An Oasis in the desert

…Gecko Ridge Swakopmund, a place worth visiting


By Hilary Mare

THE magnificent and owner-run Gecko Ridge guesthouse offers visitors a relaxed and easy going vibe and an ultimate welcome respite for holidaymakers and coastal travellers.

Situated 15km from the busy centre of Swakopmund, the facility rarely suffers the damp misty mornings often experienced in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, but instead, mostly enjoys radiant blue skies and beautiful sun all day long, making it eminently suitable for those who just want to get away from it all, or wish to arrange a private function or a year-end celebration.

In an interview with Confidente this week, the Owner of Gecko Ridge highlighted that this had always been his dream to come up with a place of providing these traits when he started building the house 10 years ago, adding that the lodge was developed to its current state year by year.

“Normally people who come to Swakopmund just want to be at the sea but this place offers people who want to be away from the congestion of Swakopmund, a nice place to relax and chill. Here you could feel that you are far away from Swakopmund but just 15 minutes away from the beach which is a nice thing for most travellers. This place also caters for those who feel like they need to get out of town a bit and relax, sit, read a book and other calm things. I personally like to do that, relax and recoup and I believe people are looking for this same alternative,” he said.

Speaking about the name of the lodge, Gecko Ridge, he noted that the name came from the fact that when he first came to the place and even now at certain times of the year, one would get little barking Geckos all over the place.

“So it’s like Geckos on the hill and that’s where I got the name from,” he explained.

Indeed, the tourism industry has not been doing well this year and Confidente understands that the industry suffered drastic visitor numbers decline and that Namibia has to be careful not to over price itself as a destination because people can travel elsewhere for affordable prices.

“We have one high season which really is not a high season and for us to grow, we need to spread out the high season over the whole year so that we get guests in all seasons. We also need to incentivise local travellers so that we can give them packages that are not expensive. We have special rates for them and we are trying to be affordable as possible.”

Above all, Gecko Ridge has been able to create a quite and relaxed ambiance that is unique in a place busy like Swakopmund and this is believed to be what makes Gecko Ridge a place worth visiting.

“We have a lot of spaces to walk around, relax and break away. There is this feeling of tranquillity here and great ambiance,” the owner further noted saying that, he being an engineer by profession, has had many ideas and only needed to combine these to create the landscaping that Gecko Ridge boasts of today.

Beautiful wooden sun decks overhanging ponds of running water allow for a well-deserved sun-downer to be enjoyed in idyllic surroundings, while taking in the amazing sunset over the Namib Desert and the famous moon landscape.

Gecko Ridge now looks to further add some more self-catering chalets and fat bike tours where people can ride on a track as added incentives. Holistically therefore, Gecko Ridge is a place that is worth visiting any time of the year.

Currently this facility houses six luxury rooms and seven self-catering chalets which are large and spacious  and ideal for the family wanting to provide for themselves during a weekend or a holiday by the sea, but still having a need for style and comfort. There are also 10 Campsites, clean with ample space and well-equipped coupled with a fully equipped gymnasium and pool available for guests in luxury rooms and chalets.