big cats, but DO NOT go here under the impression it is some sort of animal sanctuary, the animals are held in captivity - but the owners are very straight forward in this respect. The animals would have had no chance in their natural habitat and so now actually serve a purpose in assisting various causes - such as the use of cheetah semen to reduce inbreeding amongst smaller populations of cheetah around the world.
The Lion feed, is done from a viewing stand with a fantastic close up view of the Lion enjoying some water and meat. Please note that it is not advised for small children to attend this activity.
The drive then takes you to the cheetah enclosure, here the experience feels a little more natural - the cheetah come running down the slopes at speed towards the vehicle - really impressive and requires some skill with the camera to get a good shot! They are then given some meat and you have the opportunity to get some really nice photos once again.
Dinner in the evening is another highlight, there is a sociable nature about the setup of the Dinner area / lounge / bar so conversation can be really interesting (and you can expect a real mix of country representation amongst the guests) and the food is fantastic! Franco / Namibian cuisine is probably the best description - even if it does sound somewhat cliched.
The rooms are basic, but clean, private and functional. The hot water bottle in the bed was brilliant touch (although a word of warning would have been appreciated!)
So if you are staying in Windhoek and would prefer something with a little more to offer than your everyday B&B / Hotel this is definitely a good choice and offers pretty reasonable value for Money (but again, note that the wildlife experience is not some sort of conservation effort and should be enjoyed for what it is - educational entertainment!)
- Also Known As:
- Amani Hotel Windhoek