If you have your own transport and fancy escaping the city for a few hours then there’s no better place to head for than Daan Viljoen Game Park. It’s a delightful natural retreat, set among the hills of the Khomas Hochland Plateau, covered in highland shrub vegetation including kudu bush, buffalo thorn and various acacias.
Although the 6km game drive is pleasant enough (high-clearance vehicle necessary, 4WD when wet) with some well-sited viewpoints, the absence of predators in the park offers an opportunity to get much closer to the wildlife and really experience the bush by exploring on foot. There are two self-guided walking routes: the 3km – there and back – “Wag ‘n’ Bietjie” trail is a simple stroll from the reception to the Stengel Dam, and is popular with birdwatchers early in the morning; those wanting a more challenging hike should opt for the 9km circular Rooibos Trail, which heads uphill from close to the Boma restaurant, returning via the Augeigas Dam. If you look carefully enough amid the vegetation, there are still signs of the odd crumbling wall that once demarcated plots of the formerly resident Damara community, which was forcibly relocated by the South African regime in the late 1950s.
Wildlife to look out for includes a variety of antelope: springbok, oryx, kudu and eland, alongside other large mammals such as blue wildebeest and even giraffe; smaller potential sightings are of porcupine, yellow mongoose and rock dassie, and you can’t fail to bump into the ubiquitous warthogs and baboons. Over two hundred bird species have been recorded, with plenty of water birds gravitating towards the muddy edges of the dams.
Day visitors are welcome to use the resort’s lovely large circular pool and eat at the Boma, after making a N$50 deposit, which is redeemable against food and drink purchases.