Fish River Lodge

Fish River Lodge: Our full report

Rooms
20 chalets
Traveller's rating
Excellent (95%) From 21 reviews
Open
All year

Perched on the western rim of Fish River Canyon, Fish River Lodge lies within the Canyon Nature Park, a privately owned reserve of 450km² which includes a 75km stretch along the canyon's edge. The lodge's dramatic location gives spectacular views across the Fish River Canyon.

Surrounded by a grove of kokerboom trees, the lodge offers 20 spacious rooms with stone walls, flat roofs and floor-to-ceiling glass doors, giving fantastic views of the canyon and its intriguing rock formations. The rooms all have large, uncluttered en-suite bathrooms with his-and-hers washbasins, and indoor and outdoor showers so you can 'shower with a view'. Much of the furniture and accessories are made by the local people, giving the lodge an authentic blend of traditional and modern design. Each room also has a veranda overlooking the canyon, perfect for watching the sun set over the sheer cliffs.

When not exploring the park, you can relax in the communal area of the lodge. Cool off from the heat of the day with a refreshing swim overlooking the canyon and a drink in the bar. In winter, dine on delicious home-cooked food in front of a cosy fire. On warmer evenings, enjoy a candlelit dinner or sundowner on the terrace or spend the evening gazing at the stars.

Activities offered from Fish River Lodge include an evening scenic drive to watch the sunset over a glass of champagne, and a full-day canyon drive. This guided excursion involves descending a very bumpy route into the canyon by 4WD to have a picnic lunch by the permanent rock pools on the Fish River. There are a few short walks available from the lodge. On our last visit here in June 2011 we did a short walk along the canyon rim, and found it to be very enjoyable with lots of photo opportunities. However, guests hoping to visit the view points on the eastern side of the canyon rim will find these a very long drive from Fish River Lodge – if you wish to visit these it is better to stay at one of Canyon Village, Canyon Lodge or Canyon Roadhouse.

For the serious walker Fish River Lodge offers a guided three-night expedition into the canyon with your own private guide and chef. Your guide will point out the most interesting features of the canyon and the plants and animals found there.

As well as the spectacular scenery, it is also possible to spot wildlife in the park, including zebra, kudu, oryx, springbok and baboon and many species of bird, including the black eagle.

Our view

For its location on the edge of Fish River Canyon, Fish River Lodge is unrivalled. While the minimalist style of the lodge may not be to everyone's taste, the views are spectacular, there are photo opportunities aplenty, and the chance to explore the canyon itself is an added bonus.

Geographics

Location: Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Ideal length of stay: 2–3 nights, or 5 nights if hiking into the canyon

Directions: Fish River Lodge is signposted from the D463, which joins the B4 past Seeheim. The access track from the D463 is very winding and bumpy, with some steep slopes. We have driven this in a small 2WD car and it was fine, but we would advise taking it slowly and allowing plenty of time.

Accessible by: Self-drive

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Half Board

Food quality: We found the food at Fish River Lodge to be of a high standard.

For breakfast a buffet of cereals, bread, jams, juice, tea and coffee was served, with hot dishes made to order. The lunch menu consisted of a choice of light meals such as salads, frittatas and light pasta dishes.

Tea, coffee and cake are served at around 4.00pm, depending on the time of year.

Dinner is a three-course set menu with a choice of main courses. On our last visit we ate butternut soup, followed by stir-fried beef and vegetables and finished with brandy pudding, all of which was very tasty.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Drinks included: Drinks are charged extra.

Special interests

Walking: For those after more serious walking in Namibia, Fish River Lodge offers a 74km guided canyon hike during between Apr– Oct. With an experienced guide and chef, the first night is spent at the lodge, with 3 nights camping and 4 days hiking.

See more ideas for Walking in Namibia

Children

Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Fish River Lodge.

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

Special activities & services: None

Equipment: None

Notes: Expert Africa does not recommend Fish River Lodge for children under 12. It is located very close to the edge of Fish River Canyon, with no fences or barriers between the lodge and the edge, and it thus presents a serious safety risk.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Generator

Communications: There is full cellphone reception at Fish River Lodge, but there are no phone or internet facilities available for guests. However, the lodge receives a short update of world news each day which is printed and put in the main area for guests to read.

TV & radio: None

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: No

Medical care: The nearest doctor is in Keetmanshoop, which is most quickly reached by plane. A first-aid box is available at the lodge.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: The lodge is remote so there are no guards or gate.

Fire safety: A fire extinguisher is located in every room.

Extras

Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: A laundry service is available for an extra charge.

Money: No currency exchange is available at the lodge.

Accepted payment on location: Visa and MasterCard are accepted here.