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4-Day Kalahari/Kgalagadi Safari (29 October – 1 November 2020)
Start Date: 29-10-2020
End Date: 01-11-2020
8 Spot/s available
8 Spot/s available
The red dunes of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park will transfix you as they morph from purple to crimson to pink to gold throughout the day, with deep blue skies and billowing cumulous clouds providing a perfect backdrop to the incredibly photogenic adventure upon which you are about to embark.
You’ll notice the birdlife first…huge flocks of gray and black Nanamqua doves swooping towards the waterholes, while yellow-billed kites soar overhead. Tawny Eagles perch strategically on twisted branches nearby. Your eye catches the soaring silhouette of a tail-less Bateleur high above. You focus on movement in the scrub bush, spotting waxbills and bee-eaters, and what’s that? A Pygmy Falcon? You’ve never seen one, and now have the check on your bird list.
Something small moves behind the waterhole, just under a gnarled grey tree hosting a pair of juvenile Pale Chanting Goshawks who are calling incessently. You squint, trying to make it out. It’s an African Wild Cat, sneaking bush-to-bush towards the water. Suddenly it sprints away in a spray of sand, and behind it, a cheetah dashes towards the herd of springbok that were milling nearby. A cloud of red dust, a struggle, and when you look at the photos later, you’ve caught it all, rim lit in gold and chillingly ethereal.
This is home to the iconic black-maned lions, the long-haired brown hyena, friendly meerkats, secretive leopards, quick Cape and Bat-eared foxes and black-backed jackals, and over 200 resident species of birds. Eland, gemsbok, hartebeest, tiny duiker and steenbok, springbok and giraffe trim the sparse grass and shrubs. Ground squirrels, mongoose, and porcupine take cover in the deep shade, venturing out when the shadows of raptors cease to mark the sand.
We will look for it all: the Secretary Birds, the Lanner Falcons taking advantage of the thirsty doves congregating at the waterhole, the Tawny Eagles hoping to steal from the Lanner’s skill, the lions stalking the biggest eland, the jackal lying injured near water’s edge only to jump up and grab a dove that got too close…everything happens near the waterholes, and we will be in place to capture and witness the daily struggle in one of the most beautiful, yet harshest environments in Africa.
Our Kgalagadi Safari hosts only 8 people at a time. We’ve created 3-day Safaris scheduled back-to-back should you want to stay with us longer in this magical place. We won’t be roughing it at the community-owned !Xaus Lodge deep inside the heart of the Kgalagadi, professionally staffed by members the San and Meir tribal community. Your chalet overlooks the waterhole, with a covered porch on which to sit with a glass of wine while watching the blazing stars of the unspoiled night sky. The art on your wall was made by tribal members, and your furniture sourced locally. This is an opportunity to unwind from the chaos of day-to-day life, to be free from cell phones and wifi and email, while still enjoying the luxuries of daily life including a pool and delicious meals lovingly prepared by our outstanding chef. Game drives, bush walks, community visits to meet the Bushmen tribe and to learn about their culture, with an opportunity to watch the artists at work and purchase their handmade crafts…we have cultivated a trip filled with chances to relax and live harmoniously with nature’s rhythm surrounded by the red sands and wildlife of the beautiful Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the greater Kalahari Desert.
You may read more about the history of the San and Meir people here, and find out how our visit benefits this indigenous community.
A 15% deposit is due at time of booking, and you can book securely with a credit card.
Prices are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is available at an additional reasonable cost; contact us for solo traveler pricing.
Important information about the lodge:
- !Xaus Lodge is pronounced in a language with clicks: “kaus” is the closest interpretation.
- The lodge is equipped with a generator. In order to limit the environmental impact, the generator operates from 07h30 am to 10h00 am and 17h30 pm to 22h30 pm.
- No cell phone, Wi-Fi or TV signals. Telecommunications signals don’t reach the Lodge.
- We have ceiling fans for hot months. Staff will show guests a traditional cooling method with shade and damp cloths. For winter months, winter sheets & gas heaters.
Weather in the Kgalagadi – October/November : The first rains cleanse the haze from the sky. Rainfall is still low and usually only occurs in the afternoon. Temperatures are between 12°C/53°F in the morning and 32°C/90°F in the afternoon.
- Water is an extremely scarce resource. It is hard and saline and drinking water is created through a reverse osmosis process. Because linen cannot be washed in this saline water, it has to be trucked to Twee Rivieren, and therefore it is not changed every day. For this reason there is no laundry service available to guests.
You may self-drive to Kamqua Picnic Site inside Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park to be at the meeting point for final transport to the Lodge. Should you want us to arrange ground transportation, an early flight into Upington is necessary to reach to Lodge. You must arrive in Upington no later than 9am, and if you’d like to arrive a day early, we can arrange lodging in Upington. The distance from Upington to the Lodge is approximately 4.5 hours traveling time. Because the Lodge’s vehicles must transport us the final distance into the dunes from a meeting point at Kamqua Picnic Site inside the Park, we cannot depart Upington late.
A late afternoon flight from Upington is necessary on day of departure. We will depart after the morning activities and breakfast, reaching Upington at approximately 16:00. There are two flights departing for Johannesburg in the late afternoon, or we can arrange lodging for a longer stay.
Please check with us before booking flights to be sure you can meet the itinerary requirements. We also offer complete ground transportation assistance to get to the Lodge, including a no-worries package—just ask!
Cultural Experiences with the San people (Bushman)
Guided Bush Walks in the Kalahari desert
Sundowners on the dunes
Pool and Deck