Vogelstrausskluft is located near to Fish River Canyon...
Vogelstrausskluft Lodge: Our full report
Vogelstrausskluft Lodge lies within the 260km2 Vogelstrausskluft Reserve, which was formed in 2001 with a view to re-naturalising three former sheep and goat farms situated in the Fish River Canyon area. The lodge is built on the rise of a small hill, about 70km, as the eagle flies, north of the usual Fish River canyon viewpoints, making them a very long drive from the lodge. It's close to the site of the old Vogelstrausskluft farmhouse and overlooks an ancient river course which forms a grassy valley below.
The accommodation at Vogelstrausskluft Lodge is divided into 4 luxury suites and 20 standard rooms, grouped in five thatched buildings surrounding the main area. All are spacious and uncluttered, and fitted with air conditioning.
Each standard room has twin beds and a sitting area with leather sofas and an ottoman. The suites are a bit larger and fitted with two double beds. Dark wood and leather dominates the décor – the feel is reminiscent of a gentleman's club or smoking room. Sliding doors open out onto a small private patio with directors' chairs, from which you can enjoy views of the valley below. All the rooms are en suite, and the suites have a separate corner bath as well as a shower.
The design and layout of Vogelstrausskluft means that you can enjoy spectacular sunsets each evening whilst relaxing on the deck with a refreshing drink in hand. As you enter the main building, the first thing that strikes you is the dark wood, leather and beautiful stone tiles. A little different from other lodges in Namibia, and a nice feature, are the huge rattan lights hanging from the thatched ceiling.
The main building houses the huge dining room, the reception and a large lounge set out with plush leather sofas and wicker armchairs. There is also an unusual, well-stocked bar with a frame made out of large tree logs and a natural-wood bar counter.
A large mahogany deck extends out from the main building and offers great views of the valley and small waterhole below. Wrought-iron tables and chairs with shady umbrellas are dotted across the deck and a small infinity pool stands at one end, surrounded by sunloungers.
When we last visited Vogelstraussfkluft Lodge in June 2011, they were in the process of building an upmarket curio shop with a reading room and a small library and an internet corner on a level above the dining area.
Vogelstrausskluft recently added a 50-seater boma to the property, about 2km from the main building. This can be used for dinners when the weather is good, and is ideal for a large group.
The Fish River Canyon takes on a variety of forms. To the south is the deep gorge, part of which is a national park. Further north, where the Fish is joined by the Lowen River, there are the surrounding plateaux, the canyon rim and the canyon plains which are littered with small, yet deep, fissures and interesting rock formations. All these environments can be visited and explored from Vogelstrausskluft Lodge.
A variety of activities are offered here. Morning and afternoon nature drives lasting a couple of hours give you an idea of the immediate terrain and the scattered desert wildlife that might be seen here. It is also possible to join a full day 4WD excursion over canyon plains and down into the canyon's depths. This is a fairly long and hard drive and involves descending a very bumpy route into the canyon to have a picnic lunch by the permanent rock pools along the Lowen River, but various stops are made en route to visit several viewpoints, breaking the journey. Guided walks in and around the lodge are also offered, whilst longer two- or three-night camping packages in the Lowen River Canyon are available for more serious walkers.
Our viewVogelstrausskluft Lodge is a lovely lodge with great views and is a good base for exploring the upper reaches of Fish River Canyon. It is considerably further from the canyon than other lodges in the area, and therefore much less convenient for canyon visits, but don't let this put you off, as the comfortable rooms, welcoming hospitality and excellent food more than make up for it.
Ideal length of stay: We recommend a visit of two nights to Vogelstrausskluft Lodge in order to take part in the various activities which explore the diverse depths of the Lowen River Canyon.
Directions: Vogelstrausskluft Lodge is situated about 90km south-west of Keetmanshoop on the D463. After the small outpost of Seeheim, a drive of about 22km along the D463 brings you to the Feldschuhorn turn-off, from where it is another 2.5km to the lodge.
Owner: Lodge Management Company
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: The food at Vogelstrausskluft Lodge is strongly European with simple but well-presented and tasty dishes.
Breakfast is served between 7.00 and 9.00am and is made up of a selection of cereals, breads, yoghurt and fruit along with eggs cooked at your request.
Lunch usually takes the form of a picnic whilst on various activities. However there is a light selection offered at the lodge for those who are on a more relaxed holiday.
Dinner is normally served as a buffet between 7.00 and 9.00pm and is a three-course menu. On our last visit we thoroughly enjoyed broccoli and stilton soup, steak with mushroom sauce and parsley potatoes, and brandy pudding. Sometimes a braai is served and this can be requested.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: Drinks cost extra and are paid for locally.
Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are welcome at Vogelstrausskluft Lodge.
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions here.
Equipment: Highchairs and cots are available on request.
Generally recommended for children: No – Vogelstrausskluft does not have a huge amount to keep children occupied, and is a reasonably formal lodge.
Power supply: Generator
Communications: There is no cellphone reception in the rooms at Vogelstrausskluft. Phone, fax and internet facilities are available at reception and on request. Wifi is available throughout the main lodge.
TV & radio: None of the rooms are fitted with a TV or radio. There is a stereo in the main building that plays soft music in the bar area during the day and in the restaurant at meal times.
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: The closest hospital or doctor is in Keetmanshoop.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: None
Fire safety: Each chalet has a fire extinguisher
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Laundry is available at an extra charge.
Money: No currency exchange is available. There is a safe at reception.
Accepted payment on location: Visa and MasterCard are accepted forms of payment.