Hakusembe Lodge

Hakusembe Lodge: Our full report

Rooms
23 chalets
Traveller's rating
Good (84%) From 52 reviews
Children
Best for aged 8+
Open
All year

Situated on the banks of the Kavango River, about 15km west of the town of Rundu at the gateway to the Caprivi Strip, lies the small, mid-range Hakusembe River Lodge. It's a peaceful spot, set in lovely well-kept gardens, with roses and other colourful flowers planted in neatly mown lawns that lead down to the river. Ample shade is provided during the heat of the day by acacia trees, beloved of the resident bird population.

Hakusembe has a range of accommodation to suit different styles and budgets. Dotted across the lawns are 21 en-suite chalets, each quite sparse in décor. These are furnished with twin or double beds with mosquito nets, air conditioning, a mini fridge, tea/coffee station and an electronic safe, and hairdryers can be requested from reception. A small veranda outside has its own sitting area. On our last visit in September 2013 we found the chalets to be comfortable, albeit with poor lighting.

Another option is the two storey family room, which has four beds, a bath and a shower, plus a bath and a kitchenette with a microwave and a kettle. There is also a floating chalet, built on a pontoon and furnished with a huge double bed, a corner bath and a chemical toilet. Sliding doors lead to a private deck with great views of the river.

Finally, set back from the river, is Hakusembe's campsite with eight individual pitches.

Hakusembe River Lodge's main areas include a thatched reception with a curio shop selling a range of goods, a thatched bar with a small seating area, and a separate restaurant. Weather permitting, dinner is sometimes served on the terrace around an open firepit. In the garden there is a sparkling swimming pool with a few sunloungers and its own changing rooms.

The range of activities on offer from Hakusembe River Lodge includes champagne sunset cruises, fishing and birdwatching boat trips, visits to a local village and water-skiing. Cultural dancing can be arranged before or after dinner but must be booked in advanced.

One of Hakusembe’s real attractions is its delightful riverside location. It’s incredibly tranquil setting by the river, watching the birds, hearing the locals on the other side of the river laughing was they wash their clothes, and hearing the lapping of the water against the banks. It’s a lovely, peaceful spot from which to start a journey into Namibia’s Caprivi.

Our view

Hakusembe River Lodge has a lovely setting for a romantic honeymoon or family holiday and also makes an ideal starting point for trips through the Caprivi Strip.

Geographics

Location: Caprivi Strip, Namibia

Ideal length of stay: Although most travellers are in transit and spend only one night at Hakusembe, two nights would give more time to appreciate the peace and quiet and enjoy the river.

Directions: Hakusembe River Lodge is situated about 15km west of Rundu. When approaching from the south, turn left onto the B10 road just before Rundu and drive approximately 10km towards Nkerenkuru from where the lodge is signposted.

Accessible by: Self-drive

Key personnel

Owner: Lodge management chain

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Half Board

Food quality: The food at Hakusembe River Lodge is generally good and hearty. All vegetables are fresh and sourced from the lodge's own garden, and vegetarian meals are available.

Breakfast, usually served between 07.30 and 09.00, was fairly standard when we visited, with fruit, yoghurt, cold meats and toast, plus juice, tea & coffee. A cooked breakfast is also available.

Lunch is available on request, usually between 12.00 and 14.00

Dinner is usually served between 18.15 and 20.00 as a three-course set menu. On our last visit we had tuna salad for starters, followed by sticky BBQ chicken, roast potatoes, garlic bread and salads from the buffet. Dessert was a tasty lemon cheesecake.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15

Drinks included: No drinks are included in the rates at Hakusembe Lodge. Typical costs for drinks are: Coke N$12; mineral water N$13; beer N$16; glass of wine N$16–18; bottle wine N$100+; gin and tonic N$23.

Further dining info: No

Children

Attitude towards children: Families with children of all ages are welcome at Hakusembe River Lodge.

Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions.

Special activities & services: There are no special activities at the lodge, but children will love the large garden and the pool.

Equipment: None

Notes: Parents should note that Hakusembe River Lodge is in a malaria area. As the lawns lead down to the river, children must be supervised at all times.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Mains Electricity

Communications: There is cellphone reception at Hakusembe River Lodge and phone and fax facilities can be requested from reception.

TV & radio: There are two televisions in the bar and one in the family room, but none in the rest of the rooms.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: The closest doctor or hospital is in the town of Rundu, just 10km from the lodge.

Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk

Security measures: There are guards onsite 24 hours.

Fire safety: Each chalet at Hakusembe River Lodge is fitted with a fire extinguisher.

Extras

Disabled access: Not Possible

Laundry facilities: A daily laundry service is available at extra cost, excluding weekends and public holidays. It costs about N$5-15 per item.

Money: No currency exchange is possible

Accepted payment on location: Cash, Visa and MasterCard are accepted forms of payment. Cash is accepted in Namibian dollars or South African Rand.