Omaruru is a word in the local dialect of Herero and translates to "bitter milk"
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Omaruru is a quaint town located north of Karibib, it is the centre of the dairy farms and cattle ranches in the area. The town was built on its namesake river, set amongst camelthorn trees. It is situated approximately 242km from the capital city of Windhoek and is the ideal place to stop-over in when you’re heading to the Brandberg mountains and other amazing attractions. Omaruru is a word in the local dialect of Herero and translates to “bitter milk”, this refers to the cattle in the area which graze on the local bushes which in turn gives the milk they produce a slightly bitter taste.
Omaruru is another town which was developed around a Rhenish mission which was established in 1868. The Rhenish mission house which was constructed in 1871 is a reminder of the days past, this mission house was later converted into the town’s museum. Another reminder of the past is the Rhenish mission church constructed in 1872. The museum has a variety of displays including photographs of the earliest missionaries; antique furniture and original farm implements. The town’s original inhabitants were the Damara people but since 1870 it has been the traditional capital of the Zeraua house of the Hereros. Omaruru has not only been an important town for the Herero people but also as a trading centre for the cattle and game farming industries. The town of Omaruru has become well known for its production of chocolate; cheese and wine as well as for its artistic craftsy townspeople. Upon entering the town, one can’t fail to notice the large sculptures, theser are part of the Tikoloshe root carving project. The artisans create a variety of clever trinkets and sculptures from wood taken from tree roots. The Kristall Kellerei is the only Namibian brandy manufacturer and it is also one of four wine producers in the country. They produce Ruby Cabernet and Cabernet Sauvignon and a white Colmard. They also produce schnapps from prickly pears; prosopis; lemons and grapes. On the chocolate front there’s Unlimited Home Industries which produces a large variety of hand-made chocolates using original recipes dating back all the way to the early fifties, they make use of local ingredients such as dates; rosella; kumquat; oranges; choc-mint and honey. Around Omaruru one can view dinosaur tracks on the farm Otjihaenanamapaero, you can seee two distinctive sets of footprints left by Ceratosaurus and a Syntasurs. Also close to the town is the Paula Cave which is known for its variety of rock art.
Accommodation options in and around the town include Ai Aiba Lodge; Epako Game Lodge and Erongo Wilderness Lodge.
Ai Aiba, the Rock Painting Lodge is set on the farm Anibib, about 45km from Omaruru. It is set amongst granite rock boulders with a view overlooking the Erongo Mountain Nature Conservancy. Ai Aiba is a Khoekhoegowab word meaning ‘the person who walks in front to show the way’. The main building at Ai Aiba consists of the restaurant; Bushman Bar and TV room with a collection of books on various topics, mainly on the local flora and fauna. Accommodation consists of 20 luxury twin and double rooms which are housed in ten thatch-roofed bungalows and are styled in African decor. Each rooom is equipped with an en-suite bathroom and a private patio.
Epako Game Lodge is set on a private reserve spanning about 11 000 hectares near Omaruru. It is located on the outskirts of the famous Damaraland and is situated midway between the capital city; Swakopmund and the Etosha National Park. The lodge was completely remodelled in 2013 to the highest level of comfort and luxury. Booking Epako is on an exclusive basis, only one group of two to 20 people can be accommodated at any one time. Booking would include the use of all facilities; accommodation and services of the whole lodge as well as the services of a personal international executive chef for a minimum of four nights. Epako is a Herero word for ‘the corner in a mountain range’ as the lodge is set against a hillside overlooking the Epako River. Facilities at Epako include a dining room that overlooks a spotlit waterhole; bar and lounge with satellite TV; swimming pool; internet facilities; tennis courts; souvenir shop; table tennis and a small aviary. Meals can be served in either indoor or outdoor dining areas. Chefs at Epako prepare meals which are a combination of French and Namibian cuisine complemented by a variety of South African wines. Accommodation includes ten rooms which all have en-suite bathrooms; air-conditioning; mini-bar; satellite TV; mosquito nets; tea/coffee station; telepone and garden or bush views from the private terrace. There is the Waterhole Suite; River Suite; Loft Suite; Junior Suite and Deluxe Room.
Erongo Wilderness Lodge is situated close to Omaruru and is nestled amonsgt huge boulders and granite formations on the outskirts of an ancient volcano. Raised wooden walkways and natural stone steps connect the tented chalets to the main area. The restaurant and pub are situated on a separate rocky outcrop which has views of the floodlit waterhole. There are ten tented chalets built on stilts and erected under steeped thatched roofs. Wildlife in the area include leopard; kudu; oryx; eland; mountain zebra; springbok and steenbok.