Soak up the splendour of Spitzkoppe at this special lodge

Posted on 4 April 2018

It’s the sort of unexpected architecture – and in such an extraordinary place – it makes you go ‘wow!’

Who could imagine buildings dancing lightly over but hardly touching the massive granite shoulders of Namibia’s famous mountain of gems?

Spitskoppen Lodge

The stylish, private accommodation consists of 15 generously spaced tastefully furnished chalets, each with private bathroom and covered outside viewing deck. Photo by Don Pinnock.

‘My dad used to camp here when he was a boy and as a family this was our spot,’ says Jenine Barnard, who runs the lodge. ‘There wasn’t a campsite then but we kept coming back. My dad says this mountain speaks to you. He’s spent a lot of time thinking about what could be done here.’

Years later her father, Ronnie Bernard, an architect, sought a concession to build the lodge. After 14 years of negotiations it was granted on the condition that, if necessary, it could be totally removed without damaging the site, and that he assist in managing the Spitzkoppen community campsite.

‘It took tons and tons of steel,’ Jenine recalls. ‘The trucks couldn’t get up here so we had to carry everything and make the frames on the spot. We built the whole place in nine months. My mom and I designed the decor.’

Access to the dining area – high above the plain facing the sunset – requires winding ramps that seem airborne. The chalets are sunrise- facing beyond a rocky ridge and accessible only by golf carts, which negotiate breathtaking ramps over the mountainside. These buildings, too, hover above the ground on stilts, are utterly luxurious and have roofs with a Mongolian-tent feel.

Spitskoppen Lodge

The pool area of Spitzkoppen Lodge. Photo by Don Pinnock.

‘People who come here love it. It’s so different,’ says Jenine. ‘On just a little bit of advertising and word of mouth, the response has been crazy. When the overseas market discovers us, we’re going to be very busy.’

Best feature: The sunset view across the endless Namibian plains from the deck of a pool high among the rocks.

Costs: R2800 per person sharing B&B. Lunch R180 per person, dinner R325 per person. Special rates for children available.


This review first appeared our bucket list January 2017 issue of Getaway magazine.

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Our bucket list January issue features 48 fabulous destinations to suit your budget, time frame and wildest fantasies. Here’s why you should go to Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Zambia and Hawaii in 2018.


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