Etosha King Nehale is on track! - News - Gondwana Collection

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Etosha King Nehale is on track!

Avatar of inke inke - 29. July 2019 - Gondwana Collection

Etosha King Nehale, the newest Gondwana lodge, will open its doors on 1 May 2020. Photo: Jens Vietor

Ron Swilling

We are happy to announce that the construction of Etosha King Nehale on the Andoni plains just one kilometre from Etosha’s northern-most King Nehale gate is on track. The lodge is set to open its doors in May 2020, opening up the North for guests. An easy overnight stop after an exciting day of game-viewing in Etosha, the lodge is that much-needed stop on a journey to the northern reaches, providing easy access to the Gondwana lodges in the Kavango and Zambezi regions, and to Palmwag Lodge & Camp and Omarunga Epupa-Falls Camp in the Kunene Region.

Etosha King Nehale, designed by Sven-Eric Staby, will take the shape of a head of Nguni cattle, the chalets radiating out from the central area like a cow’s horns. Each of the spacious chalets, fit for a king, will have its own plunge pool and views over the plains, where sunrises and sunsets, and the phases of the moon are accentuated, offering guests the exceptional feeling of endless space and limitless horizons. However, the detail that puts this new lodge over the top, is its private access to a secluded waterhole inside Etosha National Park. This waterhole is reserved for Etosha King Nehale guests only.

Photo: Ron Swilling

Andrew Murray, the project manager for OJ Construction, smiles enthusiastically saying that the project is going smoothly. All the frames and roofs are up for the forty rooms, which are built from sandbags - an environmentally-sound building technique that provides a well-insulated structure. Andrew says, “There are fantastic views onto the plains from the bedrooms and swimming pools.” He describes it as looking into the future, where all is possibility and opportunity.

Indoors, the floors and walls will be patterned, with tiled inlays in the cement giving a refreshing, new and different look. The interior design, including light fittings, will add to the lodge’s invitingly-stylish finish. The interiors of Etosha King Nehale celebrate royalty in all its forms and extend a warm welcome to guests, making them feel like part of the royal family. The areas proudly display the flair of Oshiwambo culture and invite interaction between guests. Stately with a twist, a sense of fun intertwines with the regal elements to give life to a unique experience.

Photo: Ron Swilling

The stunning interior is implanted at the hand of Women Unleashed, a 100% Bespoke Interior Décor and Design company established in 2010. A passionate team, the group places immense focus on the balance between nature, people and spaces. “Balance is everything,” says Melanie, owner of Women Unleashed. “We believe each project gives us the opportunity to create work in Namibia and therefore it is important that we source products from the communities around the project. Working with local crafts people and artisans, we assist with product design to promote skills development while creating beautiful, bespoke items for the project.”

There are 128 people on site, up to 100 local workers from the nearby town of Omuthiya and the rest skilled labourers, electricians and plumbers. Andrew says that the mornings are exquisite, when the wildebeest and springbok are on the plains. The grasslands are also a favourable grazing area for the Nguni cattle from the surrounding villages.

The staff quarters have been constructed and are of a wonderful standard to support the lodge team while on site. The construction team is presently constructing the central area, which will include a large boma with a central fireplace, an alluring spot for guests to gather around in the evenings under the stars. The restaurant will have large windows overlooking the plains. “It’s going to look fantastic!” says Andrew.

Photo: Andrew Murray

IT manager, Jens Viëtor, is on site to ensure that each chalet will have good WIFI connectivity. After a few days staying here, he mirrors Andrew’s sentiments about the spacious beauty of the setting, enthusing about the moon rises, moon sets, sunsets and sunrises that are simply sensational.

The anticipation is building as the easily-accessible Etosha King Nehale grows (48km north of Namutoni). We are all looking forward to this stylish lodge, which has touches of luxury, a refreshingly different interior and at its centre, an African heart. 

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