Between Keetmanshoop and Grünau
Where to stay
The long straight road between the two towns is characterised by farmland, backed to the east by the Karas Mountains. In recent years, a number of guest farms along the road between Keetmanshoop and Grünau have opened their doors to visitors. The most established of these is the White House (which is also closest to Grünau), but others are worth considering. The following are listed in order of distance from Keetmanshoop:
Narubis Travel Lodge
(6 rooms, 5 semi-private rooms) PO Box 1439, Keetmanshoop; tel/fax: 063 250700
East of the B1, and about 60km from Keetmanshoop, Narubis is set in open bush with views across to the Karas Mountains. Downstairs rooms are en suite, while those upstairs share a shower and toilet, and are separated from each other only by screens. There's a restaurant and bar, and a pool table for entertainment. This is a simple, no frills place to stay, but it's clean and bright, ideal for those on a tight budget.Rates: N$130 per person in double room, N$10 per person in semi-private room, including breakfast. Lunch N$40, dinner N$50.
Savanna Guest Farm
(5 rooms) PO Box 14, Grünau; tel/fax: 063 262070; email: email@example.com.
This 2,000ha farm in a beautiful setting at the foot of the Great Karas Mountains is run by Erich and Zelda von Schauroth. The turning is off the B1, 42km north of Grünau, opposite the D203.
En-suite rooms are comfortable and air conditioned, though not luxurious, and have self-catering facilities. Many guests stay for days or even weeks at a time, for this is a place to discover for yourself the environment of a working sheep farm. Don't come expecting to be entertained, but if you enjoy walking and getting away from it all, this could be an ideal location. For added relaxation, there is a heated swimming pool, and a three-course dinner with traditional farm cooking is available by arrangement.Rates: single N$440, per person sharing N$380, including dinner, bed and breakfast. Self-catering and long-term rates available on request.
(3 bungalows) PO Box 8, Grünau; tel/fax: 063 262069, cell: 081 129 8354; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
13km beyond Savanna, this newly opened place is very much an overnight stop, and as such offers good value. Its self-catering bungalows are set apart from the farmhouse and, though basic in structure, are fully equipped with some thoughtful touches.Rates: N$90 per person. Breakfast N$20, dinner N$40.
White House Rest Camp
(5 rooms, 3 bungalows) PO Box 9, Grünau; tel/fax: 063 262061; email: email@example.com
The turn-off to the White House has a clear signpost, about 11km north of Grünau, on the B1. The house itself lies 4km from the main road, on a working 15,000ha sheep farm which stretches to the distant mountains.
The best accommodation here is in a stunning old farmhouse with Oregon pine floors, high wooden ceilings, wide verandas, a huge kitchen and even an old radiogram. It was built in 1912 for £2,500, and bought by the present owner's grandfather in 1926 for £3,500. After its being used as a school, amongst other things, and falling into disuse, the present owners, Dolf and Kinna De Wet, began to renovate the house in 1995. They have done a superb job. Just sit down quietly to soak up the atmosphere and journey back to the first half of the 19th century – it's incredible.
Guests normally stay in one of a handful of beautiful old rooms here on a self-catering basis, and the kitchen has large fridge, gas cooker, and all crockery and utensils. This isn't luxurious (though it would have been 60 years ago), but it is comfortable and very authentic. At the back, there's a small separate studio flat with its own fridge and dining table in the one room, and little shower-toilet adjacent.
In the grounds of the main house are three recently built self-catering bungalows. Comfortable and well equipped, each unit sleeps four people in a double bed and two bunks, with en-suite shower and outside braai, so is ideal for families. If you decide on this option, do ask for the single chalet – the double one has paper-thin walls.
Excellent meals are available, if requested in advance – come with a good appetite!
The White House is a beautiful old place which is excellent value and well worth a visit (though the historical aspect will pass you by if you're not in the main house). Those with an interest in geology will also be attracted by the rose quartz mine on the farm. Rates: N$100 per person, under 12s half price. Breakfast N$30, dinner N$50, braai pack N$40.