Canon Village has a beautiful location near Fish River Canyon...
Canyon Village: Our full report
Close to the Fish River Canyon, Canyon Village (aka Canon Village, or Cañon Village) is beautiful located at the base of a number of bare rocky hills, or kopjies, in the middle of a vast rocky landscape. Although the lodge is modern, a traditional feel comes from a series of beautifully painted murals that depict various scenes from when the Nama people used to inhabit the region.
Canon Village is popular with large groups, which may not suit some independent travellers, while others may like the busier atmosphere. Its 42 chalets are all comfortable if quite basic. Each is built of stone and cement under thatch, and is perfectly functional and well-designed. Expect twin beds with mosquito nets and bedside lights, a wooden chest, a small table and chair, and a wooden wardrobe. Apart from a couple of hand-woven Ovambo baskets, the only other decoration is a hand-painted mural above the bed.
The windows of the chalets have mesh screens to keep out insects and mosquitoes, whilst letting in the breeze. A rotating electric fan helps in cooling the air, while during the winter months additional blankets are provided for the beds.
Leading off the bedroom is a spacious en-suite bathroom with hot-and-cold shower, washbasin with soap dispenser and mirror, but there are no electric points in the bathrooms.
The b>main areas of Canyon Village are cool and airy, with the occasional bird flying in and out through the open windows. When we last visited in June 2011, we were so warmly received by the staff that on our last day we wanted to put off our departure as long as possible – the sort of hospitality that really makes a difference.
Right in the centre of the lodge, and rather unexpected, is a coffee house, where the team makes tea and coffee throughout the day and into the evening, accompanied by home-baked biscuits and cake.
The dining tables in the restaurant are well-spaced around the coffee shop, allowing a feeling of privacy during meals. We found the waiting staff to be friendly and helpful, yet non intrusive. As you choose your food at the buffet, don't miss the spectacular back wall, built around natural boulders like those that make up the surrounding hills. There's even a huge rounded boulder that almost obscures the public toilets!
There is a lovely bar area just off the restaurant. Here there are comfortable bar stools, and occasionally a CD of Namibian music is played to set the mood. The lodge also boasts a very well-stocked curio shop, including a range of gifts and colourful sarongs as well as practical necessities such as sunscreen.
Although Canyon Village does not have a designated lounge, they do have a lovely large, shaded outside area. This is furnished with long tables and benches and is a good place to sit and enjoy your surroundings. Built around some boulders there's also an open-side 'lapa' under thatch, where barbecue dinners are served every Tuesday.
The swimming pool at Cañon Village is set relatively far away from the rooms and main area, so guests can chat and splash about without disturbing others. An honesty bar at the pool area saves you having to walk back to the main area for a cool drink.
Activities at Canon Village are similar to those at the nearby Canon Lodge, and include guided and self-guided walking trails, horseback rides, canyon drives and sundowner drives. Alternatively guests can just relax by the pool and take in the surroundings. This area is at its most spectacular in the early morning and evening light – when the landscape glows a deep red.
Our viewCanon Village has a great location near to Fish River Canyon, allowing self-driving guests to explore the area on their own. The lodge is often frequented by groups, but don't let this put you off as its friendly service, pretty views and welcoming staff make it a good place to base yourself to explore this area of Namibia.
Ideal length of stay: 2–3 nights
Directions: The turn-off to Canon Village is situated on the C37, about 12km south of the turn-off to Hobas and the main viewpoint for Fish River Canyon. From here the lodge is about 2km to the east.
Owner: Lodge Management Company.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: The food at Cañon Village when we visited in June 2011 was delicious and varied, beautifully presented, and with a good selection at all meals, including a variety of hot dishes as well as fresh salads. Fresh produce hails from their self-sufficiency centre at Canyon Lodge.
Breakfast is a buffet, with a variety of fresh fruit, cereals, cold meats and yoghurts. The dairy produce is particularly special as it's produced at Canon Village's sister lodge, Canon Lodge. You can also order a cooked breakfast from the kitchen.
Lunch can be ordered from an à la carte menu which includes a variety of international cuisine. Snacks such as salads, sandwiches and chips are available as well as full meals.
For dinner, there are usually a couple of choices for starter and dessert, which are both served to your table. The main course is a buffet with a number of options available. When we were there our starter was a choice between vegetable fritters on layered melon and shredded lettuce, or brown lentil soup, whilst the main buffet offered a choice of fresh vegetables, good game meat from their own butchers', and fresh salads.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15
Drinks included: Drinks at Canon Village are at an additional cost.
Family holidays: Canon Village is an informal lodge with lots of space for children to play. There is a lovely pool area and fun walking trails around the lodge that families can participate in together. The nearby Canon Lodge also offers family activities such as horseriding and nature drives.See more ideas for Family holidays in Namibia
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Canon Village
Property’s age restrictions: None
Special activities & services: Children can participate in activities at the nearby Canon Lodge, including horseriding, nature drives and trips to see farm animals at the self-sufficiency centre, and perhaps to help out in the garden.
Equipment: The Canon Village does not have cots or highchairs.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: Children must be looked after by their parents at all times.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: The main reception area at Canon Village has phone and fax facilities for guests to use. For international calls, Flexi-call cards (Namibia's equivalent of pre-paid phone credit), sold at the lodge, and can be used from any landline/public phone.
TV & radio: There is no radio or television at the Canon Village.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: The nearest hospital is in Keetmanshoop. In case of an emergency, guests can be airlifted to Windhoek from the airstrip at Canon Lodge, which is 2km away.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: There are no security guards on duty at Canon Village, but all of the rooms have keys so that guests can lock their doors.
Fire safety: Although there are no fire extinguishers in the rooms, there are fire blankets in the kitchen in the main lodge area and fire extinguishers in the restaurant.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Yes, but at an extra charge, and only for guests staying two nights or more. Laundry that is handed in on the day of arrival will be returned to guests the following day.
Money: Canon Village is not licensed to exchange foreign currencies, but we understand that they hope to be able to extend this service to their guests in the future. They do not exchange travellers' cheques.
Accepted payment on location: Travellers' cheques are not accepted as a method of payment, but Canon Village accepts Visa, American Express and MasterCard payments, but not travellers' cheques. Cash payments may be made in Namibian dollars and South African rand.