Canyon Roadhouse: Our full report
Canyon Roadhouse (previously known as Canon or Cañon Roadhouse), stands 25km from Namibia’s Fish River Canyon ...... within the 1,270km² Gondwana Canyon Park. With a fun and quirky design inspired by 1950s’ American diners, Roadhouse makes a convenient base for visiting the canyon, as well as a good pitstop en-route, with a fuel station and extensive all-day food menu.
Of the three properties within Gondwana Cayon Park, which also include Canyon Lodge and Canyon Village, Canyon Roadhouse was our favourite on our last visit in May 2018.
The 24 en-suite rooms here are built in blocks around a couple of small courtyard gardens featuring desert-adapted plants such as the mopane aloe, Euphorbia gregaria, and small quiver trees. Simply furnished, yet cool, light and comfortable, all the standard rooms have twin beds beneath a large mosquito net, a small table and chair, and a low armchair. Air conditioning, electronic safes and tea- and coffee-making facilities are useful extras. Bathrooms have a flush toilet, hot/cold shower and a washbasin with a mirror above it. Because the rooms share internal walls, you do hear quite a lot of noise from the adjoining rooms and their plumbing.
Furnished and equipped in similar style to the standard rooms are two spacious family rooms where you’ll find another single bed, with the option of a fourth bed on request.
Canyon Roadhouse has no separate lounge area, but there's plenty of seating in the imaginative and very quirky restaurant, which is filled with old cars, trucks and car parts. Look around and you'll spot some wonderful finds from yesteryear, such as a beaten copper kettle on an old gas-burning stove, as well as some newer yet still surprising features. Sit indoors or outside on the patio, depending on the weather, or head for a stool at the nearby bar. There is free WiFi throughout and a large shop with a wide selection of African curios and a handy ATM.
On our last visit we took advantage of the facilities at Roadhouse, as many passing travellers do, to re-fuel our car and enjoy a superb milkshake from the kitchen. It is certainly a convenient stop in a remote part of the country, and although this can lead to it feeling quite busy during the day, we felt that this suits the lodge’s buzzy vibe.
Like the rest of the lodges in the Gondwana Collection, Roadhouse is conscious of reducing waste, and recycles its water to tend the garden. It also has its own small vegetable and herb garden, used in preparation of meals..
The swimming pool is a short walk from the main lodge, up a few steps. From its slightly raised vantage point above the surrounding natural bush, you can swim or relax on a sunlounger while taking in the scenery.
Guests at Canyon Roadhouse can explore the surrounding area in their own vehicle (conveniently, the lodge has a small fuel station), but if you prefer, you can take part in various organised activities. Often taken in conjunction with guests from its sister properties, Canyon Village and Canyon Lodge, these include morning or afternoon nature drives with one of the lodge's guides, sundowner drives and self-guided walking trails.
Although its a little way from the Fish River Canyon, Canyon Roadhouse is still a good, relatively inexpensive choice for exploring this area. It is a quirky, informal and relaxed lodge with attentive staff, where time seems to stand still.
Country manager: Namibia
- Fish River Canyon, Namibia
- Ideal length of stay
- 2-3 nights
- Canyon Roadhouse is 15km along the C37 (the main gravel road leading to Hobas and the Fish River Canyon) and is clearly signposted in bold white paint on a rusted old pick-up truck.
Guests arriving by air will land at Canyon Lodge airstrip, just 8km away.
- Accessible by
- Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Bed & Breakfast
- Food quality
- Although we didn’t have time to eat here on our last visit in May 2018 we thoroughly enjoyed our milkshakes, and on previous occasions have been impressed by the food here. The kitchen is generally able to cater for specialist dietary needs provided adequate notice is given.
The breakfast buffet incorporates cereals, fruits and a full English breakfast, plus fruit juices, coffee and tea.
Lunch and dinner are both informal meals, served from an extensive and varied diner-inspired à la carte menu. In May 2016, we enjoyed a cheese-and-tomato toastie with chips and salad from a light snack menu for lunch. At dinner , we opted for a huge hake fillet with rice, and a delicious chocolate cake for dessert.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor and Outdoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Drinks included
- Drinks are at an extra charge, to be paid at the lodge.
- Attitude towards children
- Children are welcome at Canyon Roadhouse
- Property’s age restrictions
- Special activities & services
- There are no specific activities here for children, but the lodge does have a lovely big pool.
- Canyon Roadhouse has cots and highchairs for children which can be arranged on request.
- Generally recommended for children
- We felt the informal atmosphere would suit families with young children well.
- Children must be kept under parental supervision at all times, not least as the pool is unfenced and with no lifeguard.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Canyon Roadhouse
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Canyon Roadhouse 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.
- Power supply notes
- There is a generator back-up incase of mains power failure.
- Guests can make telephone calls via the internet using phone cards, which are sold at the lodge. There is free WiFi in the main areas.
- TV & radio
- There is no TV or radio
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- All bathrooms have plentiful hot running water and flush toilets.
Finding creative new uses for recyclable items
Situated within the scenic Gondwana Canyon Park, visitors to Canyon Roadhouse can admire an environment restored to its former self through income generated from the lodge. As part of the leading brand in Namibian eco-tourism, The Gondwana Collection, Canyon Roadhouse’s sustainability efforts can be mostly seen it its innovative and creative approach towards solid waste recycling.
The lodge’s use of vintage ‘wheelers’ as décor is a recycling initiative aimed at celebrating the region’s driving heritage, and includes fireplaces made from vintage cabs and a truck reception desk. Additionally, waste not reused is sorted and sent for recycling. Most recently, glass waste is collected and put through new glass crushing machines able to grind an estimated 120-150kg of glass an hour into sand. This can be further used for making bricks or as a mixture with cement from which items such as table tops and tiles can re-used or sold. Through this initiative, the park hopes to become self-sufficient when conducting small construction work projects. Furthermore, Canyon Roadhouse hopes to be able to use the glass crusher technology as an income generator for disadvantaged and marginalized communities in neighboring areas.
With a constant commitment to sustainable operations, it is therefore no surprise that Canyon Roadhouse holds the highest accreditation by Eco Awards Namibia, together with a Fair Trade Tourism certification.
See more great sustainability projects in Namibia
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The nearest doctor is in Keetmanshoop, but in an emergency guests will be flown to Windhoek.
- Dangerous animals
- Low Risk
- Security measures
- There are no security guards on duty.
- Fire safety
- There are no fire extinguishers in the rooms, but we were told that they are located near the office and main lodge area.
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry service is possible for an extra charge.
- There are small safes in each of the rooms.
- Accepted payment on location
- You can use both Visa and Mastercard here, as well as Namibian dollars or South Africa rand in cash. Travellers' cheques in South African rand are also accepted.
Other lodges in Fish River Canyon
Alternative places to stay in this same area.