Reviews of Eningu Clayhouse
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Great place to stay for a relaxing first/final night. Just over an hour from the airport.Read more about the whole trip
Most beautiful Lodge we have visited this holiday. Amazing!
The food was not of this world, like a 5 star restaurant. Outstanding.
Great place for hiking trips.
Red Clay desert lodge
This lodge introduced us to Namibia, a quiet and beautifully remote location which symbolized most of the country. We were surprised by the open spaces, sky and red desert, with animals appearing quietly around us.
The distances between farms, towns, and the absence of people first shocked us - why was the hotel so remote. But we learned that this is part of the experience of Namibia - it is unlike our huge city - peaceful and slow.-paced. We spent just one night and were welcomed to a good dinner, a comfortable room that had sitting areas and rustic decor, and lovely marked trails. The owner was very friendly and kind, sending us off with a packed lunch.
A unexpected pleasant surprise
We were expecting an average place near the airport for our last night but we could not have been more wrong. It is really wonderful to come across somewhere like this. After 65km on a gravel road we were so surprised to find Eningu.
The rooms were large and well equipped and comfortable. We received a very warm welcome and were only sorry that we only had one night to enjoy this oasis in the desert. We were the only guests on that night but the lodge was prepared as if it was full. Dinner was excellent and breakfast buffet also.
A definite place on our return list to spend longer there.
Eningu Clayhouse review
An enjoyable visit.
Allowed to stay on without charge until lunchtime before leaving for airport.
Eningu Clayhouse review
Owner changed 2 years ago so review of facilities needed. Telescope has gone for starters. No sign of porcupine feeding.
Friendly with good food and nice room. Relaxing. Seemed a popular place to finish holiday.
Couldn't find start of trails for a walk. Map vague.
Relaxation at Eningu
Eningu was a delightful place to spend our first night following a long journey from Australia. This is probably one of the most attractive places in which we have stayed in Namibia. The surroundings were beautiful, relaxing and peaceful. The rooms were attractive, and the beds were comfortable and cosy. We were surprised by the amount of wildlife at Eningu - porcupine, eland, mongooses and lots of birds. Our evening meal was delicious - imaginative, well prepared and of excellent quality.
Eningu is presently undergoing some renovations following flood damage earlier this year. The owner apologised profusely for any inconvenience, but there was really no need since we barely noticed any disturbance.
We would recommend this lodge to anyone wishing a relaxing day or two on arrival in Namibia, or before departure from Windhoek Airport.
Eningu Clayhouse review
The route from the main road to the lodge (~50 Km calcrete + 3Km sand track) was easily accomplished in our car.
The lodge being built of adobe looks mexican but the rooms are beatifuly set out and very comfortable. We, sadly, didn't manage to see porcupine. Again it was sad to only spend on night. The owner was very friendly (as were the staff) and allowed us to over run the official checkout time as we were heading for the airport (at the end of the calcrete road) in the evening.
This lodge provided the best food of the whole trip. (Though all of the food was good )
Eningu Clayhouse review
There is no doubt that Eningu Clayhouse is in a unique setting. The rooms are spacious and unusual with the bed being surrounded by a clay base. The lodge has a small artificial watering hole with a hide. We were fortunate to see the resident porcupine feeding there in the evening. There are walks around the lodge, but these are primarily directed at viewing flora, rather than fauna.
Unfortunately, I would not recommend staying here, particularly if you are a non-smoker. This was the only establishment where we troubled by our fellow diners smoking during both dinner and breakfast. There were four tables at dinner. Two were occupied by smokers, including a pipe smoker. We headed towards the main building for breakfast at 8:30 am, but made a U-turn to our room once we smelt the smoke wafting towards us as we approached. We delayed our arrival at breakfast as late as possible in the hope that the other guests would have finished. No such luck. We would have had sit next to a chain smoker and her pipe smoking companion had not moved our place settings indoors.
To add to our frustration, we arrived at airport the next morning with 1/4 tank of petrol only to discover that, despite what it shows on the map, there is no public petrol station at the airport. We'd passed through nearby Omitara on the way to the airport and didn't find the petrol station there, either. We had to drive all the way in Windhoek to fill up the car. (There is a petrol station in Dordabis, which we'd passed through on the previous day.)
Frankly, there is very little advantage staying at Eningu on your last night in Namibia. The unique setting does not make up for the extra distance, unpleasant dining experience and lack of petrol stations.
This was the worst day of our holiday. We had not been warned about exactly how long the drive would take, and the directions were appalling. As mentioned before it took 20 mins to get out of Mundalea (road particularly bad in places) so having left at 9am we were on the main road by 9.30am. We stopped to refuel and stopped at Okanja for lunch at the Garden centre for lunch which does not appear to exist. We continued into the town and ate at Rhinos which was fine.
Then contined to the craft stalls (as mentioned in the guide book). We then continued to Windhoek and to Eningu. Not only were we sent on a long roundabout route but the lodge was incorretly marked on the map. We got very lost trying to find it and finally arrived at 6.15pm. We had expected to arrive around 3pm, and have a relaxing afternoon there before starting our return journey home.
Bettina (the owner) said she had told Expert Africa about people being sent the wrong route before (and she has only been the owner for 6 months). We should have driven almost to the airport adn down road M51. From there we would have seen signs. It was literally only an hour to the airport on a good road - why on earth were we sent via Dordabis - and according to your map back that way the next day to the airport? It meant we did over 50 km extra and started to run low on petrol.
She allowed us kindly to use her internet to check in for our flights that evening but was clearly not used to doing this for guests. We therefore appreciated this but feel that any hotel being used for the last night should be made aware that guests will need to do this.
A small suggestion for the bathrooms would be plastic shower mats - the floor was on a slope for better drainage but after being in Mundalea I wanted to clean my feet properly and almost slipped over. I forgot to mention this whilst there.
Bettina was lovely and Eningu a great place to stay but only when you have time to appreciate it. Again it would be helpful to know that it takes about 15 mins to get out of the park in a 2WD car.
Expert Africa comments
We’re really sorry about yet another navigation issue finding this lodge – especially as such issues seem to have dogged this whole trip.
These travellers found the map to Eningu confusing. As a result of their helpful feedback, both we and Eningu Clayhouse Lodge itself have made changes to the map that we’ve both been using for years – in order to avoid any possible confusion in future. We will now issue our visitors with a more precise map for Eningu, and more intricate directions of how to reach it.