Weekend at Dusternbrook Guest Farm

One of the things that strikes us about living in Windhoek is the fact that once you leave the city you are immediately out in nature and you really don’t have to drive very far to see game  in the countryside.  We chose Dusternbrook Guest Farm for a weekend away because it is so close to Windhoek (only 50 kms) and also because, unlike a lot of other game farms, it also offered camping.

In the 1960’s Dusternbrook was the first farm in Namibia to open its doors to paying guests with a view to offering them hunting and game viewing opportunities.  This concept was so successful it spawned the thriving guest farm business that operates throughout the country today.

The beautiful old farmhouse sits on the top of a mountain with stunning views over a dry river bed and the plains below.  There is an abundance of birdlife and one is able to wander around the farm (heat permitting) on various hiking trails, which we took full advantage of.

Purple Roller feeling the heat

On our first morning we walked for about six hours, spending time at their dam where we were shouted at and followed by inquisitive baboons.  The dam is home to many birds, especially cormorants and ducks.

The dam at Dusternbrook

I was fascinated by the numbers of brightly coloured dragonflies that were flitting about and spent a long time trying to capture them on camera.

Magnificent dragonfly

That afternoon we booked a game drive and were driven into their leopard enclosure where we were able to photograph this magnificent animal up close.

Leopard at Dusternbrook

The guide fed it chicken pieces which it obviously enjoyed. Even though we were only meters away from it in an open vehicle, we never felt threatened by the leopard at all.

Leopard at feeding time

From there it was on to the cheetah area.  Cheetahs are always fun to watch as they are so agile and interact with each other a lot.

Cheetahs waiting for food

As their enclosure is very big , they would be difficult to spot if one wasn’t there at feeding time when they rush to the vehicle expecting a meal!  Later we came across a small enclosure with a little cheetah with one leg missing.  It seemed quite happy in spite of its disability.

This cheetah had one leg missing

We were somewhat disappointed with the campsite at Dusternbrook.  The camping area was fenced off and very small, especially for the number of campers that they had.  In a land where space is no problem, it feels like an invasion of privacy to be so close to one’s fellow campers.  We thought that they could have made so much more of their camping facilities.  One thing that we did enjoy about the campsite was the huge tree we were parked under.  It was home to a Pearl Spotted Owl that we picked up in our spotlight.  Owls are always welcome visitors in our campsites!

The birdlife alone is enough to encourage us to return to the farm for another visit.  It’s a photographers paradise, although a little expensive as their rates for accommodation and game viewing are not cheap compared with other places in Namibia.

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