Text by Sharri Whiting De Masi
If you’re interested in the amazing geology of Namibia, then Zebra River Lodge should be on your itinerary. Or, if you simply like spending a few days away from it all, then Zebra River Lodge is exactly your kind of place.
Located in the Tsaris mountains of southwest Namibia on 12,500 hectares, the lodge draws visitors from all over the world and is a favorite of travelers from throughout southern Africa. The ambience reflects the real Namibia, in a spot enjoyed by the locals for decades. For visitors from abroad, being at Zebra River is an opportunity to see old-style Africa with modern conveniences.
Hike on your own or follow a guide from the lodge along the scenic hillside near the river and you will be discovering one of the oldest sites on earth. At Zebra River, it’s a mindboggling experience to discover fossils upwards of fifty million years old and probably much older. This is a real a geologist’s paradise.
There are trails along the hillside, through valleys and down into the dry riverbed and canyons. The plant and birdlife is rich and varied, and there is a wide variety of mammals who come to drink at the floodlit waterhole. Expect to see mountain zebras, kudu, baboons, and, if you’re lucky, a leopard.
The lodge itself has a hip fifties vibe, especially the two suites in the old rock building. The top suite has the best view, with the Zebra River panorama laid at your feet. Original rock walls frame the spacious inside, with one giant room containing draped king bed, living area, bathroom and shower. Walk out onto the terrace for an amazing view of the stars.
Other rooms and chalets are located close to the pool and main lodge (the original farmhouse building); there are thirteen rooms in total. All have verandas for star gazing and relaxing.
The food at Zebra River Lodge is excellent and very well served; there’s an ample selection of South African wines to pair with menu items. The organic garden provides the freshest vegetables and there is homemade bread to enjoy. For a weekend stay or longer, the chef offers a wide range of Namibian specialties with something different everyday.
An evening spent on the terrace in summer or in front of a roaring fire is the perfect way to end a day exploring the bush. Add a good bottle of wine and a succulent game dish for a dinner to be remembered.
From here it’s an enjoyable day trip to Sossusvlei. Coming from Windhoek, stop for lunch at Maltahohe and arrive in time for a late afternoon swim, a walk or a sundowner drive.
Photos courtesy of Zebra River Lodge.