If you’re looking for something as far off the beaten track as possible, Fish River Lodge is the place for you – it is, literally, in the middle of nowhere, at the end of a seemingly endless 19km driveway.
But the views, oh! The views. Fish River Lodge is the only lodge to be perched right on the edge of the Fish River Canyon – directly across from the main viewpoint on the other side of the canyon, and with an uninterrupted view that will take your breath away.
The lodge has been built and designed around this view – from the full wall of glass in the main restaurant area to the swimming pool on the edge of the canyon to the individual chalets, all with their own 180 degree view, all with verandahs looking out over the canyon. Even the interior design echoes the terraces of the canyon, with a layered ceiling in the main area and the colours of the distant mountains (blues, greys and pale purples) echoed in the décor choices.
Another beautiful design feature are the stone walls and the ostrich eggshell chandeliers, made by the local San people. The furniture, the layout of the lodge as a whole and the chalets in particular, and of course, those endless views all contribute to feeling like you’re on the edge of the world.
Unfortunately, so does the wind. We were there during windy season and I have never heard wind as loud as the wind both nights we were there – the canyon acts as a channel that funnels the wind through directly on to the chalets. Not ideal!
That really was our only complaint, though. We were happy to laze around the pool, sipping cocktails and reading our books during the hottest time of the day, going for walks around the lip of the canyon as the evening cooled, but the more adventurous guests headed off for excursions into the canyon itself – and raved about it. The staff are all impeccably trained and very informative about the area and all it has to offer. And the food – oh, the food!
When you’re in the middle of the desert, there’s a natural expectation that food will be more of the meat-and-potatoes variety than the fresh vegetables and fruit variety, but somehow Fish River Lodge manages to strike a happy balance between the two, with an excellent 3 course menu served each night, delicious light lunch options and a really lovely breakfast. And, of course, their mid-afternoon teas, complete with the lightest, most scrumptious cakes (think orange and carrot with cream cheese icing – yum!) It’s a German tradition that has happily carried through.
If you’re looking for a place to get away from it all, there’s no place quite like the Fish River Lodge.