We rented Toyota Hilux with a rooftop tent, as our plan was to overnight in camps most of the time while self-driving in Namibia. But since we have already tasted the luxury of a private game reserve in South Africa, we decided to try one in Namibia as well. I wanted to stay as close to Etosha National Park as possible because my goal was seeing the lions. I had reserved 3 days for that, just in case. We ended up seeing the lions on the first day, so we had plenty of time to enjoy the comfort of the lodge we had selected. Following is my detailed review of the Epacha Game Lodge & Spa which classifies as a 5-star accommodation.
Epacha Game Lodge and Spa is located an hour drive from Outjo – a lovely town with great cappuccino. Check out the Outjo Bakkery and thank me later. It will take you a bit less than an hour to reach Etosha National Park from Epacha, which makes it a perfect stop if you plan to spend a few days chasing the big five. You’ll have to do the final 5 km towards the lodge on a gravel road, which is in a very good condition. The Epacha Private Game Reserve is guarded and secured by an entrance gate; hence safety is not an issue.
The Epacha Game Reserve is one of Namibia’s biggest private wildlife reserves. It boasts 13 000 hectares of land, including two beautiful lodges. The other one is called Eagle Tented Lodge & Spa. Since we had one entire day off, we took a 15-minute morning walk to visit our neighbours. The staff kindly offered us a quick tour of the property, including some tents. It is a gorgeous place with very personal touch, and different architecture style, built partly from natural rocks. I’d definitely try the Eagle lodge in wintertime (tents don’t have AC, so I’m not sure how that works during Summer).
The lodge has 18 independent thatch-roofed chalets, all located on a hill, overlooking the game reserve. We stayed in chalet Nr. 6 and the view from our balcony was beautiful. The chalet is very spacious (85 m2), it comes with a large bathroom, equipped with a bath and 2 showers – both, indoor and outdoor. The rooms feature a ceiling with exposed wooden beams and have mosquito net draped over a comfortable king size bed. There is a mini bar with fridge, including free bottled water, coffee and tea. The AC is conveniently located, and it works well. Oh, and they had the softest bathrobes ever. I wish I had the nerve to take one home. 😀
The pool and spa
We were lucky to enjoy the pool by ourselves for one whole day, which was a blessing for my Instagram content. 😀 The size of the pool is perfect, and the water was fresh enough to cool down from the hot Namibian sun. There are plenty of sunbeds with shade available, and sometimes you can even catch a Wi-Fi signal. Unfortunately, in the chalets that is not the case. No Wi-Fi, no stress, right?
Epacha obviously has a spa with treatment rooms, sauna and jacuzzi, which we didn’t try. Believe it or not, there was simply not enough time for everything.
I usually remember nice places for the food and Epacha is no exception. The breakfast was great with cold and hot choices, and the dinner was even better. If you are a soup lover, you will want to have another one. If you are meat lover, you’ll be in heaven. And if you are neither, just tell the staff what your food preference is. The chef will know what to do, trust me. The wine selection is great too.
Game drives and other activities
We only had a short afternoon game drive for 2 hours before the sunset. We saw some very shy animals, like zebras, impalas, and springboks. The game reserve features other animals, but officially none of the big 5. Sometimes they spot hyenas and even a leopard – but for that you must be very lucky. I knew what to expect from the game drive, so for me it was more a chill-out with a beautiful sundowner, accompanied by local beer and snacks. Ah, African sunsets are something to remember!
Epacha also offers guided drives to Etosha National Park and some other activities such as clay pigeon shooting and cultural visits to the local Himba village.
Anda’s rate: 9 out of 10
Bottom line: If you are looking for luxury in Namibian wilderness, Epacha Game Lodge & Spa will not disappoint. The property has everything you need to enjoy and relax surrounded by nature. Unlike some game reserves with big cats, this place is safe to walk around during the day. However, for me, that is a minus because I am crazy about lions, and this is the only reason I am giving it a 9 instead of 10. However, I have talked to people and in the future this might change as well. They are also building a road to Etosha, which will make Epacha Lodge even closer to the park. Hence, I just might return and raise my rate to a perfect 10. 😉