Hotels in Namibia offer mind-blowing views at pretty affordable prices. In fact, checking out pictures and prices of some hotels in Namibia was what triggered me to plan a trip immediately. I didn’t want to wait when Namibia becomes way too popular as a tourist destination and prices become outrageous. Namibia is so remote that you wouldn’t find cars for miles. Forget about finding restaurants along the way. In most places, you’ll have to stick to your hotel’s restaurant for meals. That is the reason most hotels have dinner included in their rates. Hotels cater to vegetarians on prior request. I’ll say you won’t starve in Namibia but will soon crave substantial vegetarian food. As we ate mostly in our hotel, I have combined accommodation and vegetarian food in Namibia in one post.
Accommodation – Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch
We stayed at the Savannah Chalets as we were staying just for a night. It was a cottage-style room and we could park the car right outside our cottage. Room and bathrooms had a good amount of space. However, it felt a bit dated. It also had a patio overlooking the red picturesque Kalahari Desert. If you’re staying for longer, I would highly recommend booking their Dune Chalets.
This was our first meal in Namibia, and we didn’t know what vegetarian food would be like. We drove a few meters from our room to the restaurant. They had set the tables outdoors in an open-air boma style with well lit beautiful surroundings. For starters, they served us hot bean soup on the table. There was also an option of a pasta dish, but he wasn’t sure if it was vegetarian. Unfortunately, bean soup lacked any flavour or spice. It was a thick bland soup.
For the mains, it was a self-service buffet. There were at least 4 to 5 different types of meats, cooked to order as per your requirement by a friendly server. Hearing that we are vegetarians, he was very disappointed and offered to cook some curry for the next night (But we were staying there only for a night). So all we got was the sides – polenta, cauliflower and salad. I was utterly disappointed with the meal. Despite informing them at the time of booking, they didn’t take any effort to cook a vegetarian option for us.
For dessert, again they had 2 options served on the table. But we reached late and only one was available. It was just about fine.
For breakfast, we requested for a packed breakfast. We did this pretty much throughout our road-trip in Namibia. Packed breakfast usually would have a veg sandwich, a protein bar, chocolates, a packet of chips, a fruit, a cake and juice. Hence, we wouldn’t have to waste time having breakfast in the morning and it would suffice us for the day on the road trip.
Fish River Canyon
Accommodation – Fish River Lodge
Fish River Lodge offers a panoramic view of the Fish River Canyon from literally everywhere – be it swimming pool or the rooms. We had a huge room with very comfy beds. Obviously, we could see the stunning views of the canyon while lying on the bed. Bathrooms were massive with fancy looking interiors. It had a separate his and her basin, a shower area and a separate toilet area. Rooms also had a patio overlooking the canyon.
Swimming pool again had mind-blowing views of the canyon, but it was too cold to take a dip in June. We just chilled by the pool for a while and then spent the rest of the evening in our rooms staring non-stop at the stunning canyon views. The only thing lacking at this lodge was the air-conditioner in the room. However, we didn’t require as we visited in winter but during warmer seasons it will definitely be missed. Also, they didn’t have water during the night but it didn’t bother us. Service was nice and friendly and attentive like we experienced at every lodge in Namibia.
Fish River Lodge took special care to prepare some delicious vegetarian food for us, unlike the Bagatelle Ranch.
On our first night, for starters, they served us tomato tower. It was basically a fancy-looking salad with layers of tomatoes, aubergines and cheese. The main course was lasagne, again with tomato and aubergines served with a side of couscous, sauteed vegetables and a sauce. They put in efforts to prepare vegetarian food but serving this starter with this main course was a bad choice. The key 3 ingredients were the same in both dishes. Dessert contained alcohol, so they served us not one but 3 scoops of vanilla ice-cream instead.
On the second night, we ate a salad as the first course. For the second course, they served us avocado stuffed with cauliflower with a side of rice, spinach and carrots accompanied with BBQ sauce. It was a wholesome, tasty dinner. For dessert, we devoured poached peach with custard which was the best dish here.
We ate breakfast before going to the canyon. Choices were limited. I had a cup of hot chocolate and croissant.
Namib-Naukluft Park – Sossusvlei
Accommodation – Sossusvlei Lodge
Sossusvlei Lodge is located just outside the entrance of the park which is super convenient to get to park early in the morning. All rooms are cottage style overlooking the desert landscape. Our rooms were in the last row (make sure to request for it), so we had an uninterrupted stunning view of the desert. Rooms were of a fairly good size, looked and smelled new with all the amenities. I really liked the look and feel of the room. Rooms had windows on 2 sides, a comfortable bed, beautiful wooden flooring and much-needed air-conditioner. The bathroom was huge with his and her basin, a separate shower area, a luggage rack, and even a bath-tub. The lodge also had a swimming pool overlooking the stunning desert.
Sossusvlei Lodge was our favourite lodge in Namibia. There was only one drawback – towel fiasco by the housekeeping lady. They would serve the room twice daily. Each time she would come, she would hang all the used towels lying on the floor and even unfold and hang the fresh towels. Therefore, all the used and unused towels would get mixed. Even on the second day of our stay, she didn’t change the towels. After spending a day in the desert, being all muddy, we were looking forward to soaking in the bath-tub. But we had to go back to the reception and request for fresh towels. After some time and effort, the housekeeping lady got us fresh towels and behaved as if we had asked for gold. Again in the evening, used and unused towels were mixed and we had none left for the next day.
Vegetarian food in Namibia has been about decent at the Fish River Lodge and very bad at the Bagatelle Ranch. But the food at the Sossusvlei Lodge was amazing. This was the only place which had a buffet maybe because numerous tour groups stay here. The buffet was massive with at least 10 to 15 choices for veg salads, live stir fry counter, tomato soup and a large variety of dessert on both the days. Along with it, the first day we got pasta, corn and potatoes. On the second day, there was rice, spinach and mushrooms in white sauce, and potatoes. In all, we were spoiled for choices and enjoyed every dish.
For breakfast, they went overboard and packed us a huge picnic basket which we relished in the desert. On our second day, we got packed breakfast which was typical – a sandwich, a fruit and a drink.
Accommodation – Aha Swakopmund Plaza Hotel
Check-in was quick and smooth. The friendly staff even helped us with the right spot to park the car in front of the hotel. I think I got one of the corner rooms, hence it was bigger than expected. But the other room which we got was very compact with barely any space to move. In both rooms, the bathroom was spacious. Both rooms had a balcony overlooking the city. I had chosen a cheaper hotel at Swakopmund and was happy with the choice. We loved using fast Wi-Fi in our rooms after spending a few days in off-beat places with patchy Wi-Fi. Being a city hotel, dinner was not included.
There are tons of restaurants in Swakopmund and we weren’t restricted to eat the set menu at our hotel like the few previous days.
For our first day in Swakopmund, we went to Jetty 1905. I chose this restaurant as it offered spectacular sunset views. We reached half an hour before sunset. I had pre-booked it for 5:30 pm but surprisingly, the restaurant was empty. We got a corner table and watched an amazing African sunset. We ordered almost everything veg on the menu – 2 types of sushi, chilli poppers, stir-fry with rice and pasta. Getting to order from a menu is a luxury in Namibia. Food was good, but the highlight was the view. Initially, service was quick and friendly but towards the end, the restaurant got full and they took a very long time to get the bill.
Garnish – Indian Restaurant
I was thinking to visit this Indian restaurant for both nights, but it was closed on our first night (Tuesday). We crave Indian food after some days and we had to eat here. Food was prepared by an Indian chef. Our server was a local, and we chatted about her want to visit Indian one day and her love for palak paneer. Food was delicious and got our cravings fixed for some days.
Other restaurants which I didn’t visit
- Cai Tai Thai Asian
- Gabriele’s Italian Pizzeria – 5 pm to 10 pm – Only Pizza
- Secret Garden Bistro – 5 pm to 9:30 pm – Pizza, salad, curry, spring roll
- Bits n Pizzas – 4 pm to 9 pm
Accommodation – Spitzkoppen Lodge
Spitzkoppen Lodge is surrounded by huge granite boulders offering breathtaking views. They have only 15 chalets, with a considerable distance between the 2 chalets. Chalets are elevated from the ground to keep it cool, but it still got quite hot in the afternoon. Chalets are of decent size and are decorated tastefully. The bathroom was spacious. It also had a deck overlooking the stunning boulders. Spitzkoppen Lodge also had a small plunge pool overlooking the boulders. Sunset from this lodge was one of the best we saw in Namibia.
From reception, they took us in golf cars to our rooms through elevated walkways. Since there wasn’t any way to call the golf car, one has to walk back to the reception which was a good 15-minute walk which can be very tedious during hot afternoons. Also, we definitely missed the air-conditioner at this lodge.
It was one of the few lodges in Namibia who didn’t have dinner included in the price. On arrival at the lodge, they inquired if we wanted to have lunch and/or dinner. For lunch, there was Veg quiche on the menu. Therefore, we skipped it as we don’t like the eggy taste of the quiche. For dinner, I repeatedly asked what will the veg food be like. Our guide said they will provide vegetables like carrots. We were like just for carrots we aren’t paying full dinner price and skipped it.
In the evening, we saw the menu and to our surprise; they had a substantial amount of veg food. I really wish the guide had informed us properly. I was too embarrassed to ask so late that if we could have dinner. So, we just ordered a snack platter, the only edible item on the bar menu, and relished it with the spectacular sunset.
Accommodation – Mowani Mountain Camp
We stayed in 2 standard view rooms, number 9 and 10. Both rooms were of good size having a sort of open bathroom behind the bed. Both rooms had a deck with amazing views. None of the rooms had an air conditioner, and they informed at the time of the booking that it does get hot in afternoons. So I was sort of prepared for it. I had even tried to find a lodge with an air conditioner but couldn’t find one in this area.
Room number 9 was perfect. If staying in this room, it is totally worth the expensive cost. Our other room, number 10, however, was not up to the mark. It was filled with mosquitoes and got extremely hot. I even saw an animal coming into our room which I thought was a rat. I was scared that the rat would eat our clothes if he stayed there all night. Eventually, I got hold of a staff who was very nice and friendly and got it out of our room. It wasn’t a rat but a mountain animal and she said that they do nothing. Whereas room number 9 didn’t have any mosquitoes and was cool even during hot afternoons.
Lodge also had a pool overlooking the desert landscape. The best part of this lodge was their sunset point. We sat on their comfy chairs, nibbling the complimentary snacks and watched yet another picturesque African sunset. This lodge was more costly than other lodges we stayed at, but they took special care to provide little things that make the stay memorable. They even had free coffee and cake during afternoons. In all, I would recommend this lodge but get any room other than room no 10.
They prepared vegetarian meals for us. But like everywhere in Namibia, it was a vegetable stuffed with veggies. We were getting bored by now and started to carve real vegetarian food. On our first night, we got a veg salad as the first course. For the main course, it was tomatoes stuffed with vegetables. Dessert was simple, yet my favourite – brownie with vanilla ice cream. In all, food was good as per Namibian standards. On the second night we even got an Amuse-bouche, the starter was a plain tomato and cheese salad, the main course was couscous with huge cauliflowers and they served pudding for dessert. Sorry, I don’t have pictures of the second night’s dinner as my memory card malfunctioned. The first-night dinner was better than the second night.
Etosha National Park
Accommodation – Okaukuejo Rest Camp
This is the place to stay in Etosha National Park. Make sure to book rooms overlooking the waterhole before planning the rest of the trip. It is very tough to get a booking. They have a strange rule, if 4 people stay in one waterfront chalet it cost double then 2 people staying in the same. So why would 4 people want to stay in 1 waterhole chalet when you can get 2 at the same price? So that’s what I did, got 2 of those though one would have been sufficient.
The waterhole chalets have 2 rooms with 2 bathrooms. Room on the first floor overlooks the waterhole, but it is smaller with a queen-size bed. Ground floor room is bigger but doesn’t have any view. Both rooms were nicely done and even had a powerful air conditioner. They even left us with ample clean towels. The bathroom on the ground floor is of decent size but rustic. It felt it hasn’t been painted. The bathroom on the first floor is open style.
Waterhole chalets were very comfortable considering it is inside the national park run by the government. The highlight was the waterhole which had animals 24/7.
Dinner was not included and when we there its cost was 180 NAD per person. They require you to make dinner reservations in advance (before 3 pm). We went there in the afternoon and inquired if they could cater to vegetarians. The chef said he could prepare a lot of different dishes for vegetarians. We just requested for pasta in red sauce.
On arrival, the chef had forgotten about it and was too busy to prepare it. We helped our self from the buffet and got rice, fried potatoes, and salad. We waited half an hour for our pasta. Finally, after repeated request, they got 4 huge plates of pasta. But the chef had just boiled pasta, added ketchup as a sauce and some cheese to it. It was the worst pasta we ever had in our lives.
Next day, we avoided dinner and got by our Indian snacks carried from India.
Accommodation – Onguma Bush Camp
Onguma Bush Camp has a perfect location if wanting to stay outside the Etosha National Park. It’s surrounded by beautiful grounds and also has a waterhole on-site. Rooms were hut style with a thatched roof. The bathroom was a decent size but found it dated. The best part was the born fire by the waterhole where we spent an hour watching a giraffe.
The downside was the flies problem, that they were facing when we were there. A note in the room stated, “we know about the problem, they don’t bite or harm or do anything and we are trying our best to get rid of them”. Having paid a normal price for their room, I would have chosen another camp if known about this problem.
Since Onguma Bush Camp was selling with or without dinner, I saved money and went with B&B basis only. We stayed only for a night and ate sandwiches at Namutoni Rest Camp in Etosha National Park before coming to Onguma. All rest camps in Etosha National Park had a kiosk serving tomato and cheese sandwich.
Accommodation – Divava Okavango Lodge and Spa
Divava Okavango Lodge and Spa offered spectacular views of the beautiful Okavango River all around – be it rooms or the restaurant or the spa. The reception area is nicely done, which gave a feel of a luxury resort. Rooms were bigger than any other lodge we stayed at in Namibia. It had a comfortable bed, a sitting space, and the best was definitely the views of the Okavango River. It also had a large deck with comfortable seats. Again keeping up with the theme, bathrooms were massive with his and her basin, an outdoor shower, a toilet and a tub overlooking the beautiful river.
This is the perfect place to unwind after spending a few days in the jungle. I must say their service was top notch. We mostly got good service at every lodge in Namibia, but they were steps above other lodges. The husband and wife team were managers of this lodge, always mingling and smiling with all guests. They would be ready to help with anything and everything. On one day we ordered lunch, Dad and Kapil were full from it, so they didn’t show up for the included dinner. When Mom and I went for dinner, she inquired about them and happily offered to waive off lunch charges (I didn’t ask for it). We were blown by her generosity. We have skipped many meals on our previous trips but haven’t encountered such kindly service.
In Namibia, most lodges had dinner included; it was usually a 3-course dinner. But here, they treat you with a 5-course dinner. Initially, I was very worried about vegetarian food as one review stated all they got was beetroot carpaccio. Before booking, I asked for a sample vegetarian menu and they sent me 3 different samples. After being satisfied, I went ahead with the booking. As promised, they took special care to prepare vegetarian options for all 5 courses.
On our first night, the first course was eggplant fritters, the second course was almond soup, the third course was spinach with cheese, 4th course was pasta and 5th course was a pudding. The first three courses were good enough keeping up with the Namibian theme of vegetarian food means vegetables only. This was the only lodge in Namibia where we got pasta and were really looking forward to it. It was decent but lacked a sauce. However, the dessert was delicious.
Second Day at Divava
On our second day here, we ordered lunch. We ordered a portion of Veg pasta and Veg stir-fry to share between us. This pasta was way better, saucy and cheesy compared to the last night. Both the dishes were mouth-watering and we enjoyed it more than dinner. For dinner, again we got similar 5 courses like the previous night but with a different variety. For the main course, we had requested a rice dish. So we got a tiny portion of rice with ratatouille vegetables. Like other places, they think the main course has to be veggies and rice can be only a side dish. In all, both dinners were solid when compared with Namibian standards.
There you have it – our experience at various lodges and food adventures. We stayed in 9 different accommodations on our 2 week trip in Namibia, each one of them offered a different unique view. This what made our trip to Namibia memorable and different. Every lodge except one took special care to prepare vegetarian food for us. I’ll say vegetarian food in Namibia is all about veggies. Many times, we got veggies stuffed in veggies. It was good enough to fill us up, but by the end, we were craving delicious vegetarian food.
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