, owned by the Khomani San, Bushmen and Mier communities, is the first all-inclusive luxury lodge located in the Kgalagadi, Kalahari Transfrontier Park. !Xaus Lodge is a 24 bedded thatched luxury lodge that has been crafted to blend into the landscape of this remote wilderness area.
Situated on the red dunes of the Kalahari it overlooks an enormous salt pan from the privacy of the deck of your own chalet, you can observe the animals drinking at the waterhole below. The name of the lodge, !Xaus, meaning heart in the Nama language and phonetically pronounced Kaus, derives from the shape that lies in the pan below the lodge. Of greater significance however is the spirit of reconciliation encapsulated by the name !Xaus.
The lodge and its specific location is the positive outcome of a land settlement agreement reached between the South African Government and South African National Parks with the Khomani San and Mier communities to whom the land originally belonged before its incorporation in 1931 into the then Kalahari Gemsbok National Park.
!Xaus Lodge offers visitors an opportunity to experience the scenic unspoiled splendour and the remoteness of the vast and arid Kalahari wilderness; to be drawn into the fascinating rituals, traditions and historical cultures of the Bushmen, the remarkable first people of southern Africa; and at the same time enjoy the comforts of a luxury lodge that captures the essence of the Kalahari. Whilst wildlife, much of which is seen on game drives from the lodge, is plentiful and the black-manned lion is one of its icons, this Transfrontier park is also a bird-life paradise with two-thirds of the raptor species of southern Africa occurring within its boundaries.
But the real heart of !Xaus Lodge lies in its spirit and its people. The experience of an African sunset, the sound of silence as day turns to night and the feeling of being able to touch the stars, provides a feast for the senses and the soul. Guests are invited to accompany the Bushmen, the legendary hunter gatherers, as they track through the desert following the spoor of animals, identifying the plants they can eat or harvest for medicinal purposes and locating their water cache, buried to ensure that they are not overcome by thirst in this harsh environment.
!Xaus Lodge truly is an integral part of an ancient African land which, when seen through the eyes of the Bushmen, is mystical, magical and spiritual. Laurens van der Post Ends.
Accommodation at !Xaus Lodge:
Twin Bed (Sleeps 3)
King Bed (Sleeps 4)
Family Chalet (Sleeps 3)
Each chalet has its own deck overlooking the waterhole in the pan. Large shower, wash-hand basin and separate flush toilet.
!Xaus Lodge Activities: Game Drives:
Sunset pan drive and dune walk to ‘listen’ to the sun set over the Kalahari with an early evening game drive back to the lodge. After-dinner night drive, with the accompanying sounds of barking geckos, insect shrills, and larger animal calls to break the silence. A complimentary six to seven hour game drive through the dunes and along the Auob River, with packed breakfast and picnic lunch, is available for guests staying four nights or longer. At an additional charge, this game drive is also available to those staying for two or three nights. Please discuss the availability and cost of this with our management.
Set out at day-break with the guides and Bushman trackers to walk through the dunes. You will be shown how to identify animal spoor, birds, trees and plants, and discuss their medicinal uses. You’ll return to the Lodge in time for a hearty brunch made by the local Mier ladies. The length of the walk, and distance you cover, depends on the fitness and interest of the guests. A shorter guided walk is also arranged to see the ‘heart’ of the pan.
Walk to our re-created cultural village to visit the Bushman crafters at work. You may join young Bushmen demonstrating their traditional games and purchase traditional crafts hanging from the branches of the tree under which the crafters sit at work. These crafters also sell their goods at the Lodge curio shop.
Join us on the observation deck after dinner and gaze through our telescopes at the splendour of the Kalahari night sky. If night-sky viewing of the stars is of interest to you, we suggest that you plan your visit to coincide with the new moon when the sky is at it’s darkest. Because the air is so clean, and there is no light pollution, you will be able to see more with the naked eye than you’ll see on almost any other place on earth. Committed to meeting the requirements of the International Dark Sky association for IDA-accreditation for the entire !Aei !Hai Heritage Park, !Xaus Lodge is leading the application for this status.
!Xaus Lodge Map: