Okonjima & central highlands

Gentle rolling hills, bushland and striking mountains stretch from Etosha to Windhoek. A plethora of game farms and reserves, including the famous Africat Foundation, dot the landscape offering warm Namibian hospitality as you explore the vast landscapes.

To get so close to big cats at Africat in Okonjima, knowing that this place is responsibly managed, is a real privilege.

  • Tracking leopards in Okonjima with Africat, Namibia © SBailey

    Tracking leopards in Okonjima with Africat, Namibia

  • Leopard at Okonjima, Namibia © PBay,Shutterstock

    Leopard at Okonjima, Namibia

  • Close-up of a cheetah face, Africa © KLevit,Shutterstock

    Close-up of a cheetah face, Africa

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The undulating hills of Namibia’s central highlands are often overlooked by visitors in favour of the more well-known areas, but those in the know make a point of visiting as part of a self-drive holiday.  It makes a pleasant stopover between Windhoek and Etosha. The distances may be great, the roads long, but they are good quality roads with easy driving.

This is where you find many large farms, ranches and private game reserves. You can be assured of great Namibian hospitality at the guest houses and lodges here along with an insight into rural life and some excellent hiking.

  • Okonjima Private Nature Reserve:  Home to the AfriCat Foundation, this reserve is a popular destination. The foundation works to rehabilitate wild animals and teach them to survive in a natural environment. It strives to educate people in conservation, research and human-wildlife conflict.
  • Waterberg Plateau National Park:  Another popular stop-off point in Namibia’s vast wilderness. An area of dramatic scenic beauty, the plateau rises up from the surrounding plains. It’s a great place to hike. Wildlife that roams the park includes black and white rhino, tsessebe, roan, eland, buffalo, leopard and cheetah.
  • Explore on foot: Hiking is popular in this area. Many of the farms and guest houses will have marked trails and some offer guided walking safaris, a great way to stretch your legs after a drive.
  • Okahandja: About an hour north of Windhoek is the town of Okahandja, known for its extensive curio markets. This is the place for exquisite wood carvings and excellent biltong. Worth a stop to stock up on supplies.
Okonjima & central highlands map pin

Okonjima & central highlands

Close-up of a cheetah face, Africa

Gentle rolling hills, bushland and striking mountains stretch from Etosha to Windhoek. Game farms and reserves offer warm Namibian hospitality as you explore these vast landscapes.

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