The man who found the site for Canyon Lodge - News - Gondwana Collection


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The man who found the site for Canyon Lodge

Avatar of inke inke - 20. juillet 2017 - Gondwana Collection

Roland Vincent with the former manager of the Canyon Lodge, Justine Nuxas (right), in front of the old farmhouse that now serves as reception, souvenir shop, kitchen and dining room

“This has become more beautiful than I imagined. The first bungalows were constructed exactly where I recorded them on the floor. The swimming pool should be where the Braai (barbecue) is today. But the current pool location is much nicer.” Roland Vincent visited the Canyon Lodge at the beginning of 2017 with much enthusiasm. He had discovered this idyllic spot from a plane 23 years ago, and Manni Goldbeck was very certain that that was the right place to build a lodge. Near the second largest canyon in the world.

Unfortunately, the spot Vincent found perfect was not on the farm of Augurabis, which was to be opened by Goldbeck and his partner at the time but rather lay on the neighbouring farm Karios. And the plan was not to build a lodge, only a campsite.

The group came together on Augurabis, which with its green bushes and trees, high rocks on the edge of a dry river, and an old farmhouse was ideal for a campsite. Water was abundant, the location protected and quite easy to reach. But, as Roland emphasized, a bit far from the main road and only accessible to off-road vehicles. “We had acquired the Augurabis farm, but we had no money for a lodge and none to buy the neighbouring farm,” said Goldbeck.

Roland Vincent remained stubborn and recommended to build a lodge on the exact place a had chosen. Once or twice he was in the area after the whole things got rolling, and then not again until 31 January 2017. He had never seen the Canyon Lodge, on the edge of the rocky mountains before. Instead, he designed and built a few lodges in central and northern Namibia. All the more surprised when he sat the finished and successful product for the first time, 23 years later. Manni Goldbeck and his partners had covered all the stops. The Gondwana Collection’s first lodge opened in 1996 and has been growing constantly since.

Roland Vincent is now an animal filmmaker. He lives in Mauritius and fondly remembers his time in Namibia, although he endured a few setbacks. “I started building grassy lodges, creating an income for people in the north-east of the country where most grass is harvested. This resulted in fewer fires and a sustainable natural resource,” said Vincent, standing between the bungalows of the Canyon Lodge, in the south of Namibia.

Not only is he fascinated by the unique location between the granite boulders, where the Canyon Lodge is nestled between the rocks today. He is also interested in the rocks along the edge of the Fish River and other dry rivers in the Gondwana Canyon Park area, as there are countless rock engravings. What do they mean, who created them and why, is a mystery. And next to his love for the Canyon Lodge, they are the reason for Roland Vincent to return, and figure out how and with what tools these people had carved the patterns in the hard rock.


Dirk Heinrich

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