Fish River Lodge offers contemporary luxury with stunning views of the rugged expanse and meandering river below
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Natural world | Off the beaten track | Safari
The result of millions of years of geographic and seismic activity, the Fish River Canyon is over 160km long, up to 27km wide and, in places, 550m deep. The lodge itself is positioned on the quieter western rim and is the center of many of the region’s criss-crossing hiking trails. Often described as some of southern Africa’s premiere hikes, walking in the canyon offers a unique perspective and sightings of mountain zebra, springboks and even leopards.
Built in 2009 and designed by Namibian-born architect Andy Chase, the lodge’s accommodation is a blend of contemporary style and traditional materials. Dotted along the ridge’s edge, each chalet comes with full-length windows and vaulted, sky-lit ceilings to take full advantage of the breath-taking vistas. The chalets’ wooden front porches, with locally reclaimed timber trimmings, are the perfect place to enjoy a morning yoga session or a warm summer’s night under the stars. The private outdoor showers take you that extra step closer to nature.
In the winter, meals are served by the lodge’s roaring fire but, in the warmer months, guests also enjoy al fresco dining. Due to its remote location, the lodge’s restaurant relies heavily on sourcing local ingredients. The menu focuses on traditional Namibian flavours with lots of meaty game and beef served. Candlelit dinners are a three-course affair with food accompanied by carefully selected wines from neighbouring South Africa. To fuel your days' hiking, large English or continental breakfasts are put on and, for lunch, light healthy spreads of quiches and salads are served on the deck.
Fish River Lodge is as much about its surroundings as its on-site facilities. Organised tours, led by experienced guides, take you into the canyon on single or multi-day hikes. For those wanting stunning views and access to wildlife without all the troublesome walking, there are also jeep safaris. Back at the lodge, weary hikers have aching muscles tended to at the onsite spa where a range of massages are available. End the day in the edge pool with a drink from the bar and views of the sunset over the canyon.
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