As you sip wine from the well stocked cellar, coloured lights hang from the ceiling, cushions line the couches and hearty meals are served by candlelight. Your job? To stare through the lazy haze of the Namibian sunset... !Uris Safari Lodge is a great place to just, well, chill. And if you like gemstones and minerals you’ll be laughing, the Uris mine is right beside you.
With its eclectic African style and rich mining history you’ll enjoy following “in the bygone footsteps of the digger” at !Uris Safari Lodge. An hour from Etosha, 20 minutes from the ancient Lake Otjikoto and just walking distance to the Uris mine.
Surrounded by large Marula trees, the lodge complex is built of stone and thatch - Namibia’s architectural mother tongue.
And those thatched roofs continue as the lodge reveals seven cosy houses - once the homes of the mineworkers. Don’t worry they’ve been spruced up a bit since the 1900s with the cunning use of mosquito nets fringed with Moroccan tassels, Persian rugs and glass lanterns. All rooms have en suites and are air conditioned. The family rooms have two extra beds in a loft up a steep ladder so older children will love it.
All the rooms are named after old and new mines, which is a nice touch.
If you’re camping, you can choose from either a site under a very large Marula tree or, if you’re greedy, you can camp out under both - a Marula AND a big Red Ivory tree!
Each camping site has an “en suite” toilet, shower and basin as well as an outside basin, extra tap and built in table.
If all the mining history has whet your appetite there’s even a small library with more information. Choose a book and snuggle up to read it by the cozy fireplace. Later you could wander into the foyer to look at the mineral collection on display and then go down into the old wine cellar. If you’re a smoker choose a cigar from the distinctive collection. And if, by any chance, relaxation is still eluding you, there’s a lodge masseuse on hand to help.
Explore the town of Tsumeb. Just 20 kilometres away, it’s the site of the famous Tsumeb mine, renowned amongst mineral collectors. Here, over the years, many millions of tonnes of ore of spectacular grade have been removed. There’s loads of information in the Tsumeb Museum.
Etosha is within easy reach too, just an hour’s drive. It’s a spectacular national park full of animals which are especially easy to see in the dry season as they’re drawn to the waterholes. Lions, zebras, giraffes, elephants, rhinos, hyenas, wildebeest, birds of prey and many more.
Or if you want safari on tap, the lands around the lodge are a natural breeding area and habitat for the famous Eland antelope. Before sunset take a nature drive through the bush to watch these majestic creatures graze alongside their cousins the kudu, duikers and steenbok. Or take a guided walk and spot warthog, jackal and baboons.
Geological tours are also done on request.
And finally, if you’re a diver, you won’t want to miss out on the spectacular deep sea green waters of Lake Otjikoto. A 20 minute drive will reveal a sinkhole lake made famous by a pioneering documentary all about scuba diving in the 1970s.