In November, our Namibia specialist, Emma, spent some time at the beautiful Ai Aiba Rock Painting Lodge in Namibia’s fascinating volcanic Erongo mountain range. An excellent place for families and couples to stay, you’ll spend time at Ai Aiba during our Namibia Family Self Drive holiday and nights can be woven into any of our tailor made holidays.
Ai Aiba Rock Painting Lodge is managed by the lovely warm, welcoming couple, Ciska and Corné, and we asked Ciska to share with us what she thinks makes the lodge so special…
‘Nestled up against a rocky outcrop on the northern side of the Erongo mountains, huddles a lodge that offers more than you can imagine. Stories of more than 203 individually identified rock painting sites entice you. The knowledge that you will be visiting the remains of a mega volcano that was active over 150 million years ago awes you. But nothing prepares you for the beauty that lies between these ancient volcanic rocks.
On arrival at the Ai Aiba lodge parking area, your breath is taken away by the arrangement of rocks, some precariously stacked, that line the back of the lodge. The thatch roofs line up symmetrically, inviting you into their cool embrace. And as you are welcomed into the reception with the Ai Aiba homemade iced tea, a freshness you will not soon forget, you finally notice the valley that stretches out in front of the lodge.
Kilometres on kilometres to the west to where the Brandberg stands on the skyline. Sometimes clear as day and other times barely visible. To the north, the ‘the submarine’, another volcanic remnant, as dubbed by the staff. And just in front of the lodge a waterhole, a haven to the wildlife found in the area.
Early morning at Ai Aiba Rock Painting Lodge you hear the Rosy-faced lovebirds gathering for their morning drink and if you sit out on your veranda or relax at the restaurant with your cup of coffee (or tea), you often get to glimpse the giraffe in the magical hour as the sun peeks over the mountain. Standing out in the landscape as they graciously move along, you pick them out one by one as they catch the sun’s rays, disappearing just as quickly again when they turn away.
Heading out on a drive or hike with one of the knowledgeable guides, you learn more about this seemingly desolate area. Discovering the various rock paintings, glimpsing wildlife and if you are very lucky, the elusive Rüppell’s parrot.
Climbing the mountain trail on a self-hike or joining the sundowner walk, you quickly discover the thrill eagles must have. Looking down at the valley that stretches far and wide. Feeling free and letting the breeze take away any and all thoughts while you take in the magnificence around you.
At sunset the painted skies often leave you in awe. The landscape blossoms as the last rays of the sun draws out its beauty. But nothing prepares you for the most magical of events. When the skies are filled with rainy clouds and the sunlight seeps through, you are enfolded by a warm glow that is beyond compare. That, for me, is when you truly experience the most significant moment Ai Aiba Rock Painting Lodge has to offer.’
Take me there!
A night at Ai Aiba Rock Painting Lodge is included in our Namibia Family Self-Drive Holiday -popular couples as well as families – and can be woven into any of our tailor made Namibia holiday itineraries. Get in touch on 01768 721040 to start planning your trip with our Namibia experts.