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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

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Okonjima Plains Camp: the cattle farm turned conservation success story

We now have the highest density of leopards in Namibia and rare species like brown hyenas, white rhinos and pangolins….

By Tristan Boehme
Head of Marketing at Okonjima

Stay among leopard-spotted savannahs at Okonjima Plains Camp. The camp was once a cattle farm, which Val and Rose Hanssen bought in 1986 for its excellent water sources. However, the farm also came with its problems, one of which was the leopards from the nearby Omboroko Mountains. These stealthy animals would prey upon cattle, and in turn, farmers in the area would hunt them.

Today, the Hanssen children Wayne, Donna and Rosalea, have transformed Okonjima into a 22,000-hectare nature reserve with luxury accommodation. Okonjima is also home to the AfriCat Foundation, which was established in the 1990s to protect Namibia’s big cats – it’s a symbiosis between conservation and tourism. We now have the highest density of leopards in Namibia and rare species like brown hyenas, white rhinos and pangolins.

The Plains Camp is the newest lodge in the Okonjima collection. We wanted to tell the story of the original cattle farm, so the main structure is a big barn with lots of photographs showing the Hanssen family kids growing up on the farm, the parents’ first vehicle and their prize-winning bull. On the opposite side, we have photos of today’s lodge staff – it’s a storytelling experience that celebrates the development of Okonjima.

The rooms look out over bush-covered savanna and red sandstone mountains. The view changes with the light throughout the day and is particularly beautiful at sunset, as the rooms face west. When you’re lying in bed you can look out of the huge windows, like movie screens. Guests have told me that the trees and animals throw incredible shadows during the full moon. We also have a pool, waterhole and a big terrace where you can dine while watching kudu, oryx and giraffe wander past.

Head out on game drives with our expert guides and visit AfriCat’s Carnivore Care Centre, which is home to rescued cheetahs that sadly cannot be rehabilitated into the wild. You can also explore our nature trails on foot and book specialist activities like rhino and pangolin tracking. What makes Okonjima so unique is the information you get from our guides, which is based on the research we’ve gathered over the last 57 years into the wildlife and habitat of Okonjima.


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Alfred & Tristan Boehme

Tristan Boehme grew up on a farm near Etosha, which sparked his love for nature and wildlife. After school, he began a career in tourism and hospitality, working for a rafting company in South Africa and then at various lodges across Namibia. In 1999, Tristan joined Okonjima, where he is now a shareholder and marketing manager. Intensively involved in the AfriCat Foundation, Tristan is passionate about conservation and preserving Okonjima for the next generation to enjoy.
Tristan Boehme, Okonjima Bushcamp and Plains Camp

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