On a whim, as we were sitting in our rental car in Cape Town getting ready to start our road trip in Namibia, I began doing some browsing on my phone and somehow, came across a listing for a truly stunning looking lodge on the edge of Fish River Canyon.
When planning our route through Namibia, I had fully intended to bypass the canyon as we wouldn’t have enough time to hike it. I had planned for us to instead head from Orange River towards Quivertree Forest, but after seeing pictures of this lodge, I decided that if they had any rooms available that it would be a sign that we were meant to change up our route. As it turned out, they did have one room left! So, with our last bit of reliable WiFi (for what ended up being weeks) I booked that room and off we went.
Driving to Fish River Canyon was pretty much an adventure in and of itself, but luckily, that adventure was just the beginning!
it absolutely is worth noting that the lodge is only reachable by a 19km track that is completely, totally and undoubtedly only suitable for 4×4 vehicles.
Seriously, it isn’t the kind of 4×4 track that you can get through in a smaller car with a lot of time and patience; attempting it in a 2×2 would probably end in disaster!
We were lucky enough to get through the track without issue thanks to Handsome Dan’s fabulous driving skills, and as soon as we pulled into the parking area for the lodge, I already knew that our last minute booking would definitely be worth the re-routing and changing of plans.
Fish River Lodge is home to 20 beautiful chalets that are perfectly perched on the edge of the canyon. The chalets are cool during the scorching days and keep you warm during the freezing desert nights. They are bright, spacious and so much more beautiful than you’d expect for a 3* hotel!
Oh, and that’s not even taking into account the view!
I’ve been travelling for quite a few years now, and in that time I have stayed in a pretty large handful of luxury hotels and resorts. Usually, luxury lodgings are synonymous with stunning views, but this is quite rare for a more budget option. Furthermore, the views from Fish River Lodge would easily rival some of those that I have seen from significantly more luxurious properties.
I might sound like a bit of a broken record by now, but I truly don’t understand how a hotel with views as incredible as this one restrains from charging much higher prices, but I am so so thankful that they manage it.
The price also includes breakfast and dinner, which is perfect for road trippers who are just staying for the night. As it turned out, dinner actually ended up being really nice – a far higher quality than you’d get at most 3* and even 4* hotels.
The chalets are undoubtedly gorgeous, but it is this next feature that makes the lodge truly and undeniably glorious.
A stunning pool sits inside the deck and looks out over the canyon!
I have seen a lot of good looking hotel pools in my time, but this one is definitely up there as one of the most memorable and unique.
I mean honestly, views just don’t get much better than this!
All stays include a complimentary sundowners drive along the rim of the canyon, complete with world class views, beers and biltong.
It was amazing how different the canyon looked from alternate angles! I love in this next shot how you can see river but if I had shot this from just a metre to my right it would have been completely hidden from view.
This happy little backpacker simply couldn’t wipe the smile from her face!
After a while we came across a suitable spot to settle in and enjoy the sunset; little did I know, it would be one of the most beautiful sunsets that I’d ever seen.
This next shot is by far one of the prettiest sunset photographs that I have ever taken – just look at those incredible colours!
I mean, the whole thing looked borderline unreal. I half expected to find myself on a film set for some Hollywood western at any given time.
When researching this Namibia road trip, everything on the internet had told me that you needed several days to adequately explore the canyon…
I am so glad that I ignored that advice!
Even with just a one night stay we were able to see some amazing sights of one of the largest canyons in the world and it became one of the biggest highlights of our time in Namibia.
Getting to Fish River Lodge: We drove from Orange River – which is on the border between Namibia and South Africa
4×4 Vehicle Hire: Fully equipped 4×4 vehicles are available to rent from many companies in RSA and Namibia – we rented a Toyota Hilux from South Africa 4×4 for around $155 AUD per day, which is quite common pricing during peak season
Fish River Lodge: One night in a chalet starts at around $360 for two persons, including lunch and dinner. To learn more and to book, click here
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8 and M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 lenses
Remember: In theory, Namibia could be explored by a 2×2, but it will be uncomfortable and prevent you from getting to amazing locations such as this one. Do yourself a favour and splash out that extra cash for a good 4×4 vehicle!