Safari in the South: Habitas launches spectacular new Namibia hotel
With a focus on community and culture, the sustainable accommodation brand has opened up a gorgeous corner of Africa to the international market
What is considered a typical safari experience? When one thinks of safari, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Botswana often spring to mind; populous nations dotted with national parks and reserves containing infrastructure practically creaking under the weight of the relentless foot traffic brought by Western tourists.
Here, the chaotic sounds of camera shutters ring out every time a giraffe peers out from behind a tree, while cooing onlookers from a rival tour operator across the river pierce the majestic stillness of the plains.
As a result, the idea of a quality safari experience in an extraordinarily beautiful - and extremely sparsely populated - country, free from tourists and urban sprawl, might seem a little farfetched. But as of this year, it no longer will be.
Habitas, the sustainable hospitality brand, this month announced that its newest hotel is set to open in the southwest African nation of Namibia with a focus on community, shared experience and, of course, safari.
Set on 50,000 hectares of private wildlife reserve just 45 minutes from the Namibian capital of Windhoek, the brand-new Habitas Namibia offers a truly unique wildlife experience, attracting a new kind of global audience through immersive programming defined by adventure, conversation, music, wellness, culture and food.
In and among the hotel’s 15 safari rooms, natural-look swimming pool, outdoor cinema, communal dining area and fire pit, guests are welcome to engage and connect with one another as well as the surrounding landscape and wildlife.
The resort’s wealth of programming includes safari drives, sound journey meditation, indigenous spa treatments, free dance, drum circles, savannah yoga and agora gatherings with local live music, to name a few. For those looking to develop their action skills, Habitas can also arrange for guests to train with the anti-poaching unit as well as learn survival skills from local San tribesman, one of the oldest indigenous tribes in Africa.
In doing so, guests can personally contribute to Habitas’ local wildlife conservation efforts as well as benefit from the brand’s community impact initiative, Habitas RISE, in partnership with Saira Hospitality. Both brands share a similar vision for the future of hospitality, supporting Namibia’s communities by empowering locals through employment opportunities and hospitality training.
Habitas Co-Founder & CEO, Oliver Ripley, said of the launch: "We could not be more thrilled to establish our first ‘home’ in Africa with the opening of Habitas Namibia. The country's rich history, culture, landscape and wildlife lends invaluable perspective to those who seek greater understanding of the world through shared experiences.
"We’ve seen our community-minded focus on sustainability and reciprocal learning inspire and bring people together time and again. We’re excited to bring that vision to life to create an enduring positive impact on both our guests and the community that welcomes us," he added.
Habitas Namibia has been built sustainably using Habitas’ innovative modular build. The light-footprint rooms have been created by an in-house team, which have been delivered and assembled on-site using sustainable materials to minimise the environmental impact. This unique design model will also be evident as Habitas continues to expand globally, with new properties to launch in Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Costa Rica throughout 2021.
Rates at Habitas Namibia start with a special offer through March at N$8,000 per night (approx. £400 a night) which includes all meals and beverages (except premium spirits and champagne), daily activities, two safari drives per day. Flights from the UK to Namibia are currently available when flying via Cape Town or Johannesburg, South Africa.