Reviews of Fish River Lodge
Wildlife sightings and reviews
58 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Fish River Lodge and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
This is a beautiful lodge created in a design that is fitting with the landscape. Stunning pool and very welcoming communal area and dining room. The two fires were very welcome given the temperature. Wi-fi was supposedly available for guests in the communal areas but did not work at all during our stay.
Personally we thought all of the food was of a very good quality and selection given their location. I would imagine that ordering and storing takes some creativity. The all day tea and coffee station was appreciated and cakes and fruit in the afternoon. All staff that we interacted with were very pleasant and personable, although in discussion some expressed that it was not an easy place to work at due to the lengthy months before rotating their time off.
Rooms were in keeping with the design and torches were provided for use when necessary. Our torch did not work and nor did the replacement so they may want to consider upgrading those. Flasks for hot water for refreshments in the rooms were provided and replenished in the dining room. When waiting for the shower water to warm buckets are provided to catch the water which is then used by housekeeping.
It was extremely cold and windy during our stay and we felt this in the room. We had warm weather clothing with us but still very much felt the cold not helped by the wind. The information provided in the room stated that both heaters and hot water bottles were available, however when I requested a heater I was advised that they did not have any, however they did provide us with hot water bottles for the bed.
We opted to take the half day drive down to the canyon which included a packed lunch at the bottom. The drive was interesting and rough as expected.
I do think that they could have made more of the lunch spot and packed lunch provided. When we finally reached that area we were simply handed a paper bag of snacks plus a drink of our choice and directed down to where they felt it would be nice to sit. Unfortunately this was not especially clear as the guide had gone ahead but did not really wait to make sure that we were all (four of us) happily and comfortably following and this is where my husband unfortunately slipped and hurt his ankle. This could probably have been avoided if the guide had taken the lunch leaving us both hands to assist with the rocky terrain. Carrying a small pack, plus having both hands occupied was not ideal.
My husband was in quite a lot of pain and on our return to the vehicle the guide removed all the ice from the cool box and put it around his foot and tied with a towel. I do feel that their first aid box should be better equipped with stronger bandages and checked before each trip as the guide seemed surprised that it was not better stocked. Prior to departure from the lodge you are asked to sign a waiver for injury/damage which is fine, but they may want to re-think the way the lunch stop is arranged in order to avoid similar happening to somebody else, and honestly it would have been nice if somebody (or even the guide) had later come to check that all was fine as it should have been noted by the guide. I went to the reception later to see if they had a better bandage but they did not.
This did hamper a few things over the next few days, but thankfully no significant activities were affected during the remainder of our trip. Whilst my husband was resting I did take a short walk along the rim which was nice and easily marked.
Sundowner was good and in a very nice spot but again rather challenging due to the wind.
All in all it was a mixed experience but we are glad that we had the opportunity to experience such a unique lodge and environment." See all these reviews: 22n in Namibia
"Fish River Lodge review"
"Fish River Lodge- on the edge"
Food delicious- with the best breakfast we had anywhere... Wonderful cocktails. Charming staff.
The sky at night is incredibly clear... star- gazing definitely another area of potential interest. And we would have loved to have had a film/ video of the geology etc of the canyon- something interesting to do after dinner. ( Apart from Hoanib, none of the other camps offered any such thing- a pity)
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Whilst staying here these travellers took part in the day drive in to the canyon and commented:
The rugged drive to the canyon is fairly hair raising and fun- the driver/guide impressively intrepid! BUT once at the canyon, with the river in full flood, it was very limited... it was simply a look at the water, a snack out of a paper bag, then the same very rocky route back. We were back by 1.30.
I think they could have made much more of the whole thing- with a bit of an effort at a more special lunch- perhaps set up at the hiking camp base where there was some shade.... overall I think they get a C for effort!
Rather disappointing." See all these reviews: 19n in Namibia
" disappointed couldn't do canyon "
pool was nice
food and service good
very disappointed we couldn't book the canyon drive for the following day as there were no space left. we were not the only ones who issed out either!!!!
they shouldn't offer this if they don't have enough vehicles or staff for everyone to do this.... why else would you be going there if not to see the canyon !!!!!!! only other thing you could do was a self guided walk on the rim....... not what we went there for...very disappointing!" See all these reviews: 15n in Namibia
"Fish River Lodge review"
"Fish River Lodge review"
However during our stay it was incredibly windy and all the doors and windows of our room rattled very noisily.
This place needs a bit of refurb, but it was good none the less." See all these reviews: 20n in Namibia
Many of the rooms were quite a walk from the dining area. I enjoyed the long walk but had to wear running shoes as the path is very stony. Food is variable but the staff try hard and are very friendly. We took the 6-7 hour jeep ride down to the canyon but later I wished I had hiked down as it took only a little longer. The group that hiked down then joined our group and returned with us up to the lodge by jeep. The jeep ride involved incredibly steep sections, but was fun, although the last 45 minutes or so of our return became tedious.
There are also 2 walks that one can do on one’s own which leave from the lodge. You walk along the rim in either direction and then back again. If you are planning to do only one of them do the one to the right as you face the canyon. It is the shorter one but the longer one involves a detour around another set of dwellings. We were told that the shorter one would take 1.5 hours but it took us only an hour and we were going quite slowly.
With regard to room choice, rooms stretch out on each side of the main buildings and one might think the furthest 2 chalets are the most private but they are not. Walkers leave from them and their patios were quite exposed so choose a room nearer the main building if you want privacy." See all these reviews: 13n in Namibia; 4n in South Africa
"Fish River Lodge"
We booked a full-day hike and enjoyed the descent into the canyon very much. We were however very annoyed to be told at the bottom that we would not be allowed to continue and had to return by jeep. Of course, one cannot challenge the decision of local guides (even if, as experienced walkers, we thought the decision wrong) but we had not been told that there was a risk of being thrown off the walk at the bottom, and we had paid the full amount.
We left Fish River Lodge feeling very bitter about the experience. So our Average covers an extremely mixed experience." See all these reviews: 16n in Namibia; 3n in South Africa
The drive from the main road is a bit tortuous in places and best done in a 4WD.
Could have done with a hot water bottle in the bed (as supplied at Hoodia and Erongo)! We travelled in July, the rooms face south so don't get the sun on them and it gets quite chilly at night." See all these reviews: 17n in Namibia
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