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“An interesting spot at the end of a bumpy road.”

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n'Kwazi Lodge & Camping Site
Ranked #5 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Rundu
Sydney
Level Contributor
119 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
“An interesting spot at the end of a bumpy road.”
Reviewed July 1, 2013

We stayed here on our safari with Peregrine. The location is right beside the river. Angola is literally on the other side. We arrived at the lodge via a very interesting road and it was a bit hard to believe what we found at the end. The lodge is very attractive and rambles along the river bank. It can get very cold at night during the winter months as the top part of the rooms is open (with fly screen only at the top). The rooms were comfortable though but the power does go off from about 10pm until 6am. As with any travel in Africa - always remember your torch. On arrival the lodge asked if we would like to see local dancers and organised for a local dance troupe to come in and perform for us which was interesting. They sang and danced for over half an hour. Our evening meal was very enjoyable and breakfast in the morning was standard and good. Just remember the overnight part with this lodge - rug up in bed during the colder months and keep your torch close.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Julie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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102 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
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English first
Berg en Dal, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2013

This very nice lodge at the banks of the Okavango River. You really feel at home, and you even become part of the family when you happen to be there on a Saturday night to join the braai (BBQ). Very helpful personnel, and they support the local community. Take a sunset trip on the Okavango River and visit the local villages.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank pav_nl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redruth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
57 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed November 16, 2012

We stayed here as part of a birding tour. Why we still don't know. Yes there were some birds in the grounds but that would be true of virtually anywhere. The room was dust laden due to the ongoing construction at the site. It is truly incoherent, there are new concrete accommodation houses for example, accessible only by a rough footpath and though fully furnished they are unused. We asked for a birding boat trip. It was a total farce. They had no idea and the boat frankly was in terrible condition and shouldn't be being used.

The staff clearly work very hard but can't make up for the deficincies. There have to be better places to stay around Rundu.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank MichaelACox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Rundu hotels

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
113 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2012

On our way from Maun to Etosha we needed to break up our driving days and we found Nkwazi highly ranked on both Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor. We, too, really liked this place situated right on the river with Angola in easy view on the other side. The rooms were clean, spacious and comfortable. The common areas are great – the bar and dining room both have firepits to keep you warm on the cool evenings. There was a TV, but it was seldom in use. The kids liked the clean swimming pool, though the weather was cold while we were there so they only went in a few times. There are many birds on the premises and the grounds are beautiful and well-kept. We had dinner one night while there was a larger tour group staying the night and the food was fabulous. It ranked in the top 5 meals we have had in Africa. The home-cooking was heartwarming and delicious. The electric runs on a generator in the rooms, so was only on in the morning and evenings. However we were able to use the electric in the bar area to charge electronics and phones. The owners said they are contemplating putting in a computer station because phone and internet access is limited due to the local geography. It would certainly be a good idea and helpful as Nkwazi's location makes it more of a 'stop off' point than a destination. But we liked it enough to stay a second night, so that says something. For a relaxing and inviting environment, Nkwazi is the place.

PS - was shocked to read the previous review about the person bothered by the drumming all night. We experienced this in Kruger, parts of Botswana, and throughout Namibia and it is more background noise than anything else. If that person is so 'sensitive', s/he might want to consider travelling with earplugs. Our experience was clearly very, very different.

Room Tip: There are some view chalets right on the river. We didn't stay there but they looked fabulous.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank TravelFamily2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Earth
Level Contributor
240 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
Reviewed October 2, 2012

The reviews about this property illustrate why it is difficult to get a handle on this lodging option. It is the kind of place people either love or hate. There is little in the middle.

When evaluating this property as an option when traveling along the Caprivi Strip In Namibia, you need to decide what is important to you and define the kind of experience you are seeking. Those who relish an authentic African experience may very well love this property. There is no doubt that the owner is committed to helping the local community and does so through n'Kwazi Lodge.

If rolling up your sleeves and having an authentic African experience with its pluses and minuses is not exactly your cup of tea, you might be best to give this place a pass. If you are just looking for an average no frills hotel stay for an overnight, you might also wish to give this place a pass. If, on the other hand, you think it is really cool to "give back" to locals in a simple way, and you like to camp out, then this may be perfect for you.

In our case, we were booked here by a travel agent who was friends with the owner. She waxed poetic about how great n'Kwazi was and how much she enjoyed staying here. Unfortunately, we did not share her enthusiasm and, as others have said, we left rather than staying the night.

Everything that other reviewers say is true. The photos show the rooms. There are no secrets. Best for you to look at each review and make up your own mind as to whether this is the type of place you would like to stay.

Clearly, not for everyone. But for those with a bent for the goals n'Kwazi is trying to achieve, it may be an excellent option.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Boudecca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dublin
Level Contributor
127 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2012

This lodge is situated on the edge of the Kavango river, with Angola on the other bank. It reminded me of a place I stayed in on teh Mara River in Kenya in the mid-1980s, while one of my friends thought it was like a Zambezi fishing lodge of the 1970s - i.e. a bit old-fashioned, particularly when compared to other lodges we stayed in near Etosha. The downside was that there was constant noise of drumming and singing all night- which sounded like a party, and which we thought was coming from the Angolan side of the river. However, it was actually from the adjacent village. Apparently, the 'prophet' (i.e witch-doctor) had arrived to cure a local woman who was sick and this involved non-stop drumming etc. This kept some of our group awake all night, and other guests were awake for some of the night. When we mentioned this to one of the owners in the morning, she was totally dismissive saying it was ther custom - no apology or attempt at an explanation - just an arrogant dismissal. Given that the Lodge makes a big play of supporting the local community, I would have assumed that the community would have been told that the relationship is a two-way street, and that such disturbances should not continue all night - after all it is the income from the guests which enables the Lodge to help the community.

Either way, it is not a place I would be too keen on returning to.

Room Tip: Get the one furthest away from the village!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank 06D123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Camberley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
133 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2012

I have been in South Africa many times and stayed in all different types of accomodation from the very basic to the plush. On this trip we were travelling around South Africa, Namibia and Botswana for 3 weeks and this place was very much the absolute low point. We arrived at about 4pm on a boiling hot day. We were greeted by the "receptionist" (there is no actual reception he was just floating around!) We were shown to our chalets which have no windows only mesh on 3 walls. There is no fan/air con so they were very very warm, but at the same time they were very dark due to the dark wood used. We wanted to have showers after our long journey but the bathroom was too dark and we were informed they was no electricity for lights until the generator came on at 5pm. By 6.10pm the generator had still not been switched on and this was not done until two of our party complained. The barman was very rude to one of our party which set a bad tone for the evening. Dinner was pretty good, it was a buffet with a few choices. It was quite expensive however and there was no option of an a la carte.
The main problem we had was that from 9pm at night until 7am the local townspeople held some sort of religious session where they drummed incessantly for the ENTIRE night and chanted loudly. This could be heard clearly in all the chalets and meant I did not get a wink of sleep. I was obviously very distressed by this as we had a lot of travelling to do the next day. When the female owner asked about our sleep we told her outright how bad it was. She was really rude and basically told us is was a cultural thing and that we wouldn't understand. I retorted that as paying guests we expected more and that we understand perfectly the culture behind it.
The lodge support the local township in many ways, so I would expect that the township in return would understand that the lodge have paying guests who are on vacation and wish to relax. The main nail in the coffin was the awful customer service we received.
Avoid this place like the plague. You could not pay me enough to return and I am horrified to think that I had to pay for the night of misery I endured.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank lucy1038
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about n'Kwazi Lodge & Camping Site

Property: n'Kwazi Lodge & Camping Site
Address: Kayengona District, Rundu 1623, Namibia
Location: Namibia > Kavango Region > Rundu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Rundu
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
With 18 en-suite thatched bungalows, a buffet restaurant, bar and lounge with free Wi-Fi, sparkling clear swimming pool, sunset river cruises, traditional dances, a wide variety of bird life, cultural excursions and the possibility to help the Mayana Community through sponsoring orphaned children, n'Kwazi Lodge is the perfect stop between the Etosha National Park in Namibia, and the Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
n`Kwazi Hotel Rundu

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