Brown moon-shaped balls. Coarse sandpaper-textured domes. Huge brown peppercorns. Many phrases can describe the textures of the giant boulders and rocks at Ranch Koiimasis, a guest farm in the Tiras Mountain Conservancy in south-central Namibia. Here four chalets are built into and around the round boulders, painted the same rusty orange pink of the rocks.
Texture is one aspect, but intimacy with nature is another attribute of this small guest farm. Nature merges into the domain of human living; huge rocks inside the shower, beautiful rough wood form the bed posts, a tree trunk with little wooden steps leads up to a third bed in the loft and smooth quiver tree trunks house the outside lights. The chalets are open-plan bedroom and bathroom spaces with small veranda built on the rocks outside.
Koiimasis’ reception area and restaurant is furnished in similar fashion; rocks, wooden furniture and succulents in the open-plan dining area. Food here at Koiimasis is simple yet rich and hearty — butternut soup with homemade chicken stock, tender oryx goulash with roasted peppers on a bed of rice. But the lodge’s piece de resistance was the breakfast meat platter with homemade meat terrine and freshly baked miniature rolls. Heaven.
The farm offers a range of activities from guided 4×4 trips (game drives, excursions to see San rock art and a quiver tree forest) and horse riding to self-guided hiking, bouldering, exploring the rocks and mountains of the area and visiting a parrot and ostrich breeding farm nearby. More relaxing options include swimming in the black pool, stargazing, or just absorbing the silence of the mountains. The guest farm is heaven for children, but tricky to navigate for people with walking difficulties. Apart from the four chalets and two small self-catering bungalows, there is a small campsite with five shaded stands and good ablution facilities with hot and cold showers.
Due to the remoteness of the farm, it makes sense to stay for at least two nights to fully discover this little-known area of Namibia.