We were fortunate enough to stay in a selection of lodges while travelling through Namibia (as well as hotels in the two urban areas). Most lodges are not large so reservations really are necessary – especially in remote areas where there is not a huge choice of accommodation. In general they work on a half board system and will provide packed lunches.
Most guests stay for one or two nights. and the places are pretty much deserted during the day. We managed to have two full free days as well as a free afternoon on our trip and had the pool terraces in all three of the lodges to ourselves for most of the time. Staff were happy on each occasion to rustle up toasted sandwiches and salads at lunch time. Two of those particular lodges had designated walking trails should we wish to shake ourselves from the loungers. There’s plenty of wildlife around the lodges and you’ll see warthogs, rock hyraxes, dik-diks, larger antelope, birds, etc. during your stay.
Zebra Kalahari Lodge
This small lodge is found in a very peaceful location a few hours drive from Windhoek. Individual bungalows are set facing a water hole which attracts a variety of antelope and other animals and birds. The rooms are large with outdoor (plus indoor!) showers. There is a small swimming pool terrace and patio area for dining (as well as an indoor dining room). It offers a popular sundowner game drive as well as an early morning bushman walk.
The dinner menu consisted of soup, springbok or chicken with potatoes and veg, spongecake with custard. Although the choice was limited, food was very tasty and enjoyable.
- Location of rooms facing the water hole
- We found a hot water bottle in our bed upon returning to our room which was a nice touch.
- Service was very uneven which we put down to the start of the season and young staff needing further training
Desert Outpost Homestead
Don’t let the bleak looking approach nor the 10 minute drive from the main road deter you… this place is amazing. The tented cabins which are spread along a path extending from the main house have doors opening onto decks which overlook the plain. The lodge has a beautiful pool area and a sundowner deck on the hillside above – perfect for those picturesque sunsets. The attentive managers will arrange tours to Sossusvlei or take you on a sundowner drive themselves. Dinner was excellent on both nights and as we were rising very early on one morning to go to Sossusvlei, a packed breakfast was provided.
- Setting of individual decks overlooking the plain
- Great Food
- Excellent Service
- Beautiful pool terrace
- The only thing I can think of is the distance to Sossusvlei – its about a 45 minute drive .
Damara Mopane Lodge
This is a popular location for tour groups which doesn’t take away from the place in any way. Individual bungalows are surrounded by flower and vegetable gardens and there is a great pool area.
Dinner – a combination of table and buffet service -is served outside. The greater number of visitors allows for more choice on the menu and food was good.
- Lovely pool area
- Good food and wide choice
The Niggly Bits:
- Patchy wifi (maybe that’s not really a bad thing!!)
Epacha Game Lodge and Spa
This remote lodge and spa serves as a base for Etosha and offers game drives. It is frequented by tour groups but was very quiet on our visit. The main building has beautiful reception areas while 18 chalets extend uphill. The chalets are spacious with outdoor showers and great views. The is a deck for lunch service and a 5 course dinner is served in the dining room. There is a lovely pool area where afternoon tea and cake is served.
- Lovely setting
- Good food
- About 45 minute drive to Etosha
- Chalets situated on steep enough hillside so not suited for impaired mobility.
A very popular base mainly due to its great location just a few kilometres from Etosha’s eastern gate. The main lodge has a lovely open lounge area with a bar and shop. Outside there is a swimming pool and you will find a resident warthog family wandering the grounds as well as dik diks and guinea fowl. Individual cottages are scattered about the grounds and are nicely decorated.
We had a bbq on one evening in the grounds – mains included roast leg of springbok and braised shank of kudu – not what you’re used to throwing on the barbie at home!! We were served a 3 course dinner in the dining room on our second night. Overall, the food was very good and we had the best desserts of our trip here. They also provided a very good breakfast.
- Great location beside Etosha NP
- Nice accommodation
- Good food
- Despite good service, the place felt rather impersonal compared to our other lodges.
Otjiwa Safari Lodge
Located south of Otjiwarongo between Etosha NP and Windhoek, this lodge also serves as a base for Waterberg Plateau. Its particularly popular with campers and has a beautiful lake which attracts a variety of animals and birds. Rooms have a nice patio area and furnishings. There is a pool with loungers in the grounds and game drives are available and sought-after. Food was only average, with soup being served at table and then self-service for the other two courses.
- Lovely lake for morning and evening walks
- Good location on Main Windhoek-Etosha road.
- Meals were only average
The Utopia Boutique Hotel, Windhoek
This hotel is easily accessible from the airport and is just a few minutes drive from downtown. It has ample secured parking and we had a spacious open concept room. There are some attractive garden areas.
Breakfast was basic but adequate with the usual cereals, yogurt, breads and some cooked items. There is a popular restaurant on site which we didn’t visit. We chose instead to head to Joe’s Beer House which is a short drive from the hotel and a must for every visitor to Windhoek!
- Accessible location with parking
- Nice bedroom
- Close to Joe’s Beer House!
- Grounds need attention
Beach Hotel, Swakopmund
Located within walking distance of the main town attractions, this hotel has free parking and the helpful staff will organise your adventure activities if necessary. There are great views of the ocean – especially from the roof terrace where the swimming pool is situated. Breakfast was fine and there are plenty of restaurants in town.
- Can walk everywhere from the hotel
- Free parking
- Helpful reception staff
- Bit too windy (when we visited) to enjoy sitting on the roof deck
And the winner?
No contest — Desert Outpost Homestead gets the trophy!!