Okonjima Nature Reserve Safaris
Nestled in Namibia's Central Highlands, the Okonjima Nature Reserve spans 200 km² of malaria-free land and offers unparalleled big cat sightings. Home to the AfriCat Foundation, the reserve is known for its leopard sightings, making it one of the best places in Africa to catch a glimpse of these elusive creatures.
More About Okonjima
Okonjima also offers informative visits to the AfriCat Foundation, nature hikes, bike rides, and off-the-beaten-track experiences that combine game drives and short walks. With three walking trails to explore, visitors can immerse themselves in the beautiful desert flora and fauna. Bike rides are also available with provided guides for those who want to take in the reserve's scenery on two wheels. Don't miss out on the chance to see big cats and experience the beauty of the Central Highlands.
Wildlife on Okonjima
Okonjima Nature Reserve is home to a diverse array of wildlife, with over 70 different mammal species residing within its boundaries. Visitors to the reserve have the chance to see iconic African predators such as cheetah, hyenas, and honey badgers, as well as the elusive and rare aardwolf, pangolin, and various smaller African cats. One of the highlights of Okonjima is the high likelihood of spotting leopards, making it a standout destination for wildlife enthusiasts. White rhinos are also commonly seen on safari within the reserve, providing a unique opportunity to view these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
For bird enthusiasts, Okonjima is a veritable paradise, with more than 170 recorded species. Birding specials include Monteiro’s hornbill, Hartlaub’s Francolin, and the rock-runner, as well as birds of prey like the martial eagle, spotted eagle-owl, and black-chested snake eagle. The white-tailed shrike, namaqua, Burchell’s and double-banded sandgrouse are among the other feathered inhabitants found within the reserve.
With so many species to see, Okonjima Nature Reserve is a must-visit for any wildlife enthusiast. Whether you're an avid birder or a big cat aficionado, you're sure to have an unforgettable experience exploring the natural wonders of this stunning reserve.
The AfriCat Foundation is a non-profit organization based in the Okonjima Nature Reserve in Namibia. The foundation aims to conserve and protect the country's large carnivores, particularly cheetahs, leopards, and lions, through research, education, and rehabilitation programs.
The foundation has been instrumental in rescuing and rehabilitating large carnivores, including leopards and cheetahs, and releasing them back into the wild. The Okonjima Nature Reserve serves as a sanctuary for many of these animals, providing a safe and secure environment for their rehabilitation and eventual release.
Visitors to Okonjima can learn about the AfriCat Foundation and their work through informative guided tours, presentations, and documentaries. The foundation offers a range of interactive and educational experiences that allow visitors to get up close and personal with some of the animals in the reserve, while also learning about their conservation efforts.
In addition to its rehabilitation programs, the AfriCat Foundation conducts vital research into the behavior and ecology of large carnivores in Namibia. This research helps to inform conservation efforts, and has contributed significantly to the understanding of these fascinating animals.
Activities on Okonjima
The Okonjima Nature Reserve offers a unique and immersive safari experience for visitors. The reserve is renowned for its big cat sightings, and game drives in search of leopards and cheetahs are the most popular activity. The reserve is also home to the AfriCat Foundation, which offers an informative visit to learn about the different research projects carried out in Okonjima.
For those who prefer a more active safari experience, Okonjima offers several hiking and biking trails, which provide an opportunity to explore the reserve's beautiful landscape and encounter the desert flora and fauna that are often missed on a 4x4 drive. The "off-the-beaten-track experience" tour combines a game drive and a short walk, giving visitors a chance to see big cats and other wildlife up close.
The reserve also offers the unique opportunity to track radio-collared leopards on foot, accompanied by a trained guide. This exhilarating experience allows visitors to learn about the leopard's behavior and ecology, and see the world from a new perspective.
Best Time to Visit
The Okonjima Nature Reserve is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on your interests and preferences. The dry season, from May to October, is generally the best time for game viewing as animals gather around water sources and vegetation thins out, making it easier to spot them. During this time, the weather is cool and dry, with sunny days and chilly nights.
The rainy season, from November to April, brings lush greenery and an abundance of birdlife, including migratory species. The landscapes are also transformed, and wildflowers bloom, making it a great time for photography and nature walks. However, the wet conditions can make some roads difficult to navigate and may limit some activities.
For those interested in big cat sightings, the winter months (June to August) are the best time as the vegetation is at its thinnest and animals are more visible. The summer months (November to February) are great for birdwatching, and the landscapes are beautifully green. No matter when you choose to visit, the Okonjima Nature Reserve offers a unique and unforgettable experience for all visitors.
Month-by-Month Guide to Weather
The temperature in January ranges from 16°C to 30°C (61°F to 86°F). This is the middle of the rainy season, with an average rainfall of 95mm (3.7 inches).
In February, temperatures range from 16°C to 29°C (61°F to 84°F). This is still considered part of the rainy season, with an average rainfall of 94mm (3.7 inches).
Temperatures in March range from 15°C to 28°C (59°F to 82°F). This is the tail end of the rainy season, with an average rainfall of 69mm (2.7 inches).
In April, temperatures range from 12°C to 28°C (54°F to 82°F). This is the start of the dry season, with very little rainfall, averaging at 12mm (0.5 inches).
The temperature range in May is 9°C to 27°C (48°F to 81°F). This is still the dry season with an average rainfall of 8mm (0.3 inches).
Temperatures in June range from 6°C to 24°C (43°F to 75°F). This is still the dry season, with an average rainfall of 1mm (0.04 inches).
In July, temperatures range from 6°C to 24°C (43°F to 75°F). This is still the dry season, with an average rainfall of 0mm.
The temperature range in August is 8°C to 27°C (46°F to 81°F). This is still the dry season with an average rainfall of 0mm.
Temperatures in September range from 12°C to 31°C (54°F to 88°F). This is the start of the hot season, with an average rainfall of 1mm (0.04 inches).
In October, temperatures range from 15°C to 34°C (59°F to 93°F). This is the hot season, with an average rainfall of 8mm (0.3 inches).
The temperature range in November is 15°C to 31°C (59°F to 88°F). This is still the hot season, with an average rainfall of 30mm (1.2 inches).
Temperatures in December range from 16°C to 30°C (61°F to 86°F). This is the start of the rainy season, with an average rainfall of 87mm (3.4 inches).