Khowarib Lodge: Our full report
Khowarib Lodge is nestled on the banks of the Hoanib River where it runs through the dramatic Khowarib Gorge ...... in north-west Namibia. Rustic yet comfortable, the lodge is well situated for travellers who want to explore this spectacularly remote corner of the country.
The lodge is framed by craggy mountains, with the Khowarib Gorge creating an impressive backdrop to the main area. Guarded by giant iron masks, the mid-section of this large thatched structure forms a viewing platform overlooking the gorge and the riverbed. There is a dining area to one side and a lounge to the other, an incredible spot for watching black (Verreaux’s) eagles nesting in the surrounding cliffs, as well as waterbirds such as the blacksmith lapwing or Egyptian goose. Each space is well designed and has lots of extra touches such as a small library, a bar made from raw materials and local artwork on the walls. Attentive and friendly staff from the nearby village provide excellent service, something that we particularly appreciated when we stayed in October 2018.
A short walk from the main area, and towards the river bank, Khowarib’s 14 tented rooms are sheltered beneath a canopy of acacia, leadwood and jackalberry trees, with the gurgle of the river a few metres below. The tents themselves, elevated on platforms jutting out from the riverbank, are rustic in style, built from green canvas and solid poles. Each is simply but stylishly furnished with twin or double beds, and mains electricity allows for comforts such as fans and a mini-fridge. Open to the sky at the back is a stone-walled enclosure with a toilet, shower and twin basins.
Between the rooms and the main area is a small but swimming pool, much needed in the hotter months towards the end of the year. It’s surrounded by a green lawn and a perimeter of trees – a slight shame as it doesn’t make the most of the area’s stunning views.
There is water in the Hoanib River here year round, fed by natural springs upstream, so there's always plenty to see from the camp in terms of birdlife and even some animals. In addition, Khowarib Lodge offers a range of activities including excursions in search of desert-adapted elephants, rhino tracking, nature walks, half-day birding drives, day trips to the Twyfelfontein rock engravings and visits to a local Himba village. Additionally, about 10km further north of Khowarib, is the Ongongo Waterfall (day visit N$50), where a seasonally deep and clear pool is fed by a small waterfall, and is a wonderful place for a swim. Further afield, longer multi-day safaris can be booked in advance with Caesar Zandberg, co-owner of Khowarib Lodge and one of Namibia's well-known guides.
Khowarib Lodge is a comfortable and well-run lodge in an incredibly scenic area of Namibia. Its main draws are its remoteness and the rugged mountain terrain, but once you’re ensconced here, it’s the small touches that make Khowarib really special, such as the beer glasses kept in the deep freeze.
- Damaraland, Namibia
- Ideal length of stay
- Expert Africa would recommend two to three nights at Khowarib Lodge, allowing you to make the most of the area.
- Khowarib Lodge is located 1km to the east of the C43, the main road from Palmwag to Sesfontein.
- Accessible by
- Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board
- Food quality
- On our last visit to Khowarib Lodge in October 2018 we were very taken with the food, and were impressed with the offerings given the remote location of the lodge.
For dinner – which can be served inside or out – we had a starter of tuna, cheese and pepper tart, followed by a main of pepper steak, mashed potatoes and mixed veg. Dessert was a rather basic sponge and custard.
The following morning there was a good selection of cereals and fruits for breakfast and freshly baked bread and muffins, as well as a large choice of teas and fresh coffee. Cooked breakfast items are also available, such as bacon, sausages, grilled tomatoes or mushrooms and eggs cooked a variety of ways.
- Cultural experiences
- Khowarib Lodge is superbly located for cultural interactions with Namibia’s iconic Himba tribespeople. Despite their semi-nomadic existence, Khowarib has a good track record of genuine interactions between guests and the inhabitants of the surrounding Himba villages.
- See ideas for Cultural experiences
- Attitude towards children
- Children are welcome at Khowarib Lodge.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Khowarib Lodge
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Khowarib Lodge have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- Water supply
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Dangerous animals
- Moderate Risk
- Fire safety
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Not included.
Other lodges in Damaraland
Alternative places to stay in this same area.