Finding a great hotel in Namibia is like trying to spot a leopard in the dark. Not easy, but not impossible either. We encountered quite a few good hotels in Namibia, but I won’t lie—it was hard finding accommodation at a reasonable price of USD 100–400 per night with good food, quality bedding, professional service and beautiful landscape.
Just to be clear: I’m in no way a budget traveler, but I’m also not the type to drop thousands of dollars on a fancy-pants luxury lodge. I may be a little cocky, but I’m not over-the-top enough for chandeliers and butlers in the desert. Still, a little luxury never hurt nobody!
Tip: Instead of splurging on a hotel, do yourself a favor and get a really good car with some really good insurance. You’ll know why the moment you drive outside the city in Namibia—which will be almost always. And once you see what you’ll be driving on and how much the wildlife likes to jump in front of cars, you’ll be happy spending an extra $1000 on insurance.
Keep in mind that travel days in Namibia are grueling. I’m talking very long hours, bumpy drives, and sweat (and death smell!) stains day in and day out. So when I stumble back to my hotel, I want to feel like myself again, not like I’m still on some crazy adventure.
That’s why I go for hotels that strike the perfect balance—think Goldilocks, but with better taste in beds and a penchant for lion-sized portions of delicious food.
You might also be interested in reading:
15 Tips for Self-Driving in Namibia: Avoid Common Mistakes and Maximize Your Adventure
Top unusual things to do
10 Tips on Discovering Namibia’s Wildlife: How to See the Animals?
Where to sleep in Namibia?
Here’s the thing: in Namibia, you want to make sure your hotel has parking and, first and foremost, a good breakfast and dinner. Unless you’re in Swakopmund or Windhoek, the nearest restaurant is usually as elusive as a cheetah.
Also, choose places that make sense location-wise for your itinerary, because distances in this country are vast and some of Namibia’s lodges and resorts are WAY out there. You’ll already spend hours of your trip driving on dirt roads, you don’t want to add on extra kms unless the accommodation is guaranteed to be worth it (like if you choose from my list, wink wink).
Think about how you want to spend your days. If it’s at the lodge, enjoying some remote r&r, then great, but if you’re actually hoping to travel around, especially if you’re into the more unusual activities, those extra kms could turn into a massive hassle.
So, without further ado, here are my top picks of hotels and lodges in Namibia that I personally stayed at and liked or considered sleeping in.
1. Sleep in a semi-private game reserve @ Burgsdorf Guest Farm (near Sossusvlei)
Burgsdorf Guest Farm is the accommodation we stayed at while visiting Sossusvlei, and while this is one of those lodges that’s out in the middle of nowhere, it’s totally worth the trek.
We chose to stay outside of the Namib Naukluft National Park because this place had seriously impressive reviews, and boy, were we glad we did! Not only did we have our own private game reserve (not just for the two of us, but you know what I mean), but we got to dine with a view of rhinos and springbok! It’s a wildlife resort without being inside a safari, which is super special (and who are we kidding, way more cost effective).
I mean, who needs a restaurant when you have wildlife as your dinner guests?! Me, I do. And Burgsdorf delivered. The restaurant at Burgsdorf is fantastic. They’ll happily pack you a lunch, too, so you can spend all day out on the sand dunes but still have a quality bite to eat.
On the sleeping front, I’m glad to report that the lodge is spacious and comfy. The photos online don’t do the rooms justice.
The best part was waking up to the sight of rhinos just 10 meters across the watering hole! There’s a fence to keep the animals from joining you in bed, no worries. The rooms are spacious, but not elephant-size spacious!
Honestly, Burgsdorf was our best accommodation in Namibia, hands down.
2. A little bit of Europe in Africa @ Desert Rendezvous (near Swakopmund)
We stayed at Desert Rendezvous while exploring around Swakopmund and loved it. The guesthouse, run by a delightful Polish couple, is located about halfway between Swakopmund and Cape Cross in the southern part of the Skeleton Coast. Even though it’s not technically in Swakopmund, we loved it so much that we’d stay there again in a heartbeat.
These Europeans have brought their A-game to Namibia, as Desert Rendezvous is equipped with all the bells and whistles you could ever need in a guesthouse. The courtyard is perfect for soaking up the sun, there’s plenty of parking available, and the Wi-Fi is free and fast.
Plus, the daily breakfast is so good that it’ll make you forget all about the endless sand dunes and harsh desert winds. Now, I know what you’re thinking – where’s the on-site restaurant? There is none, but fear not! The owners also happen to run a restaurant nearby, which we tried and loved.
3. Perhaps the best lodge in Namibia: Ijaba Lodge Buschfeld (near Etosha NP)
Don’t stay inside Etosha National Park. You’ll either have to break the bank (think USD 1000 per night) or you’re bound to stay at a place that’ll cause you to pull your hair out.
Instead, take this chance to stay at one of our favorite lodges in Namibia: Ijaba Lodge at Buschfeld, and at a price that’ll make you smile!
Believe me, you don’t want to stay inside the park itself. The service is worse than a honey badger’s temper, and the prices are higher than a giraffe’s neck. I’ve been there, and I’d rather wrestle a crocodile than deal with those park employees again. I’ll stop with the wildlife metaphors now.
At the Ijaba Lodge, the rooms are a cozy place to rest after a long day at the Etosha safari. The staff is friendly and the outdoor pool is the perfect addition. And the food? Let’s just say I wouldn’t mind being stranded on a deserted island with their chef.
And who knows? You might even spot some zebra snakes or black mambas while you’re there—we did!
Sure, it’s about an hour’s drive from Etosha NP, but that’s nothing in Namibian terms. Very well worth the extra drive for the welcome you’ll get each time you come back to Iljaba Lodge.
4. Seclusion with rhino views @ Mountain Peak Game Lodge (Damaraland)
Mountain Peak Game Lodge was a high contender on my list of potential places to sleep in Namibia, narrowly losing out to Iljaba Lodge in the end. But since they are just 30 minutes away from each other, it made no sense to stay in both. When I look at it now I still wish I could’ve stayed there—those infinite views from the bungalow terrace would’ve been epic!
It’s a smaller-sized, 4* lodge with 5* comfort and cleanliness. If you want to feel like you are part of a secret society of a few chosen ones where staff can give you their undivided attention, this is the place for you.
Each bungalow has an outdoor sitting area with unobstructed views into the valley, but all you really need to do is sit up in your bed and bam! Views!
The main lounge also has a sun deck (or moon deck, depending on when you’re sitting there), which just so happens to be above a watering hole popular with the local rhinos. Just imagine it—it’s sunset, you’re lounging, sipping your cocktails while the rhinos are chilling, sipping their water. It’s the African dream.
There’s a restaurant on site—the food seems to get only praise!—and they do game drives for their guests. Small outdoor pool and a fire pit just add to the fun. (Also, have you notices that almost any lodge in Namibia is a wildlife resort of sorts? It’s awesome.)
The location of Mountain Peak Game Lodge is perfect for visiting Damaraland and the Himba tribes, but would also work for Etosha National Park in a pinch—the drive there takes about 1.5 hours, which is still doable.
5. What luxury desert dreams are made of @ Sandfontein Lodge & Nature Reserve (southern Namibia)
You know those over-the-water bungalows in the Maldives, where each one has its own pathway to from the fancy common area? This place is kind of a like that, but instead of the turquoise sea, it’s 50 shades of brown sand and rocks all around you.
But seriously, if you’re toying with the idea of a luxury lodge in Namibia, don’t want anything too conceited, but still want to feel like you are in your very own desert oasis—Sandfontein Lodge & Nature Reserve could be it for you.
Each of the 5 bungalows (yes, complete with its own pathway!) will give you the feeling of serenity with gorgeous views to the mountains.
It’s the type of place where you’ll happily get out of bed way too early in the morning to get a glimpse of that unforgettable sunrise—though all the bungalows face east, so all you need to do is pry your eyes open. At night, while you’re sitting out on the wooden deck feasting on whatever is for dinner, the Milky Way will put on a show you won’t see anywhere else.
Sandfontein’s very own restaurant, bar & grill are a necessity, since there is nowhere else far and wide to feed yourself. You’ll be content staying put though, either resting in style, swimming at the outdoor pool, or taking advantage at the activities on offer (everything from scenic drives to canoeing or private flights).
The lodge is in the very south of Namibia, away from literally everything unless you consider Fish River Canyon close by (you could also use it as a stopover on the way to or from South Africa).
Ok, this may sound weird coming from a guy that hates the desert, but if you can see the beauty in the desolate landscape, you will certainly feel like you found a little strip of paradise at Sandfontein Lodge & Nature Reserve.
6. The most exclusive canyon views @ Fish River Lodge (at Fish River Canyon)
I feel like all you need to know about Fish River Lodge is that the chalets sit right on the rim of Fish River Canyon, and that they are happy to scoot your bed out onto your terrace for the ultimate non-camping, sleeping under the stars experience. (You also get an indoor and outdoor shower.)
But apparently it’s expected that I write a little bit more info, so here goes nothing:
Not only does this place have bungalows literally on the canyon rim, but they also offer shorter and more comfortable trips into the canyon. No need to hike the full 86 km like some kind of crazed mountain goat… actually, no need to hike at all—Fish River Lodge is also the only one that is allowed to take you on a canyon drive. Or, if you’re feeling a special kind of exclusive, they do helicopter tours as well.
The views from the lodge are absolutely stunning is all I can say—not only from your room, but also from the common hall, restaurant, and the wooden deck at the pool. Fish River Lodge is both comfortable and breathtaking.
The staff are super attentive and treat (and feed!) you like royalty, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the canyon’s beauty without any worries (and any effort if that’s your vibe).
7. Relax by the Okavango River @ Divava Okavango Resort & Spa (Caprivi Strip)
With a view overlooking the Okavango River, this lodge is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day spent dodging pesky baboons and encountering all kinds of wildlife, from elephants to crocodiles to hippos.
Remember this is the Caprivi Strip, the wildest part of Namibia, so coming back from a day exploring the national parks, you’ll want all the comfort you can get. I wouldn’t go as far as to call Divava Okavango Resort luxury (they call themselves that), but all things considered, you’d be hard pressed to find a nicer property.
The chalets themselves feature a large deck and more space than you’d ever need in your vacation home. But the real star of the show is the spacious bathroom with a freestanding bath set up by floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the river, as well as an outdoor shower. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some wildlife from the comfort of your tub!
If you work up an appetite while trying to spot hippos, you’ll be happy to know that Divava’s restaurant at offers superb choices, like the outstanding five-course menu. I’m always impressed when a place that’s way out in the boonies manages to have a chef that is more than happy to accommodate all of your culinary wishes—and does it well.
You can go on a boat safari or visit Popa Falls, or the Mahango Game Reserve which is just a 10-minute drive away, to spot elephants, leopards, and hippos (and baobabs!).
Divava Okavango Resort also has a pool and a spa with massage treatments.
8. A camp for those that don’t like camping @ Twyfelfontein Adventure Camp (Damaraland)
I don’t like camping. I like walls. And my own toilet. So if you twisted my arm and I had to spend the night in a tent, I’d very reasonably expect at least a comfortable bed, wooden floors, big (glass!) windows, and a private bathroom—you know, everything camping isn’t.
Luckily, the folks at Twyfelfontein Adventure Camp also seem to not like proper camping, and their “tents” have everything it takes to lure me and my kind in.
Adventurous? Yes! Too spoiled and/or old to sleep on the ground? Also yes!
You’ll find everything you’d expect from a high-end hotel room in the poor excuses for tents at the Adventure Camp. The larger, premium tents and the small, not-good-enough-for-me tents are built right in front of huge, granite rocks with views out into the landscape (there are also stairs up onto the rocks for some extra fun!). You can take those in from your private terrace as well.
There’s also a good restaurant and a new outdoor pool that make it really easy to oscillate between food, rest, and relaxation and really hard to sign up for one of the activities they offer, like the elephant discovery drive.
Once you do get yourself out and about, it’s easy to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Twyfelfontein (5 km away) or the Damara Living Museum that’s right around the corner (actually right on the other side of the rock you’ll be sleeping beside). The area is one of the most beautiful places in Namibia, so you should really take time to soak it all in!
9. A 5-star hotel with a view in Windhoek @ The Weinberg Windhoek
You’ll be roughing it in Namibia even on the best of days—the desert can do that to you (it does to me!). So take advantage of the capital and make yourself comfortable while you still can!
Cue The Weinberg—a 5-star hotel in Windhoek that “combines old world charm with modern amenities” (couldn’t have said it better myself). Frankly, I’m there for the fantastic bed and hot shower, but that’s not all the Weinberg has going for it.
It has the luxury of being close to the city (on the east side, which is the side the airport is on), but far enough that you get some panoramic views of the valley from the Sky Lounge.
Parking was no problem, and The Weinberg also boasts some fine restaurants—you have to try the Cape Town Fish Market!—and a spa and gym. Having these facilities on site means easy rest after a long flight and before your packed Namibia itinerary kicks off.
There are so many other beautiful places in Namibia that you probably won’t want to waste any precious time in the capital, Windhoek. But if you’re flying in and out of the city (and not, for example, overlanding to South Africa), you’ll appreciate The Weinberg for that night or two.
Namibia’s a land of contrasts, where you can splurge on a fancy lodge that’s more mediocre than memorable, and just as easily save some bucks by bedding down in a cheap shack with questionable hygiene standards. So choosing wisely, ideally based on someone’s trustworthy personal experience (🙋) is extra important.
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