Desert Horse Inn is located in the Aus Mountains on the Klein Aus Vista Reserve - just off the B4 main road that leads to Luderitz and only 2.2km outside the town of Aus. This makes it an ideal base to visit the Namib Wild Horses, Kolmanskop (the old ghost town) and the town of Luderitz.
Our first impression of this wonderful lodge is that of a Wild West move scene with unspoiled semi-desert plains and mountains forming a backdrop. We were warmly welcomed by Piet the owner of the lodge and then shown around all the nooks and crannies.
We found a picture of the lodge covered in snow and asked Piet about that - he told us that his area can get very cold during winter because it is about 1,400m above sea level making it the coldest place in Namibia; it just seemed funny to see snow in a semi desert area!
A stone stairway leads you to the main entrance of the building which is built out of wood; straight in front is the reception area and just off to the right through an arch is the small curio shop.
Still on the lower level, next door to the reception is the lovely lounge area with large comfortable couches, pictures of horse and cow hides on the floor and a cosy fire place make an ideal place to relax. Tucked away at the back of the lounge is a wooden the bar.
A wooden staircase leads you up to the restaurant where guests can sit at individual tables or on an outside covered deck were you can enjoy a panoramic view of the surroundings. We had all our meals on the deck even when it rained.
We stayed at Desert Horse Inn over Christmas and at the entrance to the restaurant was an old quiver tree that was used as their Christmas tree, it made a lovely display.
All our meals were great, the waiter or waitress presents the menu while going through it with you, the starters and deserts are brought to your table but the main meal, salads, bread and cheese are buffet style. They have a great wine list with many different wines to try.
A network of gravel pathways lead you from the main building to the 28 chalets, all of which have twin beds, en suite bathrooms with shower, toilet and hand basin, a bar fridge, tea/coffee station ceiling fan and a private veranda. We found them to be tastefully decorated and very comfortable.
Geisterschlucht (ghost valley) Cabin is just 6km away from the main lodge and is available for self-catering guests. There are two dormitories which can sleep up to 10.
The cabin is so named, so the legend goes, after the ghosts of two diamond thieves who had stolen diamonds from the Sperrgebiet and they were caught by the police and killed in their Hudson vehicle that still stands there today.
Then there is the Desert Horse camp site which has 10 separate sites. The camp site is just 1.5km from the main lodge.
And if you want a bit more luxury and privacy there are the nine Eagle's Nest Chalets about 6 kilometers from the Inn.
Where do I start, there is so much on offer here! 6 well marked hiking trails range between 1.5km to 20.4km or the Mountain bike trails, (bikes can be hired at the lodge).
Once a year, around April, a Mountain Bike Challenge is organised by the lodge. Guided game drives are also on offer.
Take your camera on your walks because there is so much to see - animals like Gemsbok, springbok, wild horses, the lovely flora and fauna and even a old rusty car full of bullet holes!
The town of Aus was occupied by the Germans during the first world war and you can still see evidence of this by the ramparts dotted around the park. (Ramparts are walls built of rocks for the troops to hide behind during battle).
Then there is a self-drive option, just 20km down the road are the famous Wild Horses of Namibia - a hide provides shelter when viewing the horses at the waterhole.
We had a lovely time watching them coming and going and playing in the water.
If Wild Horses are not your thing then try a drive down towards Luderitz to the old mining ghost-town called Kolmanskop.
Here you will find an old town that the desert is claiming back as its own – half the houses have sand dunes inside which makes for great photographs.
We had a wonderful stay at Desert Horse Inn and we were treated like personal friends. The staff members were both helpful and friendly and always present if you need anything.
God willing we will be back to visit this marvelous place. Thank you for a great stay!
For more information on Desert Horse Inn or to make your reservation, please visit the Gondwana Collection website
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