Boulder Oasis: Canyon Lodge Review, Namibia
Canyon Lodge (formerly known as Canon Lodge) played a large role in motivating our self-drive trip from Cape Town to Namibia. The “Flintstonesque” cabins, built upon boulders, inspired us to visit Southern Namibia and re-explore the Fish River Canyon.
Just 25 kms away from one of Namibia’s most visited locations, Canyon Lodge was the perfect base for our first night in Namibia. Although we had a serious flat tyre on the way (and needed rescuing!), it made our arrival at Canyon Lodge all the more sweeter.
Canyon Lodge Hotel
Canyon Lodge was easy enough to find thanks to the road sign boards along the dusty Namibian roads. Passing Canyon Village on the left, the lodge is less than 1km around the corner. The maps showed we needed to cross a river, which was a bit worrying, but the roads were perfectly fine to access in a sedan vehicle.
Once parked, we walked around the back not realizing there was a front entrance (it’d been a long day!) and entered through the back door!
The front of the hotel is akin to West World meeting old Germany, with the main home having being built over 100 years ago by German brothers who settled in the area.
While the front of the hotel has old world charm, its the back of the hotel that really shows off how unique Namibia is. With a variety of rooms available from twin, triples and family rooms, all the cabins are built of stone and wood while perched between huge boulders.
Find your room while winding around the lumo green pathways to the valley of the property.
Review of Canyon Lodge
We stayed at Canyon Lodge for 2 nights in late 2018. We loved the vibrant green grass, sunset infinity pool and bright starry filled skies. Here’s how we found our stay:
Comfortable Bed (Get a Good Night’s Rest)
We were given 2 single beds and found them to be very comfortable. Possibly a smidge small (we’re big people), but extremely clean with comfortable pillows and warm. The mosquito nets were a must have as they not only kept out mozzies, but also other bugs (moths, etc).
Considering these rooms are tucked into the earth, I had anticipated many more webs and bugs. However, the room was very clean. The shower, toilet and basin were also very clean as were the linen , windows and window sills. I recall inspecting the roof and they were free of webs (I didn’t want any creepy crawlies falling on me in the night!).
While the room is very small, an effort has been made to provide sufficient space for luggage and belongings. There was enough place for our bags to be kept off the ground, yet there was a lack of counter space in the bathroom.
Small shelves had been placed around the sink, which was helpful for toothbrushes and shaving cream, yet did not suffice for makeup, toiletries or hair accessories.
The room included a desk, which made the perfect charging station. We plugged in our camera, mobile and laptop chargers and found the setup, while small, convenient enough. There was only one main plug to use at the desk, but we always travel with a multiplug so we had no problems. Bedside tables were also helpful for our mobiles, maps, etc.
There is absolutely no reception OF ANY KIND (telephone or data) in the rooms whatsoever. Not on a Vodacom sim (South Africa) and not on a Namibian sim (MTC). You might get lucky with the odd sms coming through, but it was a rarity.
You are truly disconnected at Canyon Lodge, which is great if you want to disconnect, however, it is a little inconvenient when you’re trying to use Google maps to plan the next leg of your journey!
The restaurant does, however, offer 50 free mb’s a day. Unfortunately though, the more people on the network, the slower it runs.
TIP: If you sit right next to the window (closest to the serving counter and porch) after breakfast or dinner, you’ll get the best possible reception.
Insect and mosquito repellents were available in the room and much appreciated as there were a surprising amount of mosquitos for the middle of nowhere!
A jug of water and glasses were also available in our room along with a well-lit mirror. Deck furniture allows for those wanting to watch the sunset from the comfort of their porches. Although, I may ward against this as mosquitos were an issue at sunset.
About 50 meters down the walkway is a beautiful pool, loungers and sunset bar. Visitors can help themselves to towels or a toot while cooling off under the hot, blue Namibian sky. We opted to watch the sunset over the beautiful burnt orange horizon.
Canyon Lodge is a lovely place to stay, however, 2 nights suffice. It’s great to arrive, enjoy a wonderfully cooked meal while taking in the orange sunset in the distance, before heading to the Fish River Canyon in the morning.
The hotel includes 2 meals a day, breakfast and dinner and this is a Godsend because there is NO WHERE else to get food. Not for the next 100 km’s anyway. The food is excellent and offers Namibian-European cuisine, think goulash but made with gemsbok (oryx). Springbok fillets and kudu chops. There is also a lot of fresh and vegetables, honestly a priviledge in these desolate landscapes. I enjoyed my food and was very impressed with the spread considering the location of the restaurant.
I had excellent service from the Canyon Lodge staff, however Namibian hospitality is far more reserved than South African hospitality. In South Africa, every moment is upsold in order to make a higher tip as well as accommodate the guests’ and their requests.
I enjoyed the reserved attention of the Namibian staff and help with my car, which route to take, directions, etc. however, I missed the more forward hospitality of the manager waiting for you at the front door upon arrival, barmen having a good chat, etc. Many of the staff members are not first language English speakers and this also affects their confidence. But, overall, the service and food were very good.
If you stay at Canyon Lodge, please come back and leave your feedback in the comment section below. Thanks for stopping by 🙂
PS Thank you to my friend Simone for the recommendation.