River Crossing is just 15 minutes from Windhoek...
River Crossing: Our full report
Just 3km from the centre of Windhoek, towards the airport, River Crossing is set in a 6,500 hectare game reserve. Although it is close to Windhoek, it has a quiet rural setting and feels more like a safari lodge than a hotel. The lodge is built on a hill offering views of mountains in one direction, and the city of Windhoek in the distance in the other.
From the entrance at River Crossing, steps lead up to a modern U-shaped main building, where you are welcomed by friendly staff at a free-standing bar at the base of the U. To one side, the lounge area is filled with big leather sofas and dark-wood furniture, and decorated in russet colours. Floor-to-ceiling windows at one end give a light, bright feel and offer lovely views of the surrounding mountains. In the dining area, individual tables and chairs are set both inside and outside on the deck, with more stunning views.
Sheltered within the centre of the U outside is a rectangular swimming pool, surrounded by a relaxing patio where guests can sit for meals or drinks at any time of day.
Gravel pathways wind through the bush towards the rooms at River Crossing: 20 terracotta-coloured individual bungalows dotted along the hilltop. Of these, 14 have views towards the mountains and the sunrise, and six towards Windhoek, whose twinkling lights are appealing after dark. Most of the rooms are identical in style, although two ‘honeymoon’ rooms have a bath rather than a shower in the bathroom, and four of the rooms have three beds – ideal for guests travelling with children.
The rooms are simple in style yet spacious and spotlessly clean. All have polished concrete floors scattered with rugs, and are decorated in neutral browns and creams in a range of textured fabrics. Black-and-white photos of Windhoek from bygone days adorn the walls, and bright patterned cushions and pillows add a splash of colour. The furniture is dark wood and you’ll also find a well-stocked minibar (not included in the cost), a wall-mounted television, a writing desk and two small seating areas – one inside, and one on the covered veranda. The en-suite bathrooms have a shower (or bath), single basin and toilet, with a range of toiletries provided.
River Crossing offers a selection of activities, at extra cost, all of which can be arranged locally. There are scenic drives by 4WD vehicle through the reserve, which is home to giraffe, eland, wildebeest, zebra, impala and waterbuck among others (N$600/£30 for 3 hours). Alternatively, guests can explore the area on foot with a local guide (N$250/£12 for 2 hours). There are also some nearby stables (not owned by the lodge) where it is possible to do morning and afternoon horse rides.
Our viewRiver Crossing is only a 30-minute drive from Windhoek airport so makes a great overnight stop at the beginning or end of your Namibia trip. Its tranquil setting makes it an ideal option for travellers not wanting to overnight in the city.
Ideal length of stay: 1-2 nights
Directions: River Crossing is well signposted from the airport road, about 15 minutes’ drive from the centre of Windhoek and 30 minutes from the airport. From the main road it is a further 1.5km on a gravel road to the lodge, when we were last here the last, steeper, stretch of the gravel road was being paved which will make access to the lodge easier - especially in low clearance vehicles.
Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: Although we did not eat at River Crossing on our recent visit in May 2016 we were advised on what to expect.
Breakfast is served buffet style with a selection of fruit juices, cereals, yoghurts, freshly baked breads and muffins. A cooked breakfast is also available to order.
A light lunch menu offers sandwiches (N$45/£2.50), chicken salad (N$85/£4.25), mushroom pasta (N$65/£3.25), fish and chips (N$95/£4.75) and beef sirloin or rump steak (N$120/£6).
The dinner menu changes daily and includes three courses with a starter, choice of main course (normally fish, meat or vegetarian) and a dessert. This is usually included in the half-board rate.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £1-5
Drinks included: Drinks are not included. At the time of our visit a glass of wine cost N$35/£1.75, a beer N$20/£1.00 and a soft drink N$15/£0.75.
Further dining info: Room service is available.
Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at River Crossing.
Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions at River Crossing.
Special activities & services: There are no special activities for children, but they are welcome to take part in those activities on offer.
Equipment: A cot and highchair are available on request.
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: Children must be supervised by their parents at all times as the lodge is not fenced in and the pool is open.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: WiFi is available in the main building and the area has good cellphone reception.
TV & radio: All rooms have TVs with a selection of satellite channels.
Water supply: Borehole
Water supply notes: The borehole water is filtered for drinking
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: No
Medical care: There are many doctors and hospitals in Windhoek.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: There are security guards on duty at night.
Fire safety: Each room has a fire extinguisher.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service at extra cost, from N$5/£0.25 to N$30/£1.50 per item.
Money: There is no currency exchange available at the lodge, but that can be arranged at the airport or in Windhoek. there are no safes in the rooms but valuable can be left in the main safe at reception.
Accepted payment on location: Visa and MasterCard are accepted as well as cash in Namibian dollars and South African rand.