Eco Awards Namibia
Quiver trees, Nama culture, rugged landscape and an impressive sweeping rock formation characterise Canyon Village. Stone-and-thatch chalets are positioned in a horse-shoe design around a celebration of young quiver trees and the sprawling thatched central area, bedecked with bougainvillea, serving as restaurant, bar, lounge and reception. A cart drawn by a team of mules waits outside, conveying luggage to the chalets in a flurry of activity and laughter. 'Take a walk on the South's side' is a suitable motto for this Fish River Canyon lodge. The history of southern Namibia is depicted in murals on the restaurant's wall and a colourful and lively rendition of life in the golden time of the missions graces the wall in the reception area. An ox-wagon with hundreds of years of history ingrained in its wood stands in the buffet area and a well-preserved horse cart has been placed amongst the boulders in the cosy bar. Take a moment to honour the ancient Nama deity, Haitsi Aibeb, at the front entrance and to request a blessing for the journey ahead. Staff members take pride in wearing their traditional patchwork dress and headdresses here, bringing in the spirit of the south and the Nama people, one of the first peoples of southern Africa. The honey-coloured people have a knack for story-telling and have lovingly woven song and dance into their traditions. Their smile stretches far and wide.
These homely touches bring warmth and intrigue to a lodge which is an ideal base to explore the Fish River Canyon, Namibia's star attraction, twenty kilometres away. Join a guided excursion to the canyon viewpoints to be inspired by new perspectives or a 3-4 day Canyon Trail for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Be awed by this great Earth masterpiece patiently carved over the millennia. And make the time to put feet up, soak in the sun at the pool, loaf in one of the comfortable couches in the lounge, watch the sun set over the Gondwana Canyon Park on a sunset drive or stretch legs on the numerous walks through the rocky hills. You haven't gained a suitable perspective of the surrounds until you glimpse the spectacular view from the rocky heights. Gondwana Canyon Park has an abundance of wildlife. The plains animals are visible on the 4x4 Wildebeest Drive between Canyon Village/Lodge and Roadhouse. Enjoy a slow meander in the morning watching zebra, wildebeest, springbok and gemsbok, and include a stop at the Roadhouse for lunch before circling back on the gravel. There's an earthy appeal to the Village that mirrors the landscape of southern Namibia with an honest authenticity and integrity. Canyon land. Nama charm. And a wealth of rich storytelling.