Tinkle, tinkle. After a day in Etosha National Park, listening to the low rumblings of elephants, the frenzied i-hah, i-hah of zebras and the loud klink, klink, klink of blacksmith lapwings, I turned, expecting to find a new bird. But it was the tinkling of the drinks trolley being wheeled out onto the sunset deck at Etosha Safari Lodge.
The lodge is on a 23 000-hectare section of the Etosha Conservancy. There are some short walks if you want to enjoy the surrounding mopane woodland; you can even do the 3km trail to Etosha Safari Camp. If you’re hot when you get back (and believe me, even in winter the area can be hot during the day), cool off in one of three swimming pools.
Despite the chic sophistication of this classic safari lodge, there was nothing stuffy about it. Lodge manager Simon Andreas moved around checking that everything was running smoothly. He’s been with Gondwana for 16 years and feels strongly about the need for good service in tourism. ‘We play games with the staff to teach and motivate them,’ he said. For staff who want to further their careers, there’s plenty opportunity to grow too.
Let’s face it, when accommodation and food are good, it’s only people and personality that make your visit one of a kind.
Note: I was a guest of Etosha Safari Lodge for one night, but had free rein to write what I chose. I paid for all meals, drinks and travel costs.
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