Retaining its eco-conscious credentials - the bricks were salvaged from mining debris, grey water is filtered and re-used in the vegetable garden, water is solar heated and the kitchen produces a fair amount of high-quality composting material - Etosha Village had a major refurbishment in mid-2016 and what an upgrade.
Brick has replaced canvas, sleek tiles have replaced creaky wood decking and the en suite bathrooms are smart, shiny and functional. From the outside, the chalets are full of life and texture with gabion foundations, balustrades filled with pebbles, a gravelled forecourt and woven latte poles covering the roof. Inside, while a tad on the austere side, the rooms are spacious, practical and well-appointed with air conditioning, en suite bathroom, sofa bed good for two under-12s (the Village is one of a few child-friendly safari lodges in Etosha), fridge, tea/coffee, safe, balcony and a large gazebo to the side. Comfortable twin beds with soft cotton are a given.
The living areas have also retained their charm and casual comfort with a large swimming pool surrounded by loungers and parasols and a smaller pool adjacent to a third toddler-friendly pool. The food at Etosha Village is fresh and the staff here, recruited from the nearby village and trained in-house, are famous for their friendly and enthusiastic service.
Breakfast and dinner are sizeable buffet spreads and lunch is a small a la carte menu with local venison specialities. Tea, coffee, hot chocolate and juice are on the house all day and the open-air bar is a convivial spot to share a drink and a tale or just gaze into the night sky as is your want.
Being just minutes from the southern gate is ideal for daily access to Etosha National Park for guided game morning and evening drives in an open-sided safari vehicle. The vehicles accommodate up to 10 people and if that’s a bit crowded or constrained, Etosha is one of the easiest self-drive game reserves in Africa: arm yourself with a prepared breakfast and lunch or a picnic hamper from the well-stocked supply store and spend the day at any number of quiet waterholes. A good reference book, binoculars and of course your camera should be required equipment.
Dinner and breakfast accommodation in 55 chalets (2 of which are disabled friendly); large en suite bathrooms with solar heated showers; air conditioning; fridge; tea/coffee; personal safe; WiFi; balcony and gazebo; parking at the chalets; restaurant; bar with big-screen TV; three pools including a toddler paddling pool; curio and supply store; landing strip; campsite
Half day (morning) and full day game drives into Etosha National Park in an open air vehicle with an experienced nature guide; self-drive into the park; bush dinners; guided nature walks; sundowners and stargazing.
If you plan to head off on a full day game drive with the lodge, take note that lunch is not included and this will be at an additional cost. Either you can arrange a lunch pack or return to the lodge for lunch depending on the group. It's best to discuss this with your guide.