The magnificent Sanctuary Okahirongo Elephant Lodge sits atop the banks of the Hoarusib Riverbed and is an impeccably appointed base for your adventures, which include desert game drives with local guides, tracking black rhinos on foot, exploring the phenomenal clay castles, and sipping sundowners as the sun sets over the dunes. Few people have set foot in this remote location– or experienced the extraordinary desert safaris, so who better than our two camp managers to share with you the secrets of this region and their passion for travel in Africa?
We sat down with our new camp managers at Sanctuary Okahirongo Elephant Lodge, Hilma and Pollen, to listen to their stories and share them with you. Here is what they had to share with you.
Hilma was born and raised at Tsandi, a small settlement located Northeast of Opuwo. Her love for travelling and discovering new places made it an easy career choice when she chose to study Tourism. With 14 years of experience under her belt, and being fluent in English, Oshiwanbo, and Otjiherero, she is a key member of our Sanctuary family.
Since first being encouraged by a friend to apply for the position, Hilma hasn't looked back! It has now been 7 years since she first started at the lodge but as she so kindly put it "working alongside a great team has made it feel like two weeks". One thing is for sure, Hilma has been integral to making Sanctuary Okahirongo Elephant Lodge 'the most beautiful remote lodge in Namibia', according to her guests.
Sanctuary Okahirongo Elephant camp combines the elements around it to make it the perfect remote luxury experience. With majestic landscapes, solitary experiences, amazing desert wildlife, African decoration, and offroad adventures you are exposed to a real soul-healing journey. Also, most importantly, this is the place where you can get a close contact experience with the last Nomadic people of Kaokoland known as the Ovahimba: the red people are still glued to their cultural roots even in the 21st century.
POLLEN HOREREE KARUTJAIVA
Himba by tribe, Pollen was born in the dusty village of Sesfontein, roughly 110 km from the lodge. Growing up in this part of Namibia, conservation and tourism played a big part in his upbringing. During school holidays, he always visited his father who worked at the Skeleton Coast park, and it didn't take long for Pollen to fall in love with nature and wildlife. From then on, his mind was set on wanting to show the wonders of Namibia to the rest of the world. He set out to pursue a career in Tourism before joining Okahirongo Lodges in 2006.
With a lifetime of experience in the travel industry and 16 years at the lodge, Pollen's knowledge of the region is unmatched, and being able to share it through the lodge is something unique according to him. As he put it "at Sanctuary Okahirongo Elephant Lodge, the setup, architecture, and decorations are special. The camp encompasses the beauty and spirit of this part of Namibia, and guests feel that during their stay here". His love for Africa can almost be infectious at times. We asked Pollen what activity was a MUST for guests staying at Sanctuary Okahirongo Elephant Lodge, to which he replied "tracking the rare endangered Black Rhino. This experience accompanied by a bush breakfast is nothing short of awesome".