My wife and I went exploring the Southern Namibian region over Christmas and had been told about Duwisib Castle, so we figured that we'd night stop there. We had not made a reservation and didn't know whether there were anything more than camping facilities available there. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the reception was open at around 16:30/17:00ish (many of the venues en route were closed between Christmas and New Year). The reception lady/cook was happy to help us and quoted us N$569 (R569) for a self-catering unit for the night, with which we were satisfied. It was hardly a glowing welcome, but it we got what we needed.
We did not bring our own food for the night and although we had seen a shop 20km's back down the road which we were quite happy to return to buy food if we had to, I enquired if there was a restaurant or cafe at Duwisib Castle. The lady replied that the coffee shop was only open at certain hours, but that they had a large tour bus of tourists that they were catering for that night and should we be happy to join them for dinner and breakfast, that they were happy to accommodate us, which I thought was very kind. There was only one problem - she wanted R500 for the pleasure!!! I'd be happy with the quote if it were a proper restaurant at which my wife and I could dine, but this was R500 for 2 people to have babotie and pap for dinner and salami and rolls for breakfast at 6am with 30 or 40 other campers! Needless to say, we bought a 6 pack of beers and headed off to our room and not the totally overpriced dinner/breakfast.
The little rooms were basic, but clean and nice. Our room came with 2 beds, a kitchen, a verandah (stoep) with table and chairs, braai area and a bathroom/shower. The room even had pots and pans and cooking utensils, but alas - NO FRIDGE! The room had electricity so we couldn't figure out why there wouldn't be a fridge to store one's food/drinks at a self-catering establishment in a desert?
PEACE AND QUIET:
If it's peace and quiet you're after, Duwisib is great. Great sunset, a romantic breeze flowing through the golden grass and the windmill's generated chugging away in the background. :)
The castle was closed in the evening, so we decided to return at 8:30am in the morning. It was still closed. We tried to sneak a peak inside but decided to leave. As we left, we saw an old lady walking through the bush and enquired if the castle opened. She told us it opened at 8am (45 minutes earlier by the time we were leaving), so we returned to the castle. After another 10 minutes or so, a man let us in at about 9am and we had a good look around. The staff were friendly the castle was very interesting. Again, we were about to leave we I noticed there was an entrance fee. The manager was on the phone, but I managed to distract him long enough to offer to pay at which point he gave my wife and I the Namibian discount (I'm a permanent resident), and we were on our way. (Why aren't they ensuring that they charge tourists?!)
This is a typical example of a Namibian attraction that could be SO MUCH more. The castle is amazing, with a great story behind it. If you're a horsey person, you'd like the history of the castle in particular, as Baron von Wolf was a horse breeder.
The grounds are well kept inside, like an oasis in the desert, but the little pond (or what could be a plunge pool) is empty. The castle is under-utilised. They should have a little pub on the roof or in the garden at which the visitors could have sundowners and enjoy the desert experience. The empty/sparsely furnished rooms in the castle should be available to stay in for the night, even at more expensive rates to those of the self-catering units. The coffee shop/reception should be open from 8am - 5pm every day without fail. Get fridges in the rooms. Advertise. Basically, get your act together and it could be a highlight of a trip through Southern Namibia and a way to stimulate the economy in that area as opposed to a wishy-washy distraction in the middle of nowhere.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.