(12 rooms) PO Box 110, Kamanjab; tel: 067 330261; email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.resafrica.net
About 80km north of Kamanjab, Hobatere is easily found on the banks of the small Otjivasondu River. Take the main C35 road northwest from Kamanjab towards Ruacana. After about 65km, just past the entrance to western Etosha, Hobatere is signposted to the left through imposing gates. A clear bush road then leads through several riverbeds before reaching the lodge after about 16km. A 2WD is usually fine for this but, if attempting the road during the rains, ring the lodge as you pass through Kamanjab – so that they know of your arrival, and will search for you in those riverbeds if you get stuck.
Steve and Louise Braine have run Hobatere for 18 years now. Accommodation is in comfortable twin-bedded, thatched brick cottages, each with en-suite shower and toilet (the internal doors are decorative, not functional, so you will be on intimate terms with your companion). These are set in plenty of space, spread around the main lodge allowing you a feeling of independence: to join in if you wish to, or just to relax if you don't.
In the lodge's main building there is a bar, lounge and separate dining area, where good food is served from the house menu. Guests dine separately, as at a restaurant, rather than automatically joining in on one big table with the hosts. For cooling afternoon dips there's a clear pool, which was recently fortified to be elephant-proof, after a baby elephant fell in and its mother smashed up the whole area in her frantic (and eventually successful) attempts to help it out. Approximately 300m from the lodge there is a hide overlooking a waterhole, which is especially interesting in the dry season.
Hobatere's game is established and relaxed and its standard of guiding is good (with Steve himself being a birder of note). It is normal to book here on a full-board basis, and then pay the lodge for your activities. Normally, game drives (day and night) are charged at N$120 per person, and they take a maximum of 9 passengers. Walks are N$70 per hour, for a maximum of 8 people.