Located within a private reserve where lions, rhinos, and cheetahs roam free, Zannier Hotels Omaanda combines the best of Namibia’s untamed wild beauty with a luxury safari experience.
It’s the view that captivates you first; the Zannier reserve is a seemingly endless savannah of long grasses and acacia trees which stretch undisturbed right up to the horizon. Protecting Namibia’s wildlife takes a leading role at Omaanda: head out on a conservation drive or track rhinos with an experienced anti-poaching guide. Back at the property, spend the afternoon poolside, book a spa treatment, or enjoy a sublime three-course dinner paired with South African wine.
With just 10 rooms Omaanda offers secluded privacy in a luxurious, but refreshingly unpretentious setting.
Top Tip: Windhoek International Airport is a convenient 30-minute drive from Omaanda and most guests choose to either start or finish their trip at the property.
WHAT TO PACK
A refined eco-conscious adventure. Channel your inner Eliza Thornberry on a journey through the bush, but know there’s a cold glass of Chenin Blanc and an infinity pool awaiting your return.
The 10 rooms are built in a traditional Namibian hut style and are accessed via a wooden walkway leading from the main lodge. Choose from a one or two-bedroom hut – both are equally spacious – with high-rounded ceilings and a thatched roof which blends effortlessly into the surrounding bush. Inside, expect a warm earthy colour palette, natural textiles, and African-inspired antiques dotted around.
Huts are designed to maximise the savannah view; there’s a balcony for afternoon musings, plus a bathtub next to a huge window. Little raffia baskets contain the usual bathroom knickknacks, and insect repellent (essential!) is also provided.
In contrast to the hot temperatures during the day, evenings get much cooler. All huts are equipped with an open fire to ensure you stay cosy, and staff will scoot down from the main lodge to assist with making it.
Slick Samsung soundbars greet guests in all huts, but the best soundtrack comes from nature. Omaanda is so tucked away that sound pollution is non-existent – perhaps the biggest luxury of all. Let the sound of the crickets, hornbills (hello Zazu!) and sociable weaver birds slowly wake you up each morning.
The Conservation Efforts
Back in the 1990’s Namibia was the first African country to write environmental protection into its constitution. It is largely seen as a conservation success story and, with wildlife numbers steadily, increasing Namibia is a top safari destination.
The Zannier reserve was founded in 2016 through a partnership with the Naankuse Foundation, a charity dedicated to protecting and rehabilitating Namibia’s wildlife and the habitats in which they roam.
Threats do still exist, with one of the biggest being poaching. The rangers at Naankuse work tirelessly to help protect the white rhinos on the Zannier reserve. It’s not an easy job – the reserve is over 9,000 hectares and the perimeter fence needs constant maintenance – but the reserve is yet to lose an animal to poachers. To help fund the anti-poaching efforts, guests can donate towards a Conservation Levy on check out.
The Food + Drink
The food served at luxury lodges across Namibia varies in quality, but at Omaanda both the food and service are excellent. Breakfast is made to order and includes western staples like muesli, avocado on toast, and eggs royale. For a super indulgent treat order the Omaanda – a scotch-egg served with bacon and potato rosti – it will keep you full all day.
Lunch is served mezze style and varies day to day. We enjoyed a spread of lamb koftas, chicken skewers, and juicy king prawns served alongside rice, dips, and bread. For dinner, choose from two mains which are usually pre-ordered at lunch. On our final evening, we enjoyed perfectly cooked steak paired with a bottle of South Africa’s finest Pinotage.
Drinks here are great, too. Don’t miss the gin bar overlooking the savannah – it’s the perfect spot for sundowners before you head to dinner. There’s a selection of Namibian gins, but we recommend you taste-test the ClemenGold citrus from Cape Town’s Hope Distillery.
The To-Do List
Excursions at Omaanda are tailored around conservation. Guides are passionate about educating guests, and experiences including rhino and elephant tracking allow guests to learn more about some of the country’s endangered species.
If you only do one thing at Omaanda, make it a sunset conservation drive. Hop into a luxurious Zannier safari jeep and head off with your guide to explore the reserve. We saw lions lounging in the dried riverbed (including a young male with an impressively shaggy mane), a baby rhino alongside its mother, and a herd of playful zebras. As the sun started to set, we climbed out of the vehicle and watched four rhinos grazing in the distance as our guide made us gin and tonics. This is the best bar on earth.
During the hot afternoons, most guests make a beeline for the infinity pool or the spa. At the spa, expect traditional treatments, including the ‘Touch of Namibia’ – a deep tissue massage recommended after a safari or long drive on Namibia’s bumpy gravel roads.
Top Tip: Binoculars are a must-pack item in Namibia, especially when on safari drives. There’s nothing quite like seeing a wild predator up close through the lenses.
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