Kalahari Trails

Kalahari Trails

Die Privat Chalet
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About

4.0
#1 of 1 guest house in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
4.5 of 5 bubbles
Location
3.6 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
3.7 of 5 bubbles
Service
3.8 of 5 bubbles
Value
Kalahari Trails is a self-service Nature Reserve with a main guesthouse, chalet, tented camp and campsite.We specialise in guided walks and drives and show visitors a Kalahari they would never see from a car.A visit here is the ideal complement to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, just 20 mins drive away. Come walk the Kalahari with us.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Non-smoking hotel
Room features
Kitchenette
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
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HOTEL STYLE
Hidden Gem

Location

Twee Riverien, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park South Africa
62Reviews0Q+A15Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
JP wrote a review May 2021
East London, South Africa1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
We loved staying at Kalahari trails. We actually cancelled bookings in Kgalagadi to stay there a bit longer. We camped at the new campsites, which was amazing. The campsites are not too close to each other so you get that feeling of remoteness and only hear the sounds of nature and not your neighbours conversations. Each campsite has its own ablutions which is a great idea. Richard and Mareli was gracious hosts and with the interaction with there Meerkats, made it a stay to remember. What an awesome place.
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Date of stay: May 2021Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jayefe wrote a review May 2021
East London, South Africa10 contributions1 helpful vote
4.0 of 5 bubbles
We stayed overnight and made use of the chalet ; most functional with all necessary glassware , cutlery, beds with bedding etc . Clean and functional and convenient for our stay and needs . We also saw the meerkats and had a very good professional explanation by the Lady in attendance -Marilyse of their main characteristics , behaviour , life span , etc . Wood was available for the braai which we had at the chalet ;the night was quite and very peaceful.We had gemsbok coming to the water hole meters away from the challet and saw springbok in the early break of day ; We really enjoyed our stay on the way home after spending 9 days in the KTP.
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Date of stay: May 2021
4.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesService
4.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Room Tip: good for photography especially imo late afternoon
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
enserve wrote a review Jun 2021
13 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Kalahari trails was a great find, close enough to Kgalagadi but quieter spot. We camped at the new area which was a little more remote to the rest of the camp. Each campsite has plenty of room and its own Braai area and ablutions which is a great idea. Richard and Mareli were helpful hosts and with sights of Meerkats, made it a stay to remember. An awesome place.

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Date of stay: May 2021Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Alet wrote a review Oct 2020
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
After reading some negative reviews on Kalahari Trails we decide not to take the extra 2 evenings booked and changed it to Kgalagadi. As we were already booked for 2 nights we had to go and what a pleasant surprise. The staff were very friendly and welcomed us arrival as well as the Meerkats!! Prof Anne's son is now busy to upgrade and there is newly build camping sites each with it's own ablution and power point. We stayed in the old camp and Richard is also busy renovating the bathrooms. What more do you want when camping.......clean facilities with warm water and that was there. They also supplied us with drinking water. Richard also visited our campsite and made sure we were OK. We booked a walk with the Meerkats the next morning and Marli took us on a unbelievable experience. The matriarch, Lavina, first have to approve of our presence by rubbing against us and then of we go. We loved the red sands and farm feeling of the place and then the meerkats visting us in our campsite was a very memorable experience. We will definitely make use of their facilities again. This was a very nice do it again, in the desert , experience.
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Date of stay: October 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hannelize wrote a review Aug 2022
Cape Town, South Africa26 contributions12 helpful votes
+1
5.0 of 5 bubbles
What a gem! Booked the tree camp because it was located away from the other camps. So serene and quiet. Mareli took us on the guided walk withbthe meerkats and showed us all the interesting plants and animals of the sanctuary. You can see that she loves what she does and take pride in her work. It was so special to have the opportunity to interact with the meerkats that she is busy rehabilitating.
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Date of stay: August 2022Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Ann M wrote a review Oct 2023
Maputo, Mozambique28 contributions4 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We had a unique and fun experience staying here at the meerkat sanctuary! The meerkats were hilarious and adorable and the hosts, Richard and Marili were incredibly interesting people and very knowledgeable about the unique ecosystem of the area. We did the sundowner drive with them and the stars were amazing! It is the first time in my life I’ve ever seen two other galaxies besides our own Milky Way. This is also a great launching or ending point for visiting the amazing Kgalagadi Transfrontier park. We highly recommend this place!
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Date of stay: October 2023Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Jenny M wrote a review Jul 2016
Lichtenburg, South Africa16 contributions15 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
THIS IS WHAT WE READ ONLINE: "Highly recommended by Lonely Planet, Kalahari Trails Meerkat Sanctuary is a 3 500ha private reserve situated 35km south of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The setting is a nature-lover’s paradise. Given over exclusively to game, it offers a wide range of habitats to explore. Various accommodation options are available..... Guests are welcome to explore the farm on foot. A variety of guided activities are also offered, such as morning walks, dune game-drives interspersed with tracking walks, spot-lit night drives, night walks (in summer) and sundowners (a game drive to a remote dune for drinks, followed by a night drive). Prof Anne Rasa, owner of the reserve and a desert ecologist, will share her extensive knowledge of the dune plants and animal." Sounds enticing....

THIS IS WHAT WE EXPERIENCED:

Our traveling party was rather quiet as we surveyed the campsite we had booked into after having been directed there by a 'flu-ridden Prof Ann who clearly found our presence a bit of a nuisance... despite our advance booking... The campsite is situated against a small dune and sites are demarcated by collapsing reed structures... The ablutions have hot water but it's erratic on the men's side while the shower floor grout is disintegrating making the tiles sharp and dangerous and the ceiling is collapsing in places. Old tattered canvas shelters flapped forlornly in the breeze. Apart from resident Toto, who was the only welcoming party we were going to get, all the other meerkats, as we were told much later by farm manager Jaco, were "missing in action" and we'd look for them in the morning! Despite the fact that we had read about drives or night drives we were told there is NO driving allowed on the farm - how were we going to view the game which is apparently there... We saw one gemsbok... But, we decided to make the best of one night there. We woke early to sounds of traffic as the camp site is rather close to the main road... and smelly sewerage odors wafting around the campsite... We then asked to be taken on a guided tour .... This was arranged and found us following Jaco, who is quite knowledgeable about the local fauna and flora. We walked all of 500 meters... (in total!) Looking for the meerkat families.... Who we found over a little dune beside the farm workers cottages. Jaco proceeded to call them and entice them to follow us 'back home' ... which they did like recalcitrant children. Cute - although we were warned against touching them as they can bite. We were happy to pack up and get on our way a day sooner than planned....

Truthfully, I was hugely disappointed in the visit having long ago read of the amazing work being done here and the wonderful wisdom of a Kalahari legend was what had drawn us there in the first place. The heart seems to have dulled, fences were broken and the place has a generally sad, neglected air about it... Just sad.... As though everything has grown old and tired and faded... Very disappointed! The place needs attention, management and PRO need a fresh approach ... and Lonely Planet needs to pay another visit!
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Date of stay: July 2016Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
kal1948 wrote a review Mar 2015
Wyre District, United Kingdom48 contributions45 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
We booked this place almost a year ago and paid extra to stay in the chalet (ZAR1000). After spending nearly 2 weeks in the fantastic camps of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Parks we arrived for our one night stay only to be told that the chalet had been double booked!!!!!!!! Instead we were given two rooms in the self catering guest house. Anne Rasa made it clear there was absolutely no chance of any refund despite the guest house being cheaper.
The place was absolutely filthy with rotting food left lying around, a filthy fridge, undrinkable water (it actually had mosquito larva in it) and we were provided with clean sheets because she couldn't even be bothered to change the bedding. We were advised to change the sheets ourselves. There were mice running around, it was infested with mosquitos and the nets were full of holes in one room and non-existent in the other.
As for the owner, she doesn't give a monkeys about her guests UNLESS they pay extra to go on the guided walk and talk. After being asked to take the tour at leat 4 times we advised her that we were stopping off for one night and wanted an early night in order to be on our way at 06.00 the following morning. She became very unpleasant at this point.
On our trip from the UK we stayed in some of the most basic and remote campsites as well as several Sanparks sites and one other one night stay in Ceres (see my review of Rodene Farm, Ceres and the Sanparks camps). None of these places were as expensive but every one was clean and well equipped and far better than this place. I can honestly say that in 25 years of travelling in Southern Africa, staying in a wide range of accommodation from very basic to quite up-market, this was easily and by far the worst place I have ever stayed in. There are two much better places to stay as you come out of the Park and both much less expensive. What a shame we didn't know about them beforehand!!!!!!!!!
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Date of stay: February 2015
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
Trip type: Travelled with friends
Room Tip: There are no good rooms in this guest house. Don't stay here.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Kruger2014 wrote a review Apr 2014
Johannesburg, South Africa1 contribution5 helpful votes
1.0 of 5 bubbles
We recently travelled to the Kalahari. My father was ecstatic to meet Prof Rasa and her hand raised "Meerkats". Our main reason for booking there after the fabulous review they received in the "Weg" magazine. Little did we know what will be greeting us? We originally booked camping for 7 people. When we got there we were greeted. The elderly people in our group asked to see the rooms available as they would like some more comfortable accommodation. We were shown the rooms. Now people please note the following.... The rooms aren't advertised as being in one house. It does however say a communal kitchen. But this doesn't explain the room setup. A communal kitchen are like the ones we find in the national parks. If you take a room please note you will be sharing the kitchen and the bathrooms with other guests. Okay so 4 of the group took the rooms having to pay an additional of almost R1600 for the 4 of them for 2 nights (on top of the R80pppn we already paid for the camping).

The other 3 youngsters of the group chose to rather camp than have to fork out that kind of cash. (No card machines available). We got to the camp site. Build right in the middle of nothing directly in the sun. Some sort of shelter was built over the camping site not really helping to make shade as they are falling to pieces.

The kitchen in the main house was horrendous... I haven't seen such a dirty kitchen in a long time. Mice droppings was underneath the gas braai. The water dispenser used to keep the drinkable water in are brown on the inside.

Now as we were really looking forward to the walking trail WITH the meerkats, again we were disappointed as the apparently went back to the wild 3 weeks ago??? Really, I phone numerous time before our arrival asking if everything was still fine. Prof Rasa could really have told me this and we wouldn't have gotten our hopes up. We arranged to have a 2 hour tour the next morning @ 07:30. The young man taking us on the tour had to be called at 07:45 to come to the main house to start our tour. Well he apparently had a great night out, as he smelled like a liquor store. We did however learn some interesting facts about the Kalahari. Their main attraction, the "Meerkats" he didn't even go to show us. Our tour ended at 09:00.

When we arrived Prof Rasa did say that she was ill. From the notes here I can now see she has been ill for some time. The upkeep of the place has gone to hell. I really wish someone can help her restore this place to its former glory as I can also see in the other comment here some people were happy there.
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Date of stay: April 2014
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
3.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
1.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
1.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Trip type: Travelled with family
Room Tip: Rather book something in Upington or the Kalahari Park itself.
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Kalaharitrails, Owner at Kalahari Trails
Responded 04 Aug 2014
I feel I must respond to this because of what I consider a misrepresentation of events. This group booked camping space and decided , on arrival, that some of them would stay in our guesthouse. If the rooms were not up to their standards and/or too expensive, they could have said no and kept to their original booking, which was for camping. Our policy is that campers do not use the guesthouse facilities but, in this case, trying to be friendly and hospitable, I agreed that those that were camping could also use the guesthouse kitchen. What followed was a non-stop, two-day cooking orgy from early morning to late at night with only two short breaks while the group was out. The kitchen was not dirty when they arrived, it was in use by other guests from Switzerland who were pushed to the sidelines, had to eat elsewhere and we had to apologise to them for this group's behaviour. As to meerkats - we do not keep them here as a tourist attraction but to rehabilitate orphans back into the wild. It is perfectly true what I told them, that our last orphan, Kirri, had left with her pups 3 weeks before they arrived, as our facebook page /kalaharitrails clearly shows, and I am sorry that they were disappointed in not being able to meet her. Also, our records show that the deposit they made for camping was definitely deducted from the final bill. One wonders who felt cheated here, especially in light of this review.
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traveloggers62 wrote a review Mar 2017
Johannesburg, South Africa56 contributions60 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
We were 4 adults and had booked the chalet for our two night stay. We booked two nights because I was particularly looking forward to the early morning walk with The Prof...Ha! guess what, she does not do the walks anymore. Maybe the website should be updated (?). Jaco proved to be fairly knowledgeable but being particularly interested in botany I found it quite non informative and very disappointing. It was however, great to walk out with the meerkats who are totally endearing. The chalet has a distinct air of neglect about it. Maintenance is clearly lacking and although cheap to stay, not quite suitable for two married couples. You will need to be on very close terms with your friends. The bathroom is accessed via the 1 bedroom - and as we were sleeping in the "lounge", which doubled up as the other bedroom, it was pretty awkward. We had been informed that the chalet is serviced but this never happened. The cost of the morning walk was also a bit of a tricky situation as we were charged 50% more than what is stated on the website. We addressed this and it was corrected. Advice - check the prices before you commit. We never saw any game (?) and night drives are a thing of the past. The highlight was definitely spending time with the meerkats and chatting to the Prof when we arrived. Did not see much of her thereafter.
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Date of stay: January 2017
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Kalaharitrails, Owner at Kalahari Trails
Responded 08 Mar 2017
I am sorry you were disappointed in your stay here. Owing to health reasons, I have been unable to do the walks for 3 years now, I am just too old at 77 to manage them any more but Jaco Reichert is a qualified and very good guide. Please understand, the people that come on the walks have very varying interests, from plants to spiders and insects, as well as spoor from birds and mammals. It is practically impossible to cater to everyone's taste unless a particular subject is arranged beforehand, so we try to make them for as broad an interest group as possible. It was my fault that you felt 'cheated' about the cost because I had forgotten to update our website on Jan. 1st when all the prices went up. This oversight has now been corrected. Thank you for drawing attention to it. Best wishes, Anne Rasa
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Gaylord M wrote a tip Nov 2022
Johannesburg, South Africa1 contribution
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"There's no pool If you can't handle the heat, go in winter"
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Jayefe wrote a tip May 2021
East London, South Africa10 contributions1 helpful vote
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"good for photography especially imo late afternoon"
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Robert W wrote a tip Jun 2018
Hilton, South Africa15 contributions2 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Best way to experience this place is by Camping and waking up early to see the Meerkats. They will be away during most of the day."
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LindseyWESM wrote a tip Oct 2017
Malawi11 contributions3 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"The chalet bathroom is accessed through one of the bedrooms, so it's only suitable for good friends or families."
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Paul J wrote a tip May 2017
Midrand, South Africa263 contributions49 helpful votes
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"Nice meerkats"
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LOCATION
South AfricaNorthern CapeKgalagadi Transfrontier Park
NUMBER OF ROOMS
14
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KALAHARI TRAILS - Guesthouse Reviews (Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa)

Frequently Asked Questions about Kalahari Trails
Is parking available at Kalahari Trails?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.