Canyon Village: Our full report
Close to Namibia’s Fish River Canyon, Canyon Village (previously called Canon or Cañon Village) is beautiful ...... located at the base of a number of bare rocky hills, or kopjes, in the middle of a vast rocky landscape. Although the lodge is modern, a traditional feel comes from a series of attractive murals that depict various scenes from when the Nama people used to inhabit the region.
Just 1.5km from Canyon Lodge, within the private Gondwana Canyon Park, Canyon Village feels very different to this and its other sibling, Canyon Roadhouse. Its popularity with large groups may not suit some independent travellers, but others may like the busier atmosphere. Its 42 chalets are comfortable if relatively basic. Each is built of stone and cement under thatch, and is perfectly functional and well-designed. The windows have mesh screens to keep out insects and mosquitoes, whilst letting in the breeze. Air conditioning helps to cool the air in the hotter summer months, while during the winter additional blankets are provided for the beds.
Apart from a couple of hand-woven Ovambo baskets, the only other decoration is a hand-painted mural above the twin beds. You’ll also find mosquito nets and bedside lights, a safe, a wooden chest, a small table and chair, and a wooden wardrobe, while in the spacious en-suite bathroom are a hot-and-cold shower, washbasin with soap dispenser and mirror – but no electric points.
Three of the chalets are designed with families in mind and have inter-connecting doors between the rooms.
The main areas of Canyon Village are cool and airy, with the occasional bird flying in and out through the open windows. We couldn’t stay on our last visit, in May 2018, but on a previous occasion we were so warmly received by the staff that on our last day we wanted to put off our departure as long as possible – the sort of hospitality that really makes a difference.
Right in the centre of the lodge, and rather unexpected, is a coffee house, where the team serves tea and coffee all day and into the evening, accompanied by home-baked biscuits and cake.
The dining tables in the restaurant are well-spaced around the coffee house, giving a sense of privacy during meals despite the lodge’s size. We found the waiting staff to be friendly and helpful, yet non-intrusive. As you choose your food at the buffet, don't miss the spectacular back wall, built around natural boulders like those that make up the surrounding hills. There's even a huge rounded boulder that almost obscures the public toilets.
Just off the restaurant, in a lovely bar area with comfortable bar stools, a CD of Namibian music is occasionally played to set the mood. The lodge also boasts a very well-stocked curio shop, including a range of gifts and colourful sarongs as well as practical necessities such as sunscreen.
Although Canyon Village does not have a designated lounge, they do have a lovely large, shaded outside area. This is furnished with long tables and benches and is a good place to sit and enjoy your surroundings. Built around some boulders there's also an open-side “lapa” under thatch, where barbecue dinners are served every Tuesday.
The swimming pool at Canyon Village is set relatively far away from the rooms and main area, so guests can chat and splash about without disturbing others. Despite being unheated the pool is very much the place to be during the summer, judging by its popularity when we last visited. We are sure this is helped by the honesty bar, which saves you having to walk back to the main area for a cool drink.
Activities at Canyon Village are often taken in conjunction with guests from its sister properties, Canyon Lodge and Canyon Roadhouse, and include guided and self-guided walking trails, drives to the canyon and in the Gondwana Canyon Park incliding sundowner drives. Alternatively, you can just relax by the pool and take in the surroundings. This area is at its most spectacular in the early morning and evening light – when the landscape glows a deep red, and the opportunities for photography are excellent.
Canyon Village has a great location near to Fish River Canyon, allowing self-driving guests to explore the area on their own. The lodge is often frequented by groups, but don't let this put you off as its friendly service, pretty views and welcoming staff make it a good place to base yourself to explore this area of Namibia.
Country manager: Namibia
- Fish River Canyon, Namibia
- Ideal length of stay
- 2–3 nights
- Located in the Gondwana Canyon Park, Canyon Village is a short drive from Hobas and the main viewpoint for Fish River Canyon.
- Accessible by
- Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Half Board
- Food quality
- We didn't have time to eat at Canyon Village on our last visit in May 2018, but on previous stays the food was delicious and varied, beautifully presented, and with a good selection at all meals, including a variety of hot dishes as well as fresh salads. Much of the produce here comes from the Gondwana Collection’s farm at Kalahari Farmhouse.
Breakfast is a buffet, with a variety of fresh fruit, cereals, cold meats and yoghurts. You can also order a cooked breakfast.
Lunch is from an à la carte menu, which includes salads, sandwiches and chips, as well as full meals.
For dinner, there are usually a couple of choices for starter and dessert, which are both served to your table. The main course is a buffet with a number of dishes, including a vegetarian option. On a previous visit we enjoyed a choice between vegetable fritters on layered melon and shredded lettuce, and brown lentil soup to start. The buffet offered a choice of fresh vegetables, good game meat from their own butcher and fresh salads.
- Family holidays
- The informal Canyon Village has plenty of space for children to play, a lovely pool and fun adjacent walking trails to explore, making it a good addition to a family holiday to Namibia.
- See ideas for Family holidays
- Attitude towards children
- Children are welcome at Canyon Village
- Property’s age restrictions
- Special activities & services
- There are no specific provisions for young children here.
- Cots and highchairs can be arranged on request.
- Generally recommended for children
- With plenty of space and a relatively relaxed atmosphere we feel that Canyon Village suits families well.
- With an unfenced, unguarded pool we recommend that children are supervised at all times.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Canyon Village
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Canyon Village 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 back-up generator in case of mains power failure.
- There are phone facilities in the reception area for guests to use. There is no cell reception here. Free WiFi is available in the main area.
- TV & radio
- There is no radio or television at the Canyon Village.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- All rooms have hot and cold running water and flush toilets. The grey water from Canyon Village is pumped up to the Canyon Lodge water-recycling plant to help keep the gardens at both properties green.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The nearest hospital is in Keetmanshoop. In case of emergency, guests can be airlifted to Windhoek from the airstrip at Canyon Lodge, which is 2km away.
- Dangerous animals
- Low Risk
- Security measures
- There are no security guards, but all the rooms have keys so that guests can lock their doors.
- Fire safety
- Although there are no fire extinguishers in the rooms, there are fire blankets in the kitchen in the main lodge area and fire extinguishers in the restaurant.
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Yes, but at an extra charge, and only for guests staying two nights or more. Laundry that is handed in on the day of arrival will be returned to guests the following day.
- There is a safe in each room.
- Accepted payment on location
- Canyon Village accepts Visa and Mastercard payments, but not travellers' cheques. Cash payments may be made in Namibian dollars and South African rand.
Other lodges in Fish River Canyon
Alternative places to stay in this same area.