Hakusembe Lodge situated in the Caprivi Strip.
Hakusembe Lodge: Our full report
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 eight 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 December 2010 we found the chalets to be comfortable, albeit with poor lighting.
Another option is the honeymoon suite, which is the owner's house and is sometimes used for families. 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.
Our ViewHakusembe 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.
Ideal length of stay: Two nights is ideal although most travellers are in transit and spend only one night at Hakusembe.
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.
Owner: Peter Williamson
Staff: Lena Mudge – General Manager
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 19.00 and 21.00 as a three-course set menu. On our last visit we had chicken livers with rice for starters, followed by kudu steak and salads from the buffet.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: No drinks are included in the rates at Hakusembe Lodge. Typical costs for drinks, noted on our last visit in 2010, were: 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.
Attitude towards children: Families with children of all ages are welcome at Hakusembe River Lodge.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
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.
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 but none in the rooms.
Health & safety
Malarial area: Yes
Medical care: The closest doctor or hospital is in the town of Rundu, just 10km from the lodge.
Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk
Fire safety: Each chalet at Hakusembe River Lodge is fitted with a fire extinguisher.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: A daily laundry service is available at extra cost, excluding weekends and public holidays
Money: No currency exchange is possible