Mushara Lodge: Our full report
Just 8km from the eastern gate of Etosha National Park, in its own private reserve, the sizeable Mushara Lodge is designed for travellers who want to visit Etosha, whilst staying in a more comfortable place than the restcamps within the park. It offers well-appointed rooms and attentive service, and though it perhaps appeals most to self-driving travellers, it also offers guided game-viewing excursions into the national park.
On the same private reserve as Mushara Lodge are its sister lodges: the family friendly Mushara Bush Camp, the exclusive Mushara Outpost.
Mushara Lodge was most recently revamped during 2011, and on our recent visit in May 2013, we thought it was looking really good. All of the ten thatched chalets have been freshened up and are tastefully furnished. The décor of warm beiges and creams combines with stone floors and twin or double beds with crisp white linen beneath a mosquito net, to give a cool and bright feel. Each chalet is also equipped with air conditioning, a minibar/fridge, a safe, tea/coffee-making facilities, a direct-dial telephone, and a wardrobe with bathrobes, luggage rack and a hairdryer. All are en suite with showers only.
As well as the individual chalets there are a further three rooms, set in a block a short distance from the main area. Of these, two are quite spacious en-suite rooms facing the bush, each with a double bed, an open-plan en suite, and a patio with table and chairs. The third is a unit of two rooms sharing a toilet and shower, and accommodating up to three adults.
On the other side of the property is a family house, consisting of two separate en-suite bedrooms, a kitchen and a big lounge-cum-dining room, that continues the style and colour scheme of the rest of the lodge. Further amenities include a bathtub that is shared by the two rooms, and a small climbing frame in the garden. Despite the presence of a kitchen, guests staying here usually have their meals in the restaurant.
A pretty fountain fronts the entrance to Mushara Lodge’s large airy main area, which incorporates a curio shop, a lounge and a bar under a high thatched roof. The fireplace in the lounge area, lanterns hanging from the ceiling and comfy sofas add a warm and cosy feel. There’s a library with free WiFi too (or use the lodge’s computer at N$1.50 per minute). Meals are served in the adjoining restaurant, or in fine weather on the terrace, with fine wines and candlelit dinners available on request. On the lawn outside, sunloungers encircle a twinkling blue swimming pool.
Mushara Lodge offers guided game drives into Etosha National Park, but most guests arrive in their own vehicle, and so can easily drive themselves.
Mushara Lodge is a convenient base for those on a self-drive trip who wish to explore the eastern side of Etosha. It is a comfortable and welcoming lodge, which would appeal to families and those who like a little more comfort without being too flashy, and don’t mind being slightly detached from the bush surroundings.
Ideal length of stay: 2 nights
Directions: Mushara Lodge is located on the Mushara Reserve, just 8km from Etosha's eastern Von Lindequist Gate. It is well signposted from the gate.
Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Owner: Marc and Mariza Pampe
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: A buffet breakfast, served in the restaurant, includes the usual bread, toast, fruit, yoghurt and juice, as well as tea and coffee and a cooked breakfast to order. On our recent visit in May 2013, we had simply a fruit salad with yoghurt, coffee and some freshly baked muffins.
A light lunch menu includes options such as as toasted sandwiches, burgers, pasta and salads.
Dinner is an appetising three-course set menu, which in warmer weather is usually served on the patio. We started with spinach and feta cheese parcels with slow roasted tomatoes served with a tomato and oregano sauce. Our main course of Moroccan chicken with prunes, brown rice and vegetables was followed by crêpes suzette with vanilla ice cream and orange sauce.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: No drinks are included at Mushara Lodge.
Further dining info: No room service is available.
Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are welcomed at Mushara Lodge.
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions here.
Special activities & services: There is a play area at the family house and a childminder can be provided free of charge – although please note that the minder would be a local woman or staff member and won’t necessarily have any formal qualifications.
Equipment: Cots can be provided on request.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: Warthogs are usually seen munching on the grass at the lodge, and the area around the pool is not fenced so younger children need to be under supervision at all times.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Power supply notes: The lodge has a back-up generator.
Communications: There is good cellphone reception in the chalets and rooms, as well as a telephone. Internet access is available in the main area.
TV & radio: None
Water supply: Mains
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: The nearest doctor is in Tsumeb, around 100km from Mushara Lodge.
Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk
Security measures: The main entrance gate is locked from 8.00pm.
Fire safety: There is a fire extinguisher in every room.
Disabled access: In Place
Laundry facilities: A laundry service is available for an extra charge.
Money: Currency exchange is possible. There are safes in the chalets and rooms, for which keys are kept at reception.
Accepted payment on location: Cash payment may be made in US dollars, euros, Namibian dollars and South African rand. Credit cards (no Amex) and travellers’ cheques are accepted.