Chameleon Backpacker’s Lodge is a mainstay on the Southern African tourist trail. Moreover, much like Jollyboy’s in Zambia, it is much more than a simple hostel. Chameleon Backpacker’s is part hostel and part lodge. Rooms range from typical backpacker dorms to luxury suites full of character. Beyond the rooms, Chameleon is also a tour operator and offers budget small group tours to places like Etosha National Park and Sossusvlei. In many ways, Chameleon is a one-stop shop for backpackers in Namibia.
To review the hostel, I’ll go through my usual analysis and scoring.
I got a nice look at all of the rooms at Chameleon, they range from luxury to dorms and everything in between. The thing I like about the rooms is that they have a little bit of a unique identity to each of them. Rooms are named after different animals and are all completely different. They all have their own character.
The facilities at Chamelon are good. They basically have everything one would need. There’s a nice pool in the main area with a nearby bar, a beautiful kitchen, and a TV room. There is no restaurant on site, which is a bit of a shame, but they’ll order delivery for you if you’d like, or there are some places nearby. My only gripe is that the internet is pay-for. How important is internet to some people? I’d pay a couple dollars more for a lower quality hostel if I knew I didn’t have to pay for the wifi.
When I did my review for Jollyboys Backpackers in Livingstone, I noted how it was possible to have a good location in a city that has no bad location. While, in the case of Windhoek, Chameleon is a hostel with a good location in a city with no good locations. In Windhoek, there’s not a massive tourist center, so it’s not like you’ll find museums, restaurants, and sights all within walking distance. Still, the location here is about as good as it gets as you’re near groceries, a couple restaurants and the main traffic arteries.
Atmosphere and Fun
The atmosphere at Chameleon is great. I love the vibe and how they’ve encorporated not only the African flavour to things, but also the natural world. In the middle of the city, Chameleon doesn’t feel surrounded by buildings, it feels like a lodge. As for fun, it’s a good place. The bar always has a fair share of people near it, and the poolside area is a bit of a hangout zone. Don’t expect it to get wild and crazy here either though.
The staff is awesome. I found each and every one of them to be incredibly helpful and really pleasant. All of them were willing to go beyond to make sure you got what you need. Moreover, they all seemed to have a bit of a sense of humour that they weren’t afraid to show off. Really good people here.
Overall Score: 44/50
I’d definitely recommend Chameleon to you if you’re heading to Windhoek. And if you do head that way, be sure to say hi to all the staff for me. Enjoy!