Twenty years ago, the Anib Guest farm stood humbly looking out over the savannah with a small staff, intimate setting and welcoming atmosphere. When the Gondwana Collection bought the premises, the property offered a warm embrace, stretching from the red sand to the warm sun that lit up the landscape. And by 2015, the lodge offered a variety of free standing chalets overlooking the savannah, standard rooms surrounding a courtyard, and relaxed entertainment in the shape of a restaurant and bar. But this was all going to change…
At the beginning of the year, as of 4 January to the end of March, the Kalahari Anib Lodge underwent a ‘facelift’. Various preparations were put into place well in advance. But once the team got going they took on a crazy pace. For three months, they worked seven-day weeks and 12-hour days, determined to complete the project in the allocated time. And they succeeded, allowing the new and improved Kalahari Anib Lodge to reopen on 1 April. But the team managed so much more…they went above and beyond all expectations to create an oasis in the Kalahari Desert.
The freestanding chalets have been converted into luxurious comfort rooms – available as double and family units – and boasts a breath taking view of thesavannah, and also a watering hole. This allowing guests to watch and experience the wildlife from well-deserved comfort. The standard rooms have all undergone a hard-revamp, which has allowed for the entire room to be upgraded. The standard rooms still surround the courtyard but have each received a private terrace, which allows the guests a ‘cosy’ atmosphere and the opportunity to relax in their own private environment.
A brand new reception area and souvenir shop has been constructed, welcoming guests into a warm and friendly atmosphere. An inviting new restaurant with a stylish interior, ripe with warm natural tones and wood-finishings has been built and now offers guests a full buffet experience.
A bar was also added to the cluster of buildings. Comfortable and sophisticated, the bar offers our guests the opportunity to settle into the red Kalahari sand with two large ‘sandpits’ within the bar structure, each built around a fireplace, to allow guests to relax while looking over the vast expanses the red savannah has to offer. Every one of these buildings incorporates nature in various ways, but one of the most prominent methods used, is the fold-away doors that allow the interior to stay firmly connected to the outdoor-experience. This allows our guests to ‘feel closer’ to nature, as our theme for the lodge has intended.
All the artwork and special touches have been sourced from local materials and artists, with most of the pieces being uniquely handcrafted. The ladies at Women Unleashed have done this to maintain the authentically Namibian experience of the lodge. This has not only given Kalahari Anib Lodge a distinct and inviting atmosphere, but has allowed for local communities to gain support from the renovation as well.
The Gondwana Collection offered Claus Schultz and his wife (who ran the original Anib Guest farm from 1992-96) the opportunity to visit the Kalahari Anib Lodge, for the first time since they had left 20 years ago. When asked what Clause thought of the renovations, he eagerly described the sight, “The entire look of it is welcoming and really speaks to a person.” He called it a “luxury lodge, with a country-style and a natural character”. And we could not have asked for a better explanation.