Farmstays in Namibia

Farmstays in Namibia

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Few countries in Africa include such a variety of adventure choices to an increasing number of next generation travellers such as Namibia.

From cultural experiences like spending time with San communities or OvaHimba families, to extreme activities such as rock climbing and abseiling. From 4x4 adventures in the country’s rugged mountain terrains to skydiving in the Namib Desert. From wildlife encounters in the

country’s many conservancies, to hiking and sleeping under the stars in the dune world of Sossusvlei.

From specialised activities such as soaring or spelunking, to wellness and outdoor yoga exercises. Finally, to engaging in social projects and participating in uplift programs for the poorer communities in the country’s many urban informal settlements and underdeveloped rural areas .

With its highly diversified adventure opportunities and multitudinous experiences, Namibia invites to a new kind of “Slow Travel” where the discerning traveller can switch between transformational activities, and taking time for mentally and spiritually regenerating intervals of complete relaxation.

The modernistic approach, though, of the new generation of lodges and glamping camps do little to promote an atmosphere were travellers feel at home and personally welcomed. Often such places emanate a sense of anonymity and lack of intimacy, that lets the traveller feel more isolated than included.

Travelling Namibia and staying in guest farms instead of lodges or hotels offers a transformational experience of a lifetime. Namibia is an agricultural country with over 5 000 commercial farms ranging from 4 000 to 30 000 hectares in size. However, the country in history has often been prey to terrible droughts and various farmers have had to resort to alternative ways of generating an income. Some innovative ideas were born to attract tourists to farms, where possible maintaining the farming activities as part of the attraction, in some cases introducing game, on others just maintaining the history, and focusing all efforts on making sure the tourist is welcomed in true Namibian hospitality. There was a time when you would not find lodges or hotels in the countryside, but only guest farms.

Farmstays can encompass a range of accommodations from rural bed and breakfasts to working ranches and cattle farms. Some farm stays are quite sophisticated, with spacious rooms and homemade breakfasts each morning; in this sort of accommodation, your closest contact with the farm itself may be a leisurely stroll in the African bush. Other farms offer more hands-on activities, which could include learning about the workings of a cattle stud or even pitching in to help with the daily chores.

The specific charm of staying in a guest farms are their unique characters – no guest farm is like the other - and its intimate atmosphere. Accommodation ranges from rustic rooms to luxurious chalets, and verandas overlooking the African bush. You are welcomed in the circle of the host family, share their daily rhythms, and have the opportunity to be part of its daily life.

Equally unique to guest farms is the opportunity for the traveller to participate in the daily routine of a working farm, thus gaining an insight in the complexities of maintaining an intricate ecosystem, in which the farmer has to find an equilibrium between utilising nature’s resources and at the same time protecting the environment from too much intervention.

If you are looking to interact with locals, a farmstay offers an unbeatable opportunity for cross-cultural exchange. While living with a family for a few nights or a few weeks, you can practice a new language, learn to cook traditional dishes, get the inside scoop on local politics or see a neighbourhood relation through the eyes of someone who lives there.

For travellers on a budget, farmstays can be a real bargain over hotels and other types of accommodation, particularly for long-term travel. Many hosts choose to have guests in their home not only to supplement their income but also because they simply enjoy meeting travellers from around the world; profit is often not their primary motive.

The plain vastness and open spaces of the Namibian farms transmit a peace of mind that is enriched further through extensive walks along the farm routes and walking trails over the farm terrain where even wild animals may be encountered. Stargazing is a favourite pastime at many guest farms.

The night sky in the countryside being free of any light pollution offers breath-taking glimpses into the earth’s galaxy, the Milky Way, and the neighbouring planets in our solar system. Some guest farms have even specialised in this activity, providing professional equipment for the amateur astronomer, allowing views even deeper into the universe.

Guest farms offer themselves perfectly as a base from where to explore the attractions in the area and return to take a break before setting off again to new horizons, or continue to the next destination, where he can repeat such rewarding experience and find again a new home away from home.

Thus, guest farms are a valid and meriting alternative for you to see Namibia and engage with its friendly and hospitable people.