Reviews of Canyon Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
It's a long way down
Because we had booked very late (having expected to be at Fish River Lodge) our rooms were almost at the end of the resort (nos 27 and 30 of 30). It was therefore a very long walk to and from the central facilities and a long haul with luggage.
The rooms were fine but not much space outside - rather cramped little pathways and no real terrace to sit out and look at the strange rock formations or watch the sunsets which were very impressive
We took the trip to the Canyon as a foursome which was OK, but rather expensive for what was on offer - the trip in an old vehicle and about an hour there, then a drive back.
Breakfasts were something of a trial as the staff did not seem to appreciate how much some people ate. Many items ran out very quickly and refilling did not seem to be a priority. As an example, the fresh fruit salad had all gone within a few minutes of service starting one morning and it took almost half an hour before a small bowl of tinned tomatoes replaced the salad! Not much good with Corn Flakes.
We took a walk around the site and found a substantial development project underway which looks as though it will significantly increase the size of the place and the numbers of people staying - we hope the central facilities are to be expanded accordingly.
Great fun. The 'hobbit house' we had amongst the granite boulders was lovely.
The food in the restaurant was good too, and the staff very helpful. The star was Fritz, the chief guide (and main mover behind the organisation of the place). His knowledge was prodigious, and he was really good company. He gave us a first rate tour of the Fish River Canyon, with an in-depth account of the geological history that I (as a professional geologist) couldn't fault.
He persuaded us it was safe to drive down to the Orange River, which turned out to be one of the best drives of the holiday, albeit the most lonely (we didn't see another person or car until we got to the road along the Orange River, and only saw 6 other vehicles in 260km).
Canyon Lodge review
Wonderful location - we got the room/bungalow that was in all the postcard pictures so impressive views! Staff very pleasant and helpful and made the stay great.
Took the opportunity to be taken to the Canyon by John, one of the guides and it was great to talk to him about the geology and fauna which was very informative. Food good.
Among the rocks at Canyon Lodge
Fantastic location (we had a lodge facing the desert) and very helpful staff. Good food, most of which is grown locally on the Lodge's own farm. enjoyed riding here on a rather sleepy mount and very friendly resident black cat liked our biscuits. Cold at night here in June and the open fire in the restaurant was most welcome.Read more about the whole safari
Canyon Lodge review
Canyon Lodge is quite a large lodge and because we arrived at the same time as several other guests we felt the welcome was a little impersonal. It was quite a drive from the lodge to Fish Canyon for sunrise and sunset photographs.
As we are keen photographesr it may have been better to stay at Grande View Lodge.
Canyon Lodge review
Canon Lodge was our longest drive, but worth making it for Fish River Canyon, and for the imaginative way chalets are scattered among the great boulders of the kopies.
The sundowner climb up on the kopie, and the sunrise walk out to the quiver trees were both of them enjoyable, well guided, and gave some great photo opportunities. Nice swimming pool as well, next to the palm tree: the new one now being built is on the other side of the lodge, still nearly the same distance away, and will give a similar chance to relax in a quiet place. Again, staff were helpful, efficient and charming.
We did drive down to Ai-Ais, but wished we hadn't. It is under reconstruction currently (we were asked politely to leave the building site), was stonkingly hot, and only the last few kms on the road had any real scenery.
Shaky start that ended well
We arrived in this wonderful location and were shown to a room that in no way resembled the picture we had seen on the website. This we queried with the management who told us that we were not booked into one of the rock lodges as we'd expected and paid for. We were in fact housed in what we were later told was the accommodation used for tour guides which was clean and adequate but not what was expected and was a poor start to the holiday.
We rang Sabina [Ed: at Expert Africa] who rang us back later having spoken to the local agent. Apparently there was a mix up with the booking but as there was no alternative accommodation at Canon Lodge or elsewhere we had to stay there. Fortunately the second night of our stay a rock lodge was available and we were able to move. It was not a good start to have to insist on speaking to the manager and to feel like second class citizens. even the staff seemed to be surprised that we were in a room prefixed by 'S'.
With regards to Canon Lodge - the food and hospitality were excellent. We did the early morning Canyon flight which was amazing and shoulld go highly recommended particularly in relation to value for money. The sundowner walks were very enjoyable as was the swimming pool but it was along way from the units. This is being addressed as a new pool is being constructed much closer to the rock units on the other side of the development.
Expert Africa comments
Expert Africa apologised to the guests for the confusion when they arrived at Canon Lodge. It is our standard policy to book our travellers into the bungalows. However, in this case when our ground handlers made the booking there were only standard rooms available and they were unaware of the difference so the information was not passed on. The problem was rectified when a bungalow became available and the guests were reimbursed for the inconvenience caused.
An easy drive to Canyon Lodge where we had the chalet under the capped rock shown in all the postcards and photographs. We sat on the veranda and looked out onto nothing but the kopjes and watched the sun go down. Bliss.
However, there was evidence that expansion is on the way. I do hope that the atmosphere will not be spoiled by increasing the size of the lodge.
The room was delightful and unusual. Every shower-room should have a boulder!
Coffee/tea ad lib was most welcome. Meals were excellent and service was good.
We did an evening drive with the guide who took us to a private part of the canyon we hadn't been able to visit on our own. Again this was informative and so pleasant to watch the sun going down over the kopjes with a sundowner drink in one's hand.
Since we had the 4 X 4 we took the opportunity to drive round the rim of the canyon to Eagle's Rock - didn't meet another car. This gave a different view of the canyon from the main viewing areas and the geology of the area could be seen quite well. Although the road was hairy in parts it was well worth the effort.
All in all a very enjoyable experience.
A room with a view !
There was nobody around when we arrived and we found it difficult to find reception. However, chalet 13 was the best with great views !
Lodge very well located to visit Fish River Canyon - yet another highlight.
Canyon Lodge review
Very busy place compared to the smaller camps. so that much more less personal.Evening meals were a bit of a scramble and there's not much in the way of seating for drinks/chat.
The flight organised over Fish River canyon was quite incredible & well worth the money.