Zebra River Lodge stands in its own small canyon in the Zaris Mountains
Zebra River Lodge: Our full report
Set in its own canyon, Zebra River Lodge is a small, comfortable, former sheep farm with a friendly welcome. It is run by Elke and Peter Young who took over the lodge from its previous owners in August 2009.
Zebra River Lodge's 12 rooms are made of cooling stone. As well as the standard rooms, there's also a family room and a spacious honeymoon suite. Some of the guest rooms lead off a wide veranda around the fish pond, while the quieter rooms are located further away from the main building for extra privacy. Lovely old fashioned German furniture decorates the airy rooms. All have circular en-suite bathrooms with showers, one room has a bathroom 'cave' with a bath and shower, and the honeymoon suite has a huge stand-alone bath.
The main area feels cosy and welcoming, with a fireplace in the lounge where you can sit for afternoon coffee and homemade cookies. There's a large dining area and in warm weather guests can eat on the veranda out the front. Dinner is a three course affair with homecooked food and freshly baked bread every evening. The lodge is usually booked on a full board basis and so lunch, which is usually a cheese and meat platter, is included. From the lodge are gorgeous views of the mountains and the pretty gardens.
The activities at Zebra River Lodge are focused on exploring the local area, with a variety of walks, ranging in length and difficulty. Hiking trails all start from lodge and include the two and a half hour long Quivertree Trail, the five hour Canyon Way, and a day's hike to some springs. It is also possible to travel part the way there by 4x4 followed by a one and a half hour walk to the springs, where you can relax by the clear water. For those who wish to take advantage of the coolest part of the day and hike before breakfast, the lodge will give you a snack before you go and then serve a full breakfast for you on your return. Zebra River Lodge can provide a list of suggested walking trails, and advise you on the one that suits you best.
Other than walking, the lodge also offers sundowner trips and trips to Sossusvlei can be arranged on request. The farm is also of geological interest as some of the oldest examples of stromatolites and Namacalatus were found here. There are plans to build an information centre here for the geologists who love the area. Bird watchers may also be interested in the variety of birds found here (black eagles and rosy-faced lovebirds are resident favourites).
When we last visited Zebra River Lodge in April 2010, it was in the process of being renovated. The rooms were all being refurbished and promised to look spic and span with clean and fresh interiors. A new, much larger pool was being built to replace the smaller plunge pool which had been turned into a fish pond. The garden was being planted with colourful flowers and a vegetable garden. The renovations were due to be finished in January 2011.
Our viewZebra River Lodge is a very good-value destination. It's a relaxing and friendly place for those who wish to explore the flora and fauna of this location on exceptional walking trails.
Ideal length of stay: Zebra River Lodge makes a great stop for a minimum of two nights to hike - but many visitors stay a lot longer, to explore the mountains more, and to use it as a base for visiting the Sesriem area of the Namib Desert.
Directions: From Windhoek, follow the B1 south and take the C24 when you reach Rehoboth. Take the D1206 when it splits from the C24 and then cross the C14 at Bullsport onto the D854. From here, take the D850 on the left and follow it for 19km. The lodge is on the right, 5km along the track.
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Dining style: Group Meals
Dining locations: Indoor Dining
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Zebra River Lodge.
Generally recommended for children: Other than the swimming pool, there's not a huge amount to keep children amused here.
Notes: Children must be supervised at all times by their parents.
Power supply: Generator
Communications: Telephones and internet are available in the central area.
TV & radio: None
Health & safety
Malarial area: No
Medical care: The nearest doctor is in Rehoboth.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: The lodge is protected by its remote location.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: There are no laundry facilities here.
Money: No currency exchange is available here.