Where to stay
(13 rooms) Fifth Av, PO Box 661, Keetmanshoop; tel: 063 225850; fax: 063 223532; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
George Roux has plugged a big gap in the market with the elegant Central Lodge, opened in 2001. A breath of fresh air in Keetmanshoop, the Central is just that – central. Its narrow entrance leads through the restaurant to a spacious courtyard, complete with fountain, around which are set light, welcoming rooms. Each is well appointed, with en-suite shower, TV, phone, air conditioning/heating, telephone and tea/coffee-making facilities. Three luxury rooms also boast a jacuzzi.
Beyond the courtyard is a swimming pool surrounded by a grassy area with tables and chairs. In the main building, the stylish and modern restaurant is open 12.00–14.00 and 18.30–21.00 daily, except Sunday evenings, serving the standard fare of steaks, fish and crayfish. Alongside is a small bar, while outside, secure parking is available for visitors' vehicles.Rates: single N$200–225, double N$350–400, family from N$450, including breakfast.
(70 rooms) Warmbader Rd, PO Box 950, Keetmanshoop; tel: 063 223361; fax: 063 223714; email: email@example.com; web: www.canyon-namibia.com
Time has not dealt kindly with Keetmanshoop's best hotel, and it's looking a little worn, although there's a rolling programme of renovation, and rooms downstairs have recently been redecorated. That said, the service remains friendly, and the rooms, whilst they could be anywhere in the world, are comfortable, with TVs, direct-dial telephones, air conditioning and simple coffee machines. En-suite bathrooms have showers and, downstairs, hairdryers.
Around the hotel you'll find a restaurant, a bar, curio shop, and large outdoor pool, as well as a separate coffee shop/bar serving light meals. Rates (low/high season): single N$290/414, double N$450/644, including breakfast. Low season is November to March.
Bird's Mansions Hotel
(22 rooms) Sixth Av, PO Box 460, Keetmanshoop; tel: 063 221711; fax: 063 221730; email: birdsmansions:iway.na; web: http://birdnest.hypermart.net or www.visitnambia.de
In the centre of town, Bird's Mansions was taken over three years ago by Riana Jacobs, owner of the Bird's Nest B&B, and friendly service is the hallmark here. Large rooms with new carpets and fans are off the courtyard at the back, while those in the main building remain old fashioned. All share the same facilities, though: TV, telephone and air conditioning. Construction at the rear of the hotel will result in a lapa with heated swimming pool, eating area and dance floor by August 2002.
There's off-street parking behind the hotel (entrance on Seventh St). The airy restaurant offers a varied menu of fish, game, steak and pasta, with prices in the N$40–75 bracket. Next door is an internet café.Rates: single N$280, double N$400, family room N$550, including breakfast.
Bird's Nest B&B
(10 rooms) 16 Pastorie St, PO Box 460, Keetmanshoop; tel: 063 222906; fax: 222261; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: http://birdnest.hypermart.net or www.visitnamibia.de
The Bird's Nest is an excellent little B&B close to the centre of Keet, and under the same ownership as Bird's Mansions, Rooms are fairly small, but light and modern, with attractive fabrics and en-suite showers or baths. All have air conditioning/heating, ceiling fans, TV, telephone and facilities for making hot drinks. Outside, the gardens are well tended, underlying the care that goes into this place.Rates: single N$250, double N$380, family N$530 (up to 4 people, of which 2 under 12), including breakfast.
Home Sweet Home
(7 rooms) 19 Luchtenstein St, PO Box 1164, Keetmanshoop; tel: 063 22607, cell: 081 127 5397; email: email@example.com
Tucked away down a side street close to the centre of town, this vivid green and purple bed and breakfast is certainly eye-catching. Rooms are bright, light and modern, with combinations of double and bunk beds, basic self-catering facilities and en-suite shower, and there's secure parking. For all its attractions, though, the place didn't feel particularly welcoming when we visited.Rates: single N$200, double N$280, 4 people N$380. Breakfast is not available, but costs around N$25 at Uschi's restaurant down the road.
(7 rooms) 12 Sixth Av, PO Box 582, Keetmanshoop; tel: 063 223845; fax: 063 229253
George and Elsa Brand bought this hundred-year-old house in 1997, painted it bright pink and converted it into a guesthouse, with some interesting results. Somewhat chintzy in décor, the rooms vary from the fairly luxurious, with air conditioning and TV, to the more standard, with a fan. Although all are en suite, check your room first if you're sharing – one has the toilet in the bedroom. Outside is a small pool and a pleasant rocky garden, plus secure parking.Rates: single N$160–200, double N$260–300, including breakfast.
(6 rooms) 138 13th St, Westdene, PO Box 690, Keetmanshoop; tel/fax: 063 223892; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This quiet little residential B&B with its pretty garden is in the Westdene suburb. To reach it, head west and then northwest on Kaiser St, crossing the railway line. Then turn sharp left into Westdene, and right into 19th Av. 13th St is the third turning on the left. The place is friendly and professional.
Attractive rooms have en-suite facilities and air conditioning, and there is a small swimming pool that you can use. Breakfast is provided, and other meals are available on request. Rates: single N$240, double N$350, family N$460, including breakfast.
(5 rooms) 129 10th St, PO Box 415, Keetmanshoop; tel: 063 222844; cell: 081 124 6278; fax: 063 223289
Also in the suburb of Westdene, this small pension set in attractive gardens was opened in 2001 by Laetitia Schröer. As for Pension Gessert, above, take the road to the northwest towards the airport, cross over the bridge and turn left at the lights, then left again into 10th St. Double and family rooms all have TV, air conditioning/heating and en-suite showers, and there's safe parking. Pleasant and welcoming, this place offers good-value accommodation.Rates: single N$150, double N$250, family N$100 per person. Breakfast N$25 per person.
Eighth Av, P Bag 2125, Keetmanshoop; tel: 063 223316 or 221265; fax: 063 222835
This has been one of Namibia's best municipal sites for years. Inside protective coils of razor wire lie clean ablution blocks surrounded by grass lawns (easily pierced by tent-pegs), and there's lots of space for cars and caravans on the gravel drives that surround the grass. It's a very good site, if you are happy to camp in town.Rates: N$40.25 per site, plus N$19.55 per vehicle. Showers N$9.20.
(25 dormitory beds, 5 double rooms) 12 Schmiede St, PO Box 1381, Keetmanshoop; tel: 063 223454; fax: 063 225259
Keet's only backpackers' hostel is close to the junction with 3rd St, next door to the purple house. Rooms are basic but clean, with shared bathrooms and toilets, and a communal kitchen. A standard 'per person' rate makes this good value for double rooms. Rates: N$70 per person.