To start with I will point out there are 2 sides to the Amani Lodge: 1) The lodge itself, which functions as a B&B and 2) The Big Cat experience. Most reviews of Amani are old, so this reflects the recent state of the lodge and is about the lodge itself. This lodge is on the expensive side and when in comparison to other lodges/camps we stayed at in Namibia in the same price range there was just no justification. There was so much that was wrong about the lodge that I will simply list the issues:
1) The owners (Alain & Oliver) were not there, nor was any senior mgm't - in fact the lodge appeared to be run by the very nice dining room hostess, who was also our wait staff and the receptionist. We had no contact with anyone else, although the cheetahs that roamed around the dining area did seem to have an interest in us.
2) The condition of the lodge, the huts and the grounds were in general - bad and getting worse. It appears the lodge has fallen on difficult times financially and maintenance in general has been abandoned.
3) Conditions I noted within the first 30 minutes: a) The entrance road is not for the faint of heart nor a 2x4 vehicle without significant ground clearance, plus the final signage led us to the overnight parking which was nearly impossible to reach by our vehicle, b) Our hut needed considerable attention (screen door ripped, no bathroom amenities, broken lamp, cobwebs, no safe. floor mats 5 years past their dispose date, etc), c) the grounds in general needed attention and the pool was in need of cleaning - if you could navigate the wooden pool deck which should have been replaced 5 years ago as it was full of holes/missing misses of decking, etc,
4) The food. Dinner (not included, but necessary as departing the lodge once we arrived was not going to be done except to leave the next morning due to the entrance road) consisted of a lackluster salad, a piece of chicken that wouldn't qualify as "rubber" as it was dry, tough, over cooked and a dessert. Breakfast (included in price) was underwhelming and led us to buy a very early lunch that day.
A note about the "Big Cat" experience - before we embarked on this trip we thought the Big Cat experience was included as we were told to arrive at the lodge before 3 pm in order to take part in the experience. When we arrived we found this was NOT included in the cost and would be an additional 550 Namibian or about 55 Euros each. As we had been on safari and had also done a similar cat drive 2 weeks prior (for about 10 Euros each), we declined this option. There is however a very nice dog and 2 tame warthogs (who think they too are dogs), so we enjoyed their company.
- Also Known As:
- Amani Hotel Windhoek