Sun Karros Daan Viljoen
near Windhoek- Namibia
Daan Viljoen Nature Reserve in the Khomas Hochland is Namibia's smallest game park. Nonetheless its convenient location to Windhoek (25km) has proved to be an ideal stopover for individual travellers, families and the business community alike. Visitors enjoy the tranquil 'close to the city' bush experience, an abundance of highland wildlife and the natural actions and rhythms of the dam.
The park and resort is open throughout the year from sunrise to sunset. One of Daan Viljoen's great attractions is that visitors are allowed to walk around the park (unlike Etosha and several other Namibian game parks where you are confined to your vehicle) and there are 2 well marked hiking trails. Mountain biking is also allowed and the park is a popular spot for Windhoek's mountain biking fraternity. There is also a small route for those wishing to do some game viewing from the comfort of their vehicles. Booking in advance, especially in the Namibian holiday season, is advised as residents from the capital city use Daan Viljoen as a welcome break and weekend retreat. Overnight visitors with reserved accommodation may enter up to midnight.
Daan Viljoen Park previously formed part of the "Augeigas Reserve". A mission station with school facilities for about 80 scholars was completed in 1930 and the severe drought of 1932 resulted in the construction of various wells and planning of a few dams. It was during this period that the Augeigas Dam (1933) with a wall measuring 21.5m in height was completed. After an exceptional good rainy season in 1934, the veld recovered to a great extent, water was abundant in dams and wells. The water supply quickly diminished and grazing became scarce. In 1956 the last people left and the area was divided into farms in 1961. A small section. Measuring 1 200ha was set aside to recover from overgrazing and over utilizing and development into a game park. The administrator of the then South West Africa, 1962, donated 2 700ha to be added to the planned game reserve. During 1966, the park was proclaimed as it is today, with a total area of 3 946 ha.
Facilities at the Sun Karros lodge at Daan Viljoen include a reception complete with an internet café and Wi-Fi connection. Meals are served in both the Kraal Restaurant and the restaurant at the swimming pool. Both dining areas are wheelchair friendly. Food can be ordered from the 'a la carte' menus. Relax at the restaurant pool-side patio lounges and cool off in either the adult or children's swimming pools. Safe parking, 24hr security, a laundry and room service are provided and a cot, baby beds and high chair are available for families with younger children.
The kiosk, which resembles on old farmhouse, enables guests to stock up for their visit or for their onward journey through Namibia. Beer, wine, ice, fire wood, meat and groceries can be purchased. There are 2 conference centres (30 delegates per room) and 1 of them doubles up as a function room. Up to 300 guests can enjoy that wedding, birthday or anniversary at Daan Viljoen.
Accommodation at Sun Karros Daan Viljoen is in 17 chalets. En-suite bathrooms, a queen-sized bed, flat screen TV with hotel package DSTV satellite channels, fan, mini-bar, tea/coffee station, in-room safe, telephone and cutlery are standard. Wi-fi is free in all of the chalets. Insect repellents are supplied. Guests can braai and enjoy their meal on a private patio. All chalets are non-smoking and some of them are wheelchair friendly. Some of the chalets can accommodate 3 persons with an extra sleeper couch for a family with one child.
The vegetation in the park consists of 61 plant families, 205 genera and 301 species. Some common plants include the mountain thorn acacia, the Camelthorn tree, buffalo thorn acacia, karee, trumpet thorn and camphor bush. There are no large predators in Daan Viljoen nature reserve but oryx, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, klipspringer, steenbok, zebra, impala, giraffe and kudu roam freely.
With some 200 species of Namibian birdlife recorded here, Daan Viljoen Nature Reserve is a popular birding destination. Several of Namibia's specials such as the rockrunner, white-tailed shrike, Monteiro's hornbill, Bradfield’s Swift, Rüppell's parrot and Carp's tit can be observed. Nest boxes have been erected at various points in the park and are under study mainly hornbills. These projects have run for more than 15 years and have attracted international experts from the United Kingdom, the United States and Denmark.
- Game drives
- A leisurely self-drive around the Daan Viljoen's game viewing trail will enable you to get the most from your excursion. Always look deep into the bush and watch for any unusual movements. Game drives from the lodge can also be organized.
- There are 2 hiking trails available. A short 1.5km route and for the more energetic a 9km trail.
- Follow a trail around the dam with your bird book and binoculars close at hand.
- Mountain biking
- There are a number of biking trails that start and end from the lodge. Bring your own mountain bikes or hire a set of wheels from the lodge.
- Enjoy light refreshments as the sun sets with views over Daan Viljoen and Windhoek.
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