Taranga Safari Lodge

Taranga Safari Lodge: Our full report

Rooms
8 Tented Rooms
Traveller's rating
Good (75%) From 8 reviews
Children
Best for 8+
Open
All year

Taranga Safari Lodge is located 35km west of Rundu and Namibia’s Caprivi Strip, or Zambezi Region, on the banks of the Kavango River. The lodge is nestled amongst the trees of a riverine forest, close to Halili village, and offers views of the river and its floodplains.

The lodge offers eight tented rooms, all with excellent views of the Kavango River and across to Angola. As the lodge is so close to the village of Halili, don’t expect to see much wildlife, beside birds. Conversely, you are likely to get a glimpse into the lives of the local people, many of whom fish, swim and wash in the river in front of the lodge.

The rooms are split into two types:

  • Six ‘classic luxury’ tents are quite simple in design and décor. They have double or twin beds covered by mosquito nets, as well as a luggage rack, tea and coffee facilities and an electric fan. Through a zip door at the back is an en-suite bathroom, with a shower, single basin, mirror and toilet in an open-plan design. During our stay in June 2017 we found these tents to be relatively comfortable and functional, if a little dark. However, they were fairly rough around the edges, with some holes in the canvas sides, tired soft furnishings, and zipped doors that were a real struggle at times.

    The front of each tented room opens on to a covered deck, making the most of the views. A couple of directors' chairs and a table create an ideal spot for a drink or to relax with a book, but

    It is worth noting that the furthest tent is around 400m from the main area. This path was fairly badly lit at night, and one of the steps down the bank to our tent was broken, making it a slightly treacherous walk.

  • Two 'deluxe luxury' tents are set a little further away from the main area than the other tents, so benefit from added seclusion. They are also larger and more luxuriously appointed: the bedroom comes with a four-poster bed, a comfortable seating area, a coffee machine, an electric fan and a mini-fridge.

    The open-plan en-suite bathroom is significantly bigger too, and is brighter than that in the standard tents. Here you will find a shower, a separate bath and his and hers basins, while outside is a more spacious deck, with a table and chairs.
The tented main area at Taranga Safari Lodge houses the reception, a lounge, a bar and a small indoor dining area that suits days when the weather is not so good. The main area opens out onto a large deck with views across the lawns that roll down to the river. The deck offers several seating options and a firepit to enjoy drinks with other guests in the evenings. However, because of its proximity to the village and the road, it is not always the most peaceful spot. When we last stayed we could hear music from the village and the noise of cars travelling along the road.

To one side of the main area is Taranga's small swimming pool, and at the bottom of the lawn there’s the floating Kingfisher bar. Built on a pontoon on the river and opened by staff on request, it is a lovely spot to enjoy the river at sunset and perhaps to watch the local fishermen poling their mokoros around you.

Activities at Taranga focus primarily on the river, with both sunrise and sunset cruises, and fishing trips also available. This area is good for birders, although large game may be hard to come by. Rather disappointingly, our sunset cruise was cancelled because the guide did not return in time from a trip to the town.

Our view

Taranga works as a convenient stopover for a night at the start of a trip along Namibia's Caprivi Strip (now renamed the Zambezi Region). However, the tents feel in need of attention and although the staff were very friendly, they were slightly lacking in enthusiasm and in authority regarding the lodge’s activities.

Geographics

Location: Caprivi Strip, Namibia

Ideal length of stay: 1-2 nights.

Directions: Taranga Safari Lodge is situated 35km west of Rundu.

Accessible by: Self-drive

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Half Board

Food quality: When we stayed at Taranga Safari Lodge in July 2017, the food was fairly average, and the timings for breakfast in particular was a little late.

Breakfast was available only between 8.00am and 10.00am, which we thought was quite late for people wanting to get on the road early. Food was served as a buffet with various cereals, and cooked items kept warm in bain-maries.

Dinner was a three-course set menu and although the waitressing staff were very good we did not think the food was quite on the same level. We started with a vegetable frittata with lettuce and sweet chilli sauce. Our main course was beef stroganoff with rice, carrots, courgettes and beans, and pudding was a strawberry angel delight with a biscuit.

Dining style: Mixture of group dining and individual tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £5-10

Drinks included: Drinks are not included. The tap water at Taranga is not suitable for drinking, but bottled water is available.

Further dining info: Room service isn’t offered.

Children

Attitude towards children: Children of all ages are welcome

Property’s age restrictions: None

Special activities & services: None

Equipment: None

Notes: The lodge is close to the river and the pool is unfenced, so children will need supervision at all times.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Mains Electricity

Power supply notes: There is a generator for back up in case of a power failure.

Communications: There is free WiFi in the main area, although it was not working on our last visit.

TV & radio: None

Water supply: Other

Water supply notes: Water for showers and washing comes from the river.

Health & safety

Medical care: The nearest hospital is in Rundu 35km away. In an emergency, patients would be airlifted to Windhoek or South Africa for treatment.

Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk

Security measures: The Lodge is fenced and the gate Is locked at night.

Fire safety: Fire extinguishers can be found outside each tented room and in the main areas.

Extras

Disabled access: On Request

Money: Taranga doesn't offer currency exchange but there are banks and ATMs in Rundu.

Accepted payment on location: Visa, Mastercard and Maestro cards are accepted here, along with cash in South African rand and Namibian dollars.