While Namibia is more famous for being the home of the Namib Desert, it must be remembered that much of eastern and southern Namibia is covered by another – the Kalahari Desert. The Kalahari is not a true desert as it receives too much rain, but it is actually a fossil desert. So do not expect to find the tall sand dunes associated with Sossusvlei, the landscape is more one of golden grass and small red dunes.
The Kalahari Desert – or Kgalagadi, as it is known in Botswana – stretches across 7 countries – Botswana, Zambia, the Republic of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It’s coverage in Namibia is called a ‘desert’ principally because it’s porous, sandy soils cannot retain surface water, but in some areas annual rainfall can be as high as 250mm, which accounts for the luxuriant grass cover during good years.
As the Namibian area of the Kalahari Desert is covered with trees, ephemeral rivers and fossil watercourses, the reasonably regular rainfall patterns that occur every year do allow for huge numbers of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, plant life and insects to thrive. In terms of vegetation most of the southern segment is taken up with camelthorn, red ebony and other acacias, and towards the centre silver terminalia and shrubs are common. Farther north, where the climate is wetter, the acacia gives way to bush savannah and dry woodland of kiaat (also known as wild teak) Zambezi teak (also called mkusi or Rhodesian teak) wild seringa (formerly Rhodesian ash) manketti, shiwi and other magnificent timber species. Large numbers of Tamboti trees grow in the Grootfontein area. The quiver tree (Aloe dichotoma) A. hereroensis and A. littoralis are 3 species of aloe that also occur here.
The bush and grass of the Kalahari Desert provide perfect ambush cover for cheetah to get within sprinting distance of springbok, hare and porcupine. Giraffes can go without drinking water for several weeks and browse various Acacia species for additional sustenance. Zebra graze leaves, grass, bark and roots throughout the area and gemsbok, surely one of Namibia’s most remarkable mammals, obtains sufficient moisture from leaves and grasses. Black-backed jackal scavenge for carrion, kill young livestock (as do caracal) and otherwise survive on insects, birds and rodents and if the opportunity presents itself, small antelope. Black-footed cats prefer short to medium-length grass.
Primates such as the lesser bushbaby and vervet monkey, the insect-eating aardwolf and other mammals including honey badger, meerkat and yellow mongoose, are all denizens of the Kalahari Desert. Arnhem Caves, one of the largest cave systems in Africa, is situated close to Windhoek on the edge of this famous semi-barren land. A visit to it’s surrounding famous red sands are well-worth the effort. The giant leaf-nosed bat, the largest insect-eating bat in the world, can be found here as well as other sorts of cave wall clingers.
After mammals, birding comes a close second for many wildlife enthusiasts visiting Namibia. Species are many and varied and the Kalahari is a superb birding destination, especially to watch raptors. Expect to see martial eagle, brown snake eagle, black-breasted snake eagle, white-backed and lappet-faced vulture. The red-necked falcon will swallow swallows, snakes, bats and rodents. An interesting sight is the huge nests, housing colonies of sociable weaver birds, these nests often completely dominate the large acacia trees or telegraph poles on which they are built. The area is also home to crimson-breasted shrike, rosy-faced lovebird, Gaber goshawk, pygmy falcon and ant-eating chats, the rolling dunes and deep Kalahari sands provide ample birding and photographic opportunities.
A desert wouldn’t be a desert without reptiles and scorpions. The Kalahari purple-glossed snake live in sandy soils and round-headed worm lizards shelter under stones in both sandy and bushveld habitats. Eastern tiger snakes climb dead trees and into buildings in search of small roosting birds and bats. One of the most common snakes is the puff adder, unlike most snakes it is fairly lazy and will not necessarily move off when it hears you approaching making It is fairly easy to tread on one and they won’t hesitate to introduce you to their long fangs if you do.
Scorpions are true desert-dwellers and some of the largest species in southern Africa reside in the Kalahari Desert. The orange-coloured Parabuthus granulatus dig burrows and forage actively for prey, often after other scorpions. Although it has a small sting, it is the most venomous of the region’s scorpions. The largest and most common scorpion in the Kalahari sand system is the Parabuthus raudus, which reaches up to 160mm in length. Beware of this one though, especially when it is digging a burrow at the base of a plant, as it has been known to spray venom when provoked.
The regular rainfall patterns mentioned earlier support many species of plant life. This allows some of the desert’s smaller creatures to locate themselves here. The obscure sapphire andsilvery bar butterflies are attracted to the creamy white flowers of the black thorn acacia. The larvae of red tips and queen purple tips feed on the leaves of the shepherd’s tree and the caterpillars of white-cloaked and spotted velvet skipper do likewise on the leaves of the velvet raisin bush. The Delagoa sandman can also be observed in the Kalahari
Desert, often flying close to the ground or around one of the 30 species of Stipagrostis such as tall bushman grass.
The most widespread species of dragonfly on the planet visits Namibia regularly, usually gliding along courtesy of rain-bearing winds. The global wanderer sports distinctive large wings with orange tips and not only do they breed in pools of rain water but the female can oviposit in any freshwater body. The broad scarlet can inhabit any waterway and the horizontal stripes of the male violet dropwing are a feature of many a farm dam.
The aptly named Kalahari Tent Tortoise can be found in thorn bush, savannah and woodland. The main foraging period for this reptile is in the early morning when hyenas, jackals, birds of prey and honey badgers are on the prowl. San bushmen are also on the lookout for juvenile members of this species. Their shells end up being sold to unsuspecting tourists as perfume or decorated snuff containers. The eastern sandy regions attract leopard tortoises, the largest and most common of Namibia’s tortoises.
Namibia’s only amphibian – frogs, are represented in the Kalahari Desert. The giant bullfrog is perhaps the best known, not only because it is the largest frog in the country but when disturbed it will inflate itself, jaws open ready to give you a painful nip. Other croakers of the jumping kind include the tongue-less and eardrum free common platanna, the running frog which are often exposed at night by torchlight at the edge of the water and the rapid, high-pitched tuneful notes of Tandy’s sand frog.
But the Kalahari’s true lure lies in it’s eerie silence and solitude, both in the sparsely grassed plains and open spaces. Small but scattered populations of people live here. Sheep, limited ostrich farming and other agricultural enterprises dominate the erratic employment market. Today many of these businesses work together with the tourist industry. This provides much-needed additional income for the farmers, job security for their employees and vacancies on a permanent or temporary basis for the locally unemployed. Farm tours, game drives, hiking, guided Bushman walks and cultural visits around ranches large and small has enabled the region to become a popular tourist destination in it’s own right, especially for self-drive travelers. In Botswana although there are some private ranches, the land is mainly used on a communal basis, with the inhabitants raising goats and cattle.
The best known of the Kalahari’s inhabitants are the San Bushmen, numbering only a few thousand and squeezed into inhospitable pieces of land, where they are often exploited as cheap farm labour. The term ‘Bushmen’ is best know referring to nomadic hunter-gather people, also called ‘Basarwa’, (in Botswana) and ‘San’ (in Namibia and South Africa.) The word San means ‘foragers’ and in modern times, (unfairly) conjure up negative connotations of backwardness, low esteem, alcoholism and even banditry
But the Bushmen are a proud people, and are keen to demonstrate their origins and knowledge of living in the bushveld. They still retain some specific cultural and linguistic characteristics such as the very interesting and unique ‘click’ language, and listening to is a wonderful experience in itself. Five types of click sounds are known to exist, with a certain ‘sucking action of the tongue’ being responsible for the noise. Each has a different position of the tongue, and combined with the way the air is released, results in different sounds.
The Bushmen are the remnants of Southern Africa’s original inhabitants who occupied the whole sub-continent, long before black and white settlers invaded their territories and forced them to the margins. As proof of the fact that they occupied extensive territory, there are the superb ‘Bushman’ rock paintings that are found in great numbers in caves and rock shelters all over southern Africa. In Namibia, excellent examples of Bushman rock art can be found in the Damaraland region. If you are wanting to visit Botswana, you may want to consider looking at car hire in Botswana.
Although there is no national park in the areas of Namibia covered by the Kalahari, there are several recommended lodges and guest farms which allow visitors to explore this desert area.
Bagatelle Kalahari Game Lodge lies on the edge of the southern Kalahari only 50mins drive from Mariental. This is a peaceful owner-run lodge located in a mixed tree and shrub savannah setting, broken by deep red parallel sand dunes. The valleys in between the parallel dunes are commonly known as ‘dune streets’. As it is only a two and a half hour drive from Namibia’s capital city Windhoek, Bagatelle provides a the perfect stopover en-route to the attractions of southern Namibia such as the Fish
River Canyon and Luderitz.
In association with the Cheetah Conservation Fund, the lodge are custodians of cheetah, kept in an enclosure right next to the recreation area. This facility was built exceeding the requirements laid down by the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife and under the guidance of the Cheetah Conservation Fund. These captive cheetahs can never be released into the wild, and will remain in captivity for the rest of their lives. It is the aim of Bagatelle Kalahari Lodge to ensure that these beautiful animals experience the highest quality of life in this time.
A rambling old farmhouse has been extensively altered, upgraded and renovated over the years, and serves as a residence and administrative centre of the Lodge. An entrance hall leads to the reception, lounge, dining room, bar/cellar and office. There is also a well-stocked, small library with a broad selection of mainly Africa books and matters relating to African flora and fauna. Their video library contains over 100 videos on African wildlife.
The main dining area at Bagatelle Kalahari Game Lodge is a huge, enclosed porch area. Their chef is on standby to provide breakfast, lunch or dinner and coffee, tea, snacks and drinks are available from their honesty bar. Their wine cellar, stock a range of well-known South African wines, for your enjoyment. They also have an extensive range of brandys, whiskeys, cognacs and liqueurs.
There is a swimming pool and recreation area, complete with a pool table and hammock. Guests can wine and dine ‘al fresco’ in the open-air-thatched lapa. Wi-Fi access is available in the communal areas. Rejuvenate and refresh with a treatment or massage from the Spa. Bagatelle Kalahari Lodge has it’s own viewing platform that overlooks a natural waterhole. From here guests can watch the lodge’s own cheetah at play.
At Bagatelle guests can choose to stay in one of 4 different styles of chalet. They all have identical standards of luxury and quality finishing. Extra beds for children can be arranged (except for the Dune Exclusive Chalets).
• Dune Chalets: 4 Dune Chalets are constructed of wood, raised on stilts and built on top of a sand dune. The views to the south-west are unsurpassed. An en-suite bathroom with bath and shower, toilet and wash basin, air conditioning, fan, writing desk, tea/coffee station, chairs, in-room safe, bed-side lights, fridge/mini-bar are standard.
• Dune Exclusive Chalets: There are 2 Dune Exclusive Chalets with the addition of private splash pools. The facilities are similar to the Dune Chalets. Private dining can also be arranged if you stay in an Exclusive Chalet.
• Savanna Chalets: There are 10 Savanna Chalets. 8 of them are well-placed in the street between the dunes. The other 2 are located next to each other in one building and are ideal combination for families or a small group of friends. Each chalet has 2 x quarter beds and facilities similar to the Dune Chalets.
• Garden Court: 4 x Garden Court rooms are next to the lodge, so-called because they are set in their own ‘garden court’ with similar facilities to the Dune Chalets. They are equipped with twin beds but do not have a mini-bar/fridge.
There is a wide selection of activities run by the game ranch all to the backdrop of beautiful landscape. Bagatelle are custodian of a number of captive cheetah. Feeding time is both very popular and a highlight. Morning scenic drives, afternoon sundowner trips, an early walk with the San, birdwatching, stargazing and night drives can be arranged. Nature loves can explore the region on a leisurely horseback safari.
IntuZebra Kalahari Lodge is a luxurious desert establishment situated in The Intu Afrika Kalahari Private Game Reserve. This is an ideal lodge for those who wish to partake in a bushman walk or a game drive before continuing their onward journey.
The lodge is set on a 10,000ha wildlife sanctuary located in the Namibia’s south-western region of the Kalahari. Along the upper reaches of the Auob river system, the open, grassy plains are surrounded by acacia woodlands and the red sand dunes of the Kalahari Desert.
The expanse of the reserve is characterized by parallel red dunes, sparsely covered by unique vegetation. Grassy plains, peppered with centuries old camelthorn trees commonly known as “dune streets” or valleys, separate the dunes, providing refuge for diverse animal and bird life indigenous to the Kalahari.
Wine and dine in the restaurant and bar. Many guests head to the lounge to interact with fellow travellers. The swimming pool offers a welcome respite from the hot afternoon Namibian sunshine.
The business community can hold seminars and meeting for up to 80 delegates in the multi-purpose hall. State of the art equipment is also available. Weddings and other gatherings can be held here as well.
The lodge can accommodate 26 guests in twin bedded rooms connected to the main lodge building. Each air-conditioned room has an en-suite bathroom, complete with modern conveniences. They are all elegantly furnished, in a simple old-style Namibian way.
Activities include morning and afternoon game drives in the Intu Afrika Game Reserve, Dune Sundowners, Bushmen guided walks and quad biking.
Guests can explore the Kalahari in open 4×4 vehicles, take guided walks with Bushman trackers and trained guides. Learn about the predator re-introduction program, the Kalahari Lion Project. Many of their guests enjoy a walk in the Kalahari with a Bushman tracker to learn their desert survival secrets, not to mention to learn the history of the ancient San people.
NB: Please do not confuse this lodge with Zebra River Lodge, which is in a completely different location
Suricate Tented Kalahari Lodge is situated in the Intu Afrika Kalahari Private Game Reserve. It is in a 10,000ha wildlife sanctuary, located in the south-western region of the Kalahari Desert, along the upper reaches of the Auob river system of Namibia. The expanse of the reserve is characterized by lofty ancient parallel red dunes sparsely covered by unique vegetation. The lodge itself is set on a red sand dune, overlooking a pan system.
There is a restaurant, lounge and pool and bar. Both the cozy African-style lounge that overlooks the vast grassy pans of the Auob river, and the pool deck, are perfect settings for guests to enjoy their drinks and meals. Alternately, wine and dine in the outdoor boma that looks out onto the vast grassy pans of the Auob River.
Stopover for a couple of nights in the privacy of the Kalahari savannah:
• Standard Tents: 11 spacious walk-in style tents with intimate open-air bathroom, with hot and cold running water, flush toilet and shower. Twin beds, mosquito netting, tea/coffee station, a mini-bar and a safe are standard. Relax on the large deck with wooden table and chairs.
• Honeymoon Tent: A luxurious and well-secluded romantic getaway with similar facilities to the Standard Tents plus your very own private pool.
Guests can explore the Kalahari in open 4×4 vehicles, partake in a dune sundowner, and join guided walks with bushman trackers/trained guides. There are opportunities to walk with Kalahari Bushman trackers, to discover their desert survival techniques. Many guests are captivated by the history of the ancient San people and thoroughly enjoy exploring the Kalahari in open 4×4 vehicles. This area also offers guests the opportunity to learn about a predator re-introduction programme.
Camelthorn Lodge which is set in a secluded valley between two red Kalahari dunes. The ambiance inside is distinctly Bushman and reflects not only the location but the indigenous San people as well. Your accommodation is also nestled amongst beautiful camelthorn trees, one of the most iconic and common trees of Namibia.
Positioned north of the small town of Mariental the lodge is on The Intu Afrika Kalahari Private Game Reserve. This is a 10,000ha wildlife sanctuary, part of the south-western region of the Kalahari Desert and along the upper reaches of the Auob river system. An added attraction here is that game often wanders around the property.
The public and hospitality areas are enhanced with indigenous décor and are home to a fine collection of San artefacts, one of the oldest cultures in the world. Rest and relax in the thatched main building, outdoor dining area, bar and a boma that overlooks a natural stone pool. A laundry service is available.
Overnight in 12 double chalets, with en-suite bathrooms with a shower/tub combination, twin beds, air-conditioning, luggage rack/open wardrobe, tea/coffee station and hair-dryers. Step outside to a patio and sit on directors camping chairs to enjoy your view.
This area offers guests the opportunity learn about a predator re-introduction programme, the Kalahari Lion Project. An opportunity to take a walk in the Kalahari with a bushman tracker to discover their desert survival techniques, and to learn some of the history of the ancient San people, is also a possibility. Guests can explore the Kalahari in open 4×4 vehicles.
Camelthorn Lodge is child friendly and there is a nearby landing strip, with transfers to and from the lodge for their guests.
Kalahari Anib Lodge is located about 30 km north-east of Mariental, and is an ideal stopover on the way to Southern Namibia. The lodge is nestled in a lush green oasis under high palm trees, set amidst the red dunes of the Kalahari Desert. This area is notable for the green acacias and yellow grasses that grow in the red sand.
Anib means ‘male bird’ in the local Nama language, a people who are predominantly found in the southern regions of Namibia. Birds play an important role in their mythology.
Kalahari Anib Lodge’s main building houses the reception area, which also doubles up as a curio shop. It is well-stocked with an array of Namibian arts and crafts, locally produced cosmetics, toiletries, jewelry, clothing and ornaments.
There is also a restaurant, bar, verandah and the lodge has two swimming pools. 1 is situated close to the group rooms, and the other pool is nearer to the individual rooms. Guests can make use of either. There is both indoor and outdoor dining areas.
Breakfast is served in a buffet style with a variety of fruits, cereals, toast and preserves as well as fresh-baked bread and a cooked breakfast. Fruit juices, tea and coffee are also available.
Lunch is usually a light meal such as a salad or sandwiches, which can be chosen from the ‘a la carte’ menu. Dinner is usually a 3-course meal, served between 19h30-20h00.
Accommodation is in 28 rooms set aside for tour groups, and 9 rooms for individual travellers.
There are no special activities specifically for children, however the lodge is flexible. Families with with young children can request shorter activities. Special kids meals are also available on request.
Animals including springbok, gemsbok and ostrich can be found around the lodge. Jackal, hare and porcupine inhabit the dunes and dune valleys of the Kalahari Desert as well. The area is also home to the Kori Bustard, the largest flying bird of all, and huge colonies of weaver birds are resident in the lodge’s grounds.
Activities include sunrise and sunset scenic drives the through Gondwana Kalahari Park. Bird watchers can view vultures and marabou storks at the feeding place for carrion birds. Hiking trails into the Kalahari can also be organized here.
The Kalahari Farmhouse is located on the outskirts of the village of Stampriet, approximately 60km north-west of Mariental. The farmhouse is built at the site of a permanent spring, on the fertile land of the Auob River, and the lodge property is flush with palm trees, green acacias and yellow grasses of the desert & also hosts a splendid variety of fruit-bearing trees. This is the Kalahari Desert at it’s most scenic.
Although the Kalahari Farmhouse is a popular stop-over for travellers heading to the southern parts of Namibia, it is also a favourite with Namibian holiday makers and as such can get very busy, especially during the holiday periods, so advanced booking is advised.
The main building, a former manor house constructed at the height of the Karakul sheep farming industry some 50 years ago, contains the reception, restaurant, bar and guest lounge. There is an internet connection, laundry service and secure parking. Kalahari Farmhouse is also wheelchair friendly.
An interesting feature of the Kalahari Farmhouse is the self-sufficiency centre. The lodge itself is set in the heart of the farm and is surrounded by different activities of the business. Dairy products such as cheeses, meat from the butchery, and vegetables from their very own garden are grown or reared on this large farm. They also bake a variety of breads, and pot both jams and a variety of home-made sauces.
Drinks and meals are served in indoor and outdoor ‘lapa’ areas. Breakfast is a buffet-style affair and a set menu is on offer at lunch and dinner times. Large groups, and visitors in the high season, can expect buffet meals.
Accommodation is in 11 tastefully decorated rooms, reminiscent of Cape Dutch architecture, set in a row in front of the farmhouse.
• Double Rooms: All of the Double Rooms have an en-suite bathroom with shower, a fan or air-conditioning. In front of the fireplace is a small table and chairs. Other furniture includes a cupboard, luggage rack and a bedside table.
• Family Rooms: 2 of the Double Rooms are suitable for families. 1 has 4 beds and the other inter-leading doors.
Animals including springbok, gemsbok and ostrich can be found not far from the lodge. Jackal, hare and porcupine also inhabit the dunes and dune valleys of the Kalahari Desert. The area is also home to the Kori Bustard, the largest flying bird of all, and huge colonies of weaver birds are resident in the lodge’s many camelthorn trees.
Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge is situated on a 4,000ha private game reserve, 200km south of Namibia’s capital city of Windhoek, near the small town of Kalkrand. As it is only 240km from Windhoek International Airport, this is an ideal stopover for self-drive tourists on either the first or last day of their holiday in Namibia. The town of Mariental is a further 70km south of the lodge.
Individual travellers, families or small groups wishing to experience privacy and luxury amongst red sand dunes in the Kalahari Desert without having to drive too far off the beaten track, should head for this lodge. An unusual feature of the The Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge is that it is situated in a nature reserve characterized by 2 deserts. The Kalahari Desert can be identified by infinite chains of red sand dunes that alternate with green valleys. The Great Karoo is home to enormous grass steppes and dry river courses lined with abundant water banks.
Facilities include a restaurant, bar and lounge enclosed in a lapa with fire place, a swimming pool with a shaded decking, a viewing deck also with a fire place, free wireless LAN Internet and a safe to store your valuables at reception. The pool and shaded deck are actually situated in a dry lake. A 120m board walk connects the main building with the chalets which are strategically placed around this ‘vlei’. A variety of Namibian wildlife can often be observed from the privacy of the chalets.
European meals with African flavours are enhanced by the lodge’s home-grown herbs and fruits. Seasonal Kalahari truffles are also available. Breakfast can be enjoyed on the large, teak terrace. Buffet meals can be served in either indoor or outdoor dining areas with an open fireplace to ward off those chilly Namibian winter mornings and evenings. For those seeking a more romantic setting dinner can be taken ‘between the red dunes of the Kalahari Desert’. A large selection of good to excellent South African wines can be ordered to accompany your meal as well as an inviting glass of cool Camelthorn Draft Beer, which can be drank under the tree of the same name.
The goings on of the Kalahari Desert can be experienced from the comfort and safety of your accommodation. Traditional African stoned/thatched roofs and canvas walls maintain a cool interior even in the hotter months. Features include teak floors, natural stone tiles in the bathrooms, teak terraces and board walks, individual private outdoor shower, generous spacing allowing for maximum spacing and a ‘picture window’ for observing animal activity.
There are 12 twin chalets (including 1 disabled chalet) each equipped with a private terrace, en-suite showers, fridge, tea/coffee station, mosquito nets, hair dryers, Wi-Fi connection and air-conditioning. Each stilted guest house is named after the largest species roaming the reserve. Paved, barrier-free, illuminated paths lead to the main building. The layout of the individual rooms is as follows
• Nyala: The only guest room with a ‘wide-angle scenic view’. Glass windows in the canvas run along the entire length of the building enabling guests to follow the course of the dunes. This chalet has the largest living space and affords the the most spectacular sunset view of the 12 rooms. There is no view of the waterhole.
Distance from the main building: 300m.
• Impala: This chalet overlooks a tree savanna inundated with seasonal shiny golden yellow high grass to one side and the red sand dunes of the Kalahari desert on the other. Distance from the main building: 240m
• Blue Wildebeest & Black Wildebeest: These are 2 separate houses linked by a board walk, ideal for a family or small group. Alternatively the houses can also be booked separately by locking the doors to the board walk. Both houses offer breathtaking sunset views over the grass savannah and camelthorn trees. Distance from the main building: Blue: 180m. Black: 160m.
• Springbok: As this guest house is elevated on the edge of the vlei it affords a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding tree savanna, dry lake and steppe. An open shower has views of the magnificent savannah landscape. Distance from the main building: 100m.
• Eland: This spacious guest house features a particularly beautiful bathroom. French windows offer spectacular views and you can observe waterhole wildlife activity from the comfort of your bed. Additional outdoor shower. Distance from the main building: 150m.
• Giraffe: Features include the largest bathroom, open and outside showers of all 12 rooms. It is set amongst ancient Kalahari Acacia bushes, where giraffe feed between the shrubs. There is a great view over the vlei and the waterhole, as well as the red sand dunes on the opposite sides. Distance from the main building: 200m.
• Oryx: The position of this guest house offers spectacular wildlife viewing as well as affording extra privacy. Antelope can be observed through the ‘picture windows’ as well as from the comfort of your bed. There is an additional hidden outdoor shower. Distance from the main building: 300m.
• Red Hartebeest: This guest house is ideal for game viewing in and around the waterhole on one side and and the dunes on the other. Warthogs, zebras and kudu regularly pass by for a drink. There is an additional outdoor shower. Distance from the main building: 350m.
• Zebra: The front terrace of this guest house is located under a large camelthorn tree, a location which not only sets this room apart from the others but gives the impression of being actually inside the vlei itself. The outdoor shower, obscured from view by an overhanging tree, adds to the ambiance. Distance from the main building: 480m.
• Kudu: The very first guest house built for the lodge which still holds a special place for those involved with the lodge. It is the only guest house with steps leading to the terrace. Ideal for those who want to enjoy the quiet and solitude of the Kalahari Desert. Distance from the main building: 450m.
• Ostrich: This is the furthest and therefore the most remote and secluded of the 12 guesthouses. Outstanding views of the immediate environment have been enhanced by a number of additional windows that have been installed recently. Many guests opt for a candle-lit dinner complemented by a bottle of fine red wine on the wooden terrace instead of walking to the main building. Distance from the main building: 500m.
Species of animal that freely roam the private game reserve at Kalahari Red Dune Lodge include: Hartmann’s mountain and plains zebra, giraffe, blue and black wildebeest, eland, nyala, springbok, kudu, steenbok, oryx, red hartebeest, blesbok and impala. Some smaller creatures include pangolin, porcupine, aardvark and warthog. Amongst the many species of birdlife which include ostrich, waterfowl visit during the rainy season.
Activities and excursions are either by customized 4×4 safari vehicles or guided and unguided tours on foot. All trips are accompanied by experienced and knowledgeable guides.
Situated on the edge of a private nature reserve in the Kalahari Desert is Teufelskrallen Tented Lodge. The lodge is close to the village of Kalkrand and about 190km’s south of Windhoek, the Namibian capital. This lodge offers a great setting for self-drive individual travellers, families or small groups with its breathtaking views of the superb Kalahari Desert landscape. The landscape in this part of the Kalahari is punctuated by camelthorn trees growing in a red sand dune environment.
Check in at the reception in the ‘old farmhouse’, which is located 3km away from the tented accommodation. It is set in a beautiful fertile garden with shaded areas to relax and unwind. Facilities include a restaurant, swimming pool, free Internet with wireless LAN and a safe to secure your valuables. Breakfast and dinner are served in the old farmhouse.
Accommodation is in 6 tents / cabins. Each unit is equipped with a fridge, tea / coffee station,, private bathroom (shower) connected from a board walk and a private shaded viewing deck.
Giraffe, eland, black and blue wildebeest, red hartebeest, Hartmann’s and Burchell’s zebra, nyala, blesbok, springbok, impala, oryx, kudu and steenbok can be observed, although sightings cannot be guaranteed. Smaller mammals such as pangolin, porcupine, warthog and aardvark live in and around the reserve. Ostrich as well as many smaller species of Namibian birdlifeincluding water birds in the rainy season can be observed.
Activities and excursions are conducted by customized 4×4 safari vehicles (from the neighbouring Kalahari Red Dune Lodge) or guided and unguided walks by foot. All trips are accompanied by experienced and knowledgeable guides.
Lapa Lange Game Lodge enjoys a bush setting approximately 40 kilometers from the southern Namibian town of Mariental. Rhino and cheetah are just 2 of the wildlife drawcards, with many opportunities to view other animals and birds as well.
Individual travellers, families, self-drive tourists and the corporate community will enjoy a stopover here on their way to Luderitz, the Fish River Canyon. Those heading out of the country can stay here before heading through border posts at Noordoewer or to Mata Mata on the Namibian / South African border.
Relax and unwind in the large thatched main lodge. The facilities include a bar, DSTV, free Wi-Fi access, mobile phone connectivity and secure parking. The restaurant offers tasty Namibian country style cuisine using fresh local produce to serve up a buffet-style breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meals can also be ordered from the ‘a la carte’ menu. An addition to your evening meal experience is to dine around a traditional camp fire enjoying a potjiekos and lapa braai. Chill and relax after a game drive or hike around the rock pool.
Lapa Lange boasts 3 fully-equipped conference venues. They all offer a choice of boardroom, cinema, U-Shape, cocktail, banquet and schoolroom functions and styles ranging from 15 to 200 guests/delegates.
The lodge can also be transformed into a stunning wedding venue so invite family and friends to that special occasion. The Elephant Hall can accommodate up to 200 guests and the 360 degree room can be transformed into a chapel. Buffet options can be discussed before the big day and the staff can assist with flowers, décor and that all important wedding cake.
Guests stay in a combination of well-appointed chalets, suites and a villa. They all have waterhole views. There are:
• Superior Chalets: 4 x Superior Chalets sleep 4 people in 2 bedrooms (1 is en-suite). There is an en-suite bathroom, air-conditioning, lounge/TV room, patio and private braai area.
• Executive Villa: This unit is larger than the Superior Chalets and sleeps 2 guests in 1 bedroom. There are 2 bathrooms, 1 is en-suite. The facilities are similar to the Superior Chalets with the addition of a jacuzzi.
• Luxury Suites: 14 x Luxury Suites have twin/double beds, bathroom with shower, air-conditioning, TV, fridge, patio and a room safe.
• Superior Suites: 4 x Superior Suites have twin/double beds, bathroom with corner bath or jacuzzi and similar facilities to the Luxury Suites.
A variety of game (over 30 species) reside in the region and often visit the waterhole including rhino, impala, oryx, springbok, blesbok, giraffe, kudu, cheetah and zebra.
Africa Safari Lodge offers a romantic getaway tourists in southern Namibia can overnight in neat, modern accommodation. Only 25kms west of Mariental, it is the ideal desert destination when travelling between Windhoek and the southern Namibian highlights such as Fish River Canyon, Luderitz or the world-famous dunes of Sossusvlei. Sightings of white rhino on a well-stocked game farm are a highlight (although not guaranteed).
The restaurant takes center stage here. Diners can enjoy magnificent vistas over the surrounding plains while a professional chef prepares fine meals, all of which can be accompanied by a good selection of wines from the cellar. Those wanting to experience the great outdoors can easily move outside and sit around the camp fire at the lodge’s boma.
After a hard day of exploring a visit to the wellness spa offers a great way to unwind – the spa uses local ‘Kalahari’ products which use locally harvested ingredients from the surrounding desert.
Accommodation at the Africa Safari Lodge is in 20 en-suite rooms with doors that slide open to offer panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Each room is equipped with air conditioning, a TV with DSTV (satellite TV) as well as tea & coffee making facilities. WiFi is available at the main lodge area.
Two game drives explore the park in search of the area’s white rhino & the 19 species of antelope found here. The more energetic traveller can explore the area on foot – accompanied by one of the lodges experienced guides while bird watching is also a popular activity.
Auob Safari Lodge offers the perfect resting place on the way to the Kalahari Gemsbok Park, being approximately 180kms from the Mata-Mata Gate. It is located in a green oasis and enjoys a dry Auob riverbank setting only 6kms from the small town of Gochas. Expect stunning 360° views of the Kalahari sand dunes along with its associated species of wildlife in a friendly and accommodating atmosphere.
Various species of antelope, giraffe, small mammals and Namibian birds can be viewed around 8,000ha on game drives and nature walks. Despite its aridity, the Kalahari supports a variety of fauna and flora, including the native acacia trees and many other herbs and grasses.
The Kalahari Desert is a large, arid desert area in south-western sub-Saharan Africa, but has wide areas excellent for grazing after a decent rainy season. The red dunes of the Kalahari are a strong contrast to the white, calcareous rocks of the valley exposed by the Auob River.
Auob Lodge has a restaurant, bar, Lapa, barbeque area, and a 52 person conference facility. The lounge has a TV and an inviting fireplace to gather round on those chilly winter evenings. A breakfast buffet, small healthy lunch and set 3 course meal can be ordered in the restaurant. Larger groups will be served buffet style meals.
Accommodation is in 25 standard rooms. They all have en-suite bathrooms, twin beds, TV, air-conditioning and mosquito nets. Tea/coffee, laundry service and an Internet facility can be requested at reception.
Guests enjoy the peaceful atmosphere at the big, beautiful swimming pool while activities include guided and unguided hiking trails, morning and afternoon game drives, and dune sundowner trips. Unfortunately the horse riding treks have been discontinued.
Auob Lodge has a well-maintained gravel airstrip, with pre-arranged transfers to and from the lodge for their guests. This is an ideal first night stop-over on your tour to the Namibia’s beautiful landscape, en-route to Quivertree Forest or Keetmanshoop.
Auob Lodge is a Hospitality Association of Namibia annual Award of Excellence in Gold winner.
The Stampriet Historical Guesthouse sits on a koppie (a small hill) and overlooks the beautiful village of the same name. The guest house offers a friendly home atmosphere in a house full of historical richness and charm that offers the perfect respite in a hot and dusty region of Namibia. As the main house sits on a koppie (a small hill) it overlooks the picturesque village of Stampriet. Also stopover here en-route to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park via Gochas (74km) and through the Mata-Mata Gate (261km).
The settlement of Stampriet nestles on the banks of the Auob River and dates back to 1898 courtesy of the discovery of artesian water wells. Windmills were installed and the water was used for irrigation. Swaying palm trees, lush vegetation and green gardens dominate. The steeple on the Afrikaans Protestant Church is a feature.
The best of Stampriet and its past have been preserved here at the Historical Guesthouse, a semi-desert destination steeped in Namibian paraphernalia of yesteryear. All of the guest-house’s stone buildings are beautifully decorated with interesting artifacts, some displayed on the walls and others on a souvenir table. Guests can also chill in the thatched lapa whilst admiring the well-tended green lawns.
The owners pride themselves on the friendly ambiance and hospitality on offer. Relax and unwind in the restaurant and wooden deck where scrumptious breakfasts, lunches and home-baked cakes are served overlooking the surrounding farms and village. Dinner must be ordered in advance.
Facilities at Stampriet Guesthouse include a sparkling borehole-fed swimming pool, braai, kiddies jungle gym, pool table, complementary coffee station, small library and Wi-fi. Birds and ducks frequent the large garden. Hand-made Namibian arts, crafts, Argilla pottery and books are sold in the curio shop. Small functions can be held in the hospitality area. Secure parking is also available.
Guests stay in spacious antique furnished rooms with twin or double beds ideal for singles, couples and families. All rooms have an en-suite bathroom, tea/coffee station, private patio and some units have mosquito nets. Each room is named after a Namibian town quaintly identified by old road signs.
Indigo Self-Catering is a friendly owner-managed establishment situated in the scenic village of Stampriet. They offer value-for-money accommodation in a peaceful and tranquil setting especially for guests who wish to self-cater. Marthinus and Lisbeth are passionate about Namibia and the Kalahari Desert. They are only too eager to share this knowledge with their guests.
The village of Stampriet dates back to 1898 when a trading post was established. Today this small village is well known for exporting vegetables around Namibia, this is made possible by the towns abundance of artesian wells. This abundance of water has also led to Stampriet being a green oasis amongst the surrounding red Kalahari dunes. The town, and Indigo Self Catering, are also strategically located between Windhoek & the Mata Mata entrance to the Kgalagardi Gemsbok Park (the park was previously called the Kalahari Gemsbok Park) and serves as an excellent overnight stop for those visiting, or returning to Namibia from, the park.
Indigo is surrounded by beautiful gardens, and the pool is the ideal place to wash away the heat & dust of travelling on the long hot Namibian roads. Guests are invited to relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings or have a braai (BBQ) in the shaded lapa.
The twin or double en-suite rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, wardrobe, & are fully equipped with microwave oven, bar fridge, cutlery, plates, glasses, mugs, pots and pans. You will need to bring your own food – or purchase it at the reasonably well stocked local supermarket. Each room also has a private garden & braai area.
South of Uhlenhorst, on the C15, about 59km from the B1, is a specialist lodge that caters for glider pilots up to world-class level. This is not a school for gliding – it is a place for those who already know how to glide. A number of world records have been achieved at Bitterwasser, and each one has been marked with a king palm. In addition to this, a new palm tree is planted for every flight over 1000km. There’s an avenue of palm trees lining the way to the airfield, where each palm was planted to commemorate a record. Every year, the avenue grows.
Bitterwasser Lodge is the ideal place for those interested in gliding, especially if you can bring your own glider. The fantastic thermals of the Kalahari desert provide the opportunity for not only incredibly fast, but also exceptionally long glider flights. The large 3km diameter Bitterwasser salt pan, provides the runway system and is the perfect airfield to initiate glider flights.
The Bitterwasser farm area consists of a total of 5,500ha of land including a game park. There is a wonderful variety of Namibian flora and fauna, and a garden with beautiful old trees, all in a peaceful and relaxing environment.
The previous farm infrastructure has been replaced by a new modern Lodge. There is a main building with restaurant, lounge, curio shop and a ‘computer corner’.
The luxurious pool is located in the shady garden. Comfortable chairs, canvas beds and towels are provided, and drinks or snacks can be ordered here.
The restaurant team of Bitterwasser Lodge and Flying Centre pride themselves on their Namibian and International cuisine. It has a terrace and is right in the middle of the resort, the perfect meeting place for pilots and guests alike.
Accommodation at Bitterwasser Lodge and Flying Centre is in either one of 22 air-conditioned bungalows, or a country house located in the dunes. They all have en-suite facilities and 24hr electricity supply. Some have air conditioning and CD-radios. The 13 rondavels (African style huts), are more basic, with simple furniture and a central ablution block.
Gliding is not the only activity at Bitterwasser Lodge and Flying Centre. There are flights with gliders and motorized gliders, round trips with Ultralight and motor planes, biking trails, walks, game drives, and of course spectacular sundowner walks or drives.
Anandi Guest House offers a value-for-money stopover complemented by friendly and efficient service. The facilities are ideal for individual travellers, families and the business community alike. Located in the Namibian southern central town of Mariental many guests stay here to visit Hardap Dam or on to the Kalahari Desert. The town is also a convenient place to refuel and restock for your onward journey.
Mariental stands on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. The area has long been a centre for the Nama people, who are of mainly Khoi-Khoi descent. Hardap Dam attracts it’s fair share of birders and small boats enthusiasts. Town facilities include a garage/tyre repair, banks, ATM, supermarket and a number of restaurants.
Amenities at Anandi Guest House include a restaurant, swimming pool, Wi-Fi Internet facility, braai and a function room that can double up as a conference centre for up to 60 delegates. Breakfast, a light lunch and dinner are served and lunch packs can be ordered the previous evening.
There are 10 tastefully furnished rooms including a honeymoon suite and luxury rooms. En-suite bathrooms, single and double beds, air-conditioning, tea/coffee station, fridge and satellite TV are standard. The luxury rooms have a spa-bath which leads out onto a private patio. All rooms lead out onto the garden. Families are welcome.
There are 10 tastefully furnished rooms all leading out onto the garden. Families are welcome as extra beds can be arranged:
• Budget Rooms: 2 Budget Rooms have an en-suite bathroom with a shower, air-conditioning, single or double beds, a tea/coffee station, fridge and satellite TV.
• Standard Rooms: 2 Standard Rooms have an en-suite bathroom with a shower and a bath with similar facilities to the Budget Rooms.
• Luxury Rooms: 6 Luxury Rooms have air-conditioning, shower and spa bath, which leads out to a private patio. The facilities are similar to the Budget Rooms.
Kalahari Game Lodge is set on a 40,000ha game farm amongst large camelthorn trees on the banks of the ephemeral Auob riverbed. The southern Namibian town of Keetmanshoop is 254kms away and as the lodge is only 18km away from Mata Mata on the Namibian / South African border, it is an ideal stopover for individual travellers, families and self-drive tourists en-route to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Facilities at Kalahari Game Lodge include a bar with DSTV, terrace, lounge with fireplace, Wi-Fi and a curio shop. Sumptuous breakfasts, a full lunch and dinner are served in the restaurant which includes a vegetarian menu. Step outside to the boma, open-air firepit, swimming pool and children’s playground with small jungle gym.
Guests stay in 8 rooms with either twin or double beds. Each room has an en-suite bathroom, small kitchenette, ceiling fan, mosquito net, tea/coffee station, fridge, in-room safe. Relax and unwind on your own private terrace which overlooks the Auob riverbed. Hair dryers are available at reception. Some of the rooms have an outside braai, ideal for enjoying supper under a stunning Namibian night sky.
This stunning desert biome is home to an enormous array of mammals large and small including the Kalahari lion, springbok, oryx, springbok, eland, giraffe and brown hyena. Over 100 species of bird have been recorded in the area including northern black korhaan, martial eagles, pygmy falcon and both white-backed and lapped-faced vultures.
This resort is situated at the Hardap Dam, the biggest reservoir in Namibia, an ideal stopover for self-drive tourists and visitors to the south of the country. Self-catering facilities for families and small groups add to the attraction of staying here. Enjoy picturesque views of the dam, some light game viewing, exciting water sports and excellent birding. The gates to Hardap Resort are open from 06h00 to 23h00 and it is accessible all year-round.
Hardap is close to the small town of Mariental, an ideal place to refuel before an onward journey onto Fish River Canyon and Luderitz. The name Hardap derives from the Nama word meaning ‘nipple’ or ‘wart’ which is how the surrounding area of low conical-shaped hills appeared to the early inhabitants.
Wine and dine in the restaurant which overlooks the dam. Rock dassies can often be seen playing nearby. Other features include an aquarium and fresh water fishing farm. The corporate community can hold seminars and meetings using the resort’s facilities. Head to the swimming pool to escape the hot Namibian sunshine or after a game drive. Browse around the shop for essential supplies for your stay or before you depart.
Accommodation choices at Hardap are:
• Bush Chalets: There are 30 Bush Chalets with en-suite facilities. Some of the chalets have air-conditioning and others a fan.
• Family Bush Chalets: The 15 x Family Chalets have self-catering facilities The amenities are similar to the Bush Chalets.
• VIP Rooms: The 5 x well-placed VIP bungalows have similar facilities to the chalets.
Hardap is home to black rhino, oryx, zebra, kudu, ostrich, springbok and steenbok. A large variety of bird species can be observed in and around the dam. Cormorant, darter and spoonbill can be seen on the lake itself, as well as African fish eagle and a small number of osprey. Great white pelican breeding colonies are a seasonal highlight for birders.
Torgos Lodge is located on the Western Border of Namibia adjoining the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The lodge is alongside the C15 route, 5 km from the Mata Mata border post.
Situated alongside the Auob River bed, the stylish main building (Lapa) is constructed from stone and thatch and has a lounge, bar, and dining area. Outside the Lapa is a large stone terrace, a group barbeque area (braai boma) and swimming pool overlooking a waterhole in the riverbed.
The surroundings are typical of the Kalahari region, the dry river bed lined by large camelthorn trees, red sand dunes and sparse vegetation. The lodge is within an 11000 Ha game camp hosting a wide variety of game, notably Gemsbok, Blue Wildebeest, Springbuck, Eland and many more. There is abundant bird life including a breeding vulture colony.
Torgos Lodge is an ideal stop over for tourists travelling to and from Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and an ideal destination for a few days of relaxing in the Kalahari. Activities include, game drives, unguided walks and bird watching.