Reviews of Fish River Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Great views but disappointing & underwhelming
Stunning location. In good weather would probably seem much more inviting. Hot water bottles at night a nice and very necessary touch.
Weather was cold and staff failed to light the central fires in the morning and during the day, despite the issue having been raised with them. Doors and windows very poorly sealed against the biting wind. Supposed to offer ear plugs for the wind noise but they had run out. Staff not engaged or appearing to be happy in their work. Lack of sufficient seating in the lounge area. Food at breakfast served cold.
Access to the lodge very difficult and road really not suitable for standard saloon vehicles. At least one was badly damaged during our short stay. You must advise your clients of this. Our least favourite place of our stay.
Wonderful experience at Fish River Lodge
The location is perfect. Stunningly beautiful.
Dining/guest area very spacious.
Food very good.
Staff attitude excellent-concerned when things went wrong with two leaking hot water bottles.
4WD drive tour with guide "Polis" to the bottom of the Canyon was very good.
Our only observations (and we understand that due to ownership this may be difficult to resolve) is that when you have done the two rim walks and Canyon trip that is it unless you are prepared to drive and pass over the very rough 19 kms access track again.
Eco rooms on the edge of the windy canyon
Quite a taxing 20km drive from the main road - we're told you can make it in a 2 wheel drive vehicle if you are willing to try, but we were grateful for 4WD.
The staff were lovely and the walking tour (we didn't feel up to the 7 hour canyon trip) along the canyon rim was good. There's not much food choice but considering how difficult it is to get here, that's not too surprising. The rooms are quite plain, in line with the eco credentials.
Be warned: earplugs are standard issue with the room key because the wind whistles up from the canyon and around the rooms most evenings and nights. The earplugs are only needed if the noise gets particularly bad or you are particularly sensitive - we managed two nights without needing them.
Great views and the staff danced and sang for the guests one evening - much better than TV!
Lodge in breathtaking location
This lodge is in a stunning location that takes your breath away and was one of the highlights of our trip.
We chose not to do the guided tour having spent the previous day in the car and did one of the recommended walks around the rim of the canyon and are so pleased that we did.
Fish River Lodge review
what a place !!!!!!!!!!! words fail me, you MUST do this. The trip to to the canyon floor, and swimming in the pools. What is the point of going all the way to this place and not visiting the canyon floor. This is NOT a one night stay place.
Owned by Rockerfeller, I understand. Airstrip available if you want to fly in. The Toyota Landcruiser trip to the canyon floor is one hell of an experience. Must be done. Nine and a half out of ten. (Nothing is perfect)
Fabulouis views from a wonderful lodge
The view from our room was so spectacular it took our breath away. The room was quite simple and bare but we did not care! The lodge and facilities were very good and the staff were friendly, helpful and attentive. The food was good and all the meals were enjoyable.
We enjoyed an easy walk for 2 hours by ourselves along the cliff top through glorious quiver trees, aloes and many birds. We used this stop as a relaxing break so did not try out the more arduous activities. Wonderful clear starry night with no moon - but not cold.
The gravel D463 from the B4 was excellent but the19 km access was rocky and very slow (about 1 hour) and in places hard going in a 2 wheel drive although always passable.
What a view.
I have to confess that having driven nearly 100km along a gravel road, then negotiated the 19km driveway to this lodge I was rather nervous that this would have been worth the effort. I need not have worried as the first thing that greets you on arrival is the quite incredible view from the main building out over Fish River Canyon.
The main building is where meals are served and you meet for the various optional activities. The rooms themselves are individual chalets perched on the edge of the cliff, each with an equally amazing view. They are described as minimalist but are totally acceptable for most travellers. the beds were comfortable and there was even an outside shower. A door on the toilet would have been a welcome feature as it does intrude on one's privacy ever so slightly.
Meals were generally pretty good although the steak on the first night was a little chewy when compared to the fantastic meat we had tasted in SA. On the whole though the food and wine choice was perfectly acceptable. What set this place apart though, aside from the view, was the warmth and friendliness of the staff. The hotel manager spends a while at each table each evening and discusses feedback and life in general; this is a really nice touch. The remainder of the staff performed a group sing song which although it sounds cheesy, was absolutely brilliant and wonderful entertainment.
We didn't carry out any of the activities other than a self guided walk, as we were quite tired and did not fancy a 7 hour driving tour after the long journey to get to the lodge. To get the best out of this lodge you really need to stay at least two nights. A party of pensioner adventurers arrived on a coach one tea time and only stayed the one night. Luckily we had two and could quite happily have stayed more.
Great stay at Fish River Canyon
We stayed at the lodge on the first and last nights, with three nights camping in the upper parts of the canyon.
First the lodge - getting there up the 20km track was interesting in parts; we wondered whether the two wheel drive would be OK, but it was actually fine. The location of the lodge is superb, on the edge of the canyon, and the rooms are very nice. There was one minor issue with the rooms - it was very windy when we were there, and the noise of that wind over and round the lodges rooms was such that residents were offered ear plugs! It is clearly a consequence of the architecture, but it didn't in any way spoil our enjoyment.
The staff were friendly and helpful without exception, and they had a surprise for us on our first evening - a birthday/anniversary cake presented by all the staff, accompanied by singing and dancing. Brilliant, and the staff all clearly enjoyed presenting it.
The four day hike up the upper reaches of the Fish River Canyon was excellent. The walking was easy, i.e. not particularly strenuous and OK for anyone with moderate fitness. Our Guide, Desi was great fun, knowledgeable and good company. Likewise the camp crew. With Desi we learnt a lot about animal tracks, droppings, animals, plants and the geology of the area. It was just the two of us and Desi on the walk, the camps being prepared and moved by the camp crew and their pick-up truck. Camp? We were in a tent, which had camp beds, sheets, duvets and a side table. Nearby was a bush shower, and the camp crew had plenty of hot water ready f or us when we arrived at in the late afternoon. And we had a chemical toilet too. Dinner was at a table with cloth, napkins and lamplight, and comprised a full three course meal almost to the standard of the main lodge restaurant! And all with the Milky Way in all its brilliance overhead. Breakfast was also of a similar standard. On a practical note, it was heading towards mid-winter and the nights were cold, so we certainly used our thermal underwear as pyjamas. But the days were glorious, almost too hot at times. Walking, we didn't expect to get near any animals, but we did see a good range of antelope and zebra, and Desi spotted a horned Adder, which was a treat to see.
The whole walk was great, but it was in the upper reaches of the canyon, and not to be confused with the five day walk down into the deeper part of the canyon to Ai Ais. Our original intention was to do the latter, and it was only when we actually got to the lodge that we realised we were to be going up river and not down - perhaps we had not paid attention to Sabina, because we had been wondering how the camp and catering would work when we knew access is more or less non existent on the walk to Ai Ais. Although we were a little disappointed that we did not go down-river into the deeper canyon, we really enjoyed the walk we did. The important thing is to make clear to customers that this walk is not the one down the canyon, but that it has other attributes: bags are carried; meals are provided, the scenery is different and (probably) more varied; there may be a wider range of wildlife. (This is not a complaint, by the way - we would recommend the walk to anyone - it just needs to be clear what walk it is).
Fish River Lodge review
Room noisy in the wind and no mosquito nets so bitten at night.Read more about the whole safari
Perched on the edge
There can be few places in the world which are so remote yet which have such a stunning view - Fish River Lodge is perched literally on the edge of the spectacular canyon of the same name. The rooms consist of individual chalets which are spacious and well appointed but which lack the charm of some of the tented and thatched camps.
The food and the service was good. We enjoyed a sundowner at one of the best viewing points and this was truly excellent and well organised by a very capable guide John.
Apart from the Fish River canyon the Lodge is approached along a winding track through spectacular remote scenery with occasional glimpses of wild animals.