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Desert Horse Inn
Desert Horse Inn
Desert Horse Inn
Desert Horse Inn
Desert Horse Inn
Desert Horse Inn

Desert Horse Inn: Our full report

The owner-run Desert Horse Inn stands on the Klein-Aus Vista reserve, which is reminiscent of a 'Western' movie set.

It's about 1,400m above sea level, in a totally unspoilt semi-desert area, with wide-open plains against a backdrop of mountains. As well as offering some excellent walking, Klein-Aus Vista works as a base to visit Lüderitz, some 125km to the west.

The Desert Horse Inn is one of four very different properties on the Klein-Aus Vista reserve, including the more remote and rustic Eagle's Nest and an entirely separate campsite.

The 30 rooms at the inn are set up in pairs in individual bungalows whose red brick blends in with the red Kalahari sand. Each has its own private entrance and veranda (with a wooden table and two chairs), a design that helps the lodge to feel small and intimate – although note that the inn sometimes hosts quite large parties of guests.

Inside, large windows let plenty of natural light into the open-plan rooms, which are broadly similar in design and style, including a small lounge area, a fridge, tea/coffee facilities, AC and a ceiling fan. Simple handmade furniture features single beds with bedside tables, wooden luggage racks and a large wooden wardrobe. Three of the rooms have an extra single bed, while another three have 2 twins and a bunk bed – ideal for families. Spacious en-suite bathrooms have a flush toilet, washbasin and stand-alone shower.

The two-storey main building at the Desert Horse Inn, built entirely of wood, houses the reception, lounge and curio shop on the lower floor. The whole place is beautifully decorated with natural materials from the surrounding area, from camelthorn seedpods to ostrich eggs, feathers and other natural artefacts. Next to the doorway leading from the bar area to the guest toilets there’s even a carved tree trunk serving as a wine stand.

The lounge area has comfortable sofas and armchairs, with old-fashioned luggage serving as coffee tables, and animal-skin rugs on the floors lending an old safari-camp feel. It’s a great place to relax, perhaps with a book, or head for the wood-topped bar, tucked away in a dark corner and surrounded by bar stools. It is well stocked with a good choice of spirits, local beer, wines and various soft drinks. An open archway leads to the reception and curio shop which showcases crafts made by the people of Aus.

Upstairs in the restaurant, large glass windows afford a 270° view of the plains. Guests sit at individual tables beneath high ceilings supported by wooden beams, which give a feeling of spaciousness, while rich polished wood adds warmth and a tree adds character. On our last visit in May 2018, the outside deck under a shaded roof was our choice spot for lunch, while taking in those panoramic views.

Down some steps you’ll come to a sparkling horseshoe-shaped pool – a nice addition when it’s hot, although we can’t see the unheated water being too popular in the cooler winter months (July–October).

Activities at Desert Horse Inn, as at Eagle's Nest , include guided sundowner drives, scenic drives both on the reserve and to find the feral horses, mountain-bike trails and self-guided walks on trails ranging from 4km to 20km. Klein-Aus is also a popular base for self-drivers, with Lüderitz and the ghost town of Kolmanskop easily visited on a day trip from here, perhaps looking out for the horses on the way.


Our view

The Desert Horse Inn is a welcoming and homely lodge. It makes a convenient stop for those travelling between Sossusvlei and Fish River Canyon, but if you have a little extra time and want to enjoy the reserve, search out the feral horses or visit Lüderitz and Kolmanskop, we'd suggest at least a couple of nights here.

Tom Morris

Tom Morris

Country manager: Namibia

Geographics

Location
Luderitz, Namibia
Ideal length of stay
2–3 nights
Directions
Klein-Aus Vista is just off the B4 outside Aus, 121km east of the coastal town of Lüderitz.
Accessible by
Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Half Board
Food quality
We have found the food here to be more wholesome than fine dining. This said we have always enjoyed eating here.

A buffet breakfast includes a wide selection of fresh fruit, home-made juices, fresh-baked breads and muffins, with hot dishes cooked to order.

The à la carte lunch menu features light meals such as sandwiches and salads. We especially enjoyed their home-made fresh juices, which are bottled on the farm and are on sale in Lüderitz.

We didn’t eat here on our last visit in May 2018 but dinner is usually a three-course buffet with 2–3 choices of game meat, a wide selection of fresh vegetables and fresh salad. On a previous visit we enjoyed spicy rice, a potjie kos (farmers' stew), pork chops, French beans and cauliflower with a lovely creamy white sauce. Dessert was a lovely cheesecake served with vanilla ice-cream.

Special interests

Family holidays
For a family safari holiday in Namibia, consider the Desert Horse Inn, which has no age restrictions. Set in Klein-Aus Vista's semi-desert reserve, it has a relaxed, informal atmosphere, with plenty of space for children to run around.
See ideas for Family holidays
Photography holidays
On a photographic holiday to Namibia the feral horses of the Namib and the deserted ghost town of Kolmanskop are certain to be highlights. Desert Horse Inn makes a great base to take in both these attractions.
See ideas for Photography holidays
Walking
Klein-Aus Vista reserve has seven walking trails, ranging from 4km to just over 20km, so makes a good choice for guests interested in hiking in Namibia. Note that April to mid October, when it is cooler, is the ideal time for hiking.
See ideas for Walking

Children

Attitude towards children
Yes children of all ages are welcome.
Property’s age restrictions
No age restriction
Special activities & services
None
Equipment
None
Generally recommended for children
Yes, great for older children who might I enjoy the walks and mountain biking. However, there are few provisions for young children.
Notes
Whilst this is a relatively safe environment, parental supervision of children is still recommended at all times due to high drop offs and the un-fenced u guarded pool.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Desert Horse Inn

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Desert Horse Inn 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.

Oryx

100% success

Brown Hyena

0% success

Cheetah

0% success

Leopard

0% success

Spotted Hyena

0% success

Zebra

0% success

Communications

Power supply notes
There is power in the rooms overnight although excessive use may drain the batteries, and hairdryers cannot be used.
Communications
There is a telephone in the reception area that guests can borrow and pay for direct. There is free WiFi here too although it can be somewhat unreliable.
TV & radio
It is sometimes possible to watch major sports or news events on television at the Desert Horse Inn.
Water supply
Borehole
Water supply notes
There are flush toilets and hot and cold running water in all the bathrooms.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
No
Medical care
There is a clinic in Aus, but the nearest doctor is in Lüderitz, about two hours’ drive away.
Dangerous animals
Low Risk
Security measures
Like most similar places, Klein-Aus Vista doesn't use any form of armed security.
Fire safety
There are fire extinguishers in the main areas at Desert Horse Inn.

Activities

  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

    Birdwatching

  • Horse-riding

    Horse-riding

  • Mountain biking

    Mountain biking

  • Self-guided walking

    Self-guided walking

Extras

Disabled access
On Request
Laundry facilities
Possible at an extra charge.
Money
There is a small electronic safe in each chalet.
Accepted payment on location
Klein-Aus Vista takes cash in Namibian dollars or South African rand, and both Visa and Mastercard. Travellers’ cheques are not accepted.

Other lodges in Luderitz

Alternative places to stay in this same area.


Eagle's Nest

Eagle's Nest

The rustic chalets at Eagle's Nest on the Klein-Aus Vista reserve make a scenic base for hiking in the mountains, or just to enjoy the solitude.


95% (79 reviews)
Nest Hotel

Nest Hotel

With ocean views from all its rooms, the Nest Hotel is perfectly placed to appreciate the best of Lüderitz.


80% (57 reviews)
Island Cottage

Island Cottage

Island Cottage offers simple but comfortable self-catering apartments in an attractive if desolate location overlooking Lüderitz Harbour.


90% (6 reviews)
Haus Sandrose

Haus Sandrose

Haus Sandrose offers comfortable self-catering units in the heart of Lüderitz and a good base to explore the many attractions in and around the area.


87% (3 reviews)

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