Our New Home
After a vacation trip in the mid-1990s, the desire to spend more time in Namibia grew in the hearts of the Michels family. Having grown up in a hotel business, Thorsten Michels had long wished to build a small, unique hotel where the employees have the opportunity to know every guest by name. The Namibian bush savannah would be a perfect setting for this project, because from his experience there was no better place to let the soul wander and focus on life’s essentials.
OKARUIPUTA, REGION OTJOZONDJUPA
After thousands of kilometres on gravel roads, countless hours of flying and viewing appointments the dream crystalized in 2000: together with our former partners Annette & Johan Louw the Okaruiputa farm (surveyed in 1903) was bought. Beautiful nature with a fantastic view to the Waterberg Plateau, the infrastructure and the location not far from the Etosha National Park made the spot the perfect setting for this dream.
FROM A CATTLE FARM TO A NATURAL PARADISE
Between October 2000 and April 2001, around 50 construction workers remodelled the existing buildings, built new buildings and adapted the infrastructure. This led to the first guests arriving for Easter 2001. One of the master builders involved at the time, Elias Gomeb and his team, has been working exclusively for KAMBAKU ever since. Elias has been building, repairing, renovating and improving here for 20 years – providing an idea of the dynamic with which KAMBAKU has developed since 2001.
But not only the lodge and the infrastructure were a huge undertaking. Okaruiputa also had to be transformed from a former cattle ranch into a wildlife sanctuary. 50 kilometres of fences were dismantled, 10 tons of wire rolled up, water pipes laid, water points built and large areas cleared of bushes.
A total of around 1 500 000 man hours have gone into the development of the Kambaku Wildlife Reserve so far – an astounding figure that demonstrates the tremendous commitment of many people.
Today, KAMBAKU is home to numerous employees and trainees, offering prospects and providing livelihood also to their families. With two private colleges, KAMBAKU invests in the future of young Namibians who aim for a career as hotel expert, chef, mechanician, wildlife or horse riding guide. Nearly 400 people depend directly or indirectly on KAMBAKU – on behalf of whom we are beyond thankful for our guests!
Today, we are also looking at a fertile and species-rich area that we maintain as a habitat for animals, plants and people through sustainable management. The reserve is a successful small natural paradise, aspiring to be much more than a mere sprawling zoo. At KAMBAKU, we do not guarantee encounters with animals, but we promise every guest to discover nature with all the senses, learn and relax.
Hence, KAMBAKU welcomes travellers from all over the world to soothe the soul in the African savannah. It is an ideal spot for both accommodation and recreation in breath-taking nature. It’s a place where the team knows the guests by heart and loves to make them happy.
Many diligent people have been part of our story. Guests, friends, family, partners, employees and long-standing companions – to all of them family Michels is greatly indebted. Thanks for being part of our dream!