Okonjima Nature Reserve
The Okonjima Nature Reserve is a 200 km² malaria-free area located in Namibia’s Central Highlands region. It is famed for big cat sightings and is the home of the AfriCat Foundation. Located two hours north of Windhoek and two hours south of Etosha by road, the reserve is considered one of the best places in Africa to see leopard.
Activities at Okinjima
Searching for leopards during game drives at Okonjima is the reason most people visit the reserve. However, there are several other activities available to those staying on this Central Highlands reserve. A trip here wouldn’t be complete without an informative visit to the AfriCat Foundation to learn about the different research projects carried out in Okonjima. Nature hikes and bike rides are also available.
The ‘off-the-beaten-track experience’ tour at Okonjima is a combination of a game drive and a short walk, which gives a good opportunity to see big cats whilst also encountering the desert flora and fauna usually missed from a 4×4.
There are three walking trails that can be enjoyed on a self-guided stroll through Okonjima’s beautiful landscape.
Bikes and guides are provided for those who wish to cycle within the reserve.
Okonjima Wildlife Safaris
There are over 70 different species of mammal that live in the Okonjima Nature Reserve, including cheetah, hyena and honey badgers. Leopard sightings are also common when compared to other safari destinations in Africa. The reserve is renowned for being a good place to spot rare species such as the aardwolf, pangolin and a variety of smaller African cats. White rhino are also often seen on a safari in Okonjima.
Birding in Okonjima Nature Reserve is a real treat, with recorded species exceeding 170. There is a variety of different birds of prey to be seen including the martial eagle, spotted eagle-owl and the black-chested snake eagle. Okonjima’s birding specials include Monteiro’s hornbill, Hartlaub’s Francolin, rock-runner, white-tailed shrike, namaqua, Burchell’s and double-banded sandgrouse.
Visiting the AfriCat Foundation
The AfriCat Foundation was set up in 1991 and is based in Okonjima Nature Reserve. It is committed to the conservation of large mammals in Namibia in their natural environment, and operates a series of research projects into species such as leopard, pangolin and aardvark.
A visit here is fantastic for anyone interested in understanding the work that goes into ensuring Africa’s endangered species have a safe home to live in.
Best Places to Stay in Okonjima
There is a variety of accommodation types to choose from on a tailor-made Okonjima safari. As a result, a visit here can be included within most budgets. Properties range from luxury safari lodges, camps and private bush suites, to four self-catering campsites that share a swimming pool.
Hand-picked Camps and Lodges
Best Time to Visit Okonjima
The Okonjima Nature Reserve can be a rewarding safari experience throughout the year. However, as with the rest of Namibia, the best time to visit Okonjima is during the drier months between July and October, when wildlife viewing is at its best.