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“Travelers to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, don't miss out on !Xhaus Lodge!”
Review of !Xaus Lodge

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!Xaus Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 March 2016

This lodge is perfect: rooms, atmosphere, service, food, staff, location. And this is not an easy job when considering the logistical challenges incurred by !Xhaus lodge's remoteness.
!Xhaus lodge is in a private and exclusive section of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, so there are no other cars but the lodges' around during the game drives. The landscapes in this part of the park are amazing (sand dunes everywhere) giving you a sense of peace and quiet. We saw a pride of 11 lions at the lodge's waterhole every day, in addition to hyenas, antelopes, etc.
The activities offered by the lodge are varied and organized in such a way that you never end up being packed in a car with a bunch of people you don't know for the game drives. This is quite uncommon in South Africa where most of the lodges we stayed at before pack the car as much as they can and don't really care about what their guests want to do or see. Each group of guests had exclusive use of the safari cars and the guides were extremely friendly and knowledgeable.
I definitely recommend this wildlife lodge, which I would rate by far as one of the best ones I've stayed at in South Africa. In my view !Xhaus equals the best Kenyan safari lodges (which is not an easy task, as Kenyan safari lodges are really top notch!).
The only small downside is the Bushmen Village visit. It has an articifial feeling to it: the "Bushmen" in the village are on rotation and acting their part. There is nothing authentic to this village and being there felt like an act of voyeurism. I understand that !Xhaus management want to promote the Bushmen culture, but maybe they should come up with a different idea to do so.

  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank catherineOuagadougou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 March 2016 via mobile

!Xaus lodge is probably as far away from civilisation as we've ever been. No phones, no Wifi, only salt water in the shower and limited hours of electricity.

You leave your car just off the main road and is driven to the lodge on the back of a 4x4 over 90 dunes. The lodge is build on a dune overlooking a salt pan.

We had unexpected cold and wet weather while we were there but they provided us with blankets on the game drives. We didn't see a lot of wild animals while we were there because it is so vast. We had an unscheduled game drive trying to find the lions we could hear in the distance but with no luck.

The visit to the Bushmen workshop felt like exploitation and made me very uncomfortable. This raised more questions with my kids than I could answer.

The choice of food available on the menu was understandably limited but still delicious. Despite the remoteness of the lodge, there were plenty of other refreshments snacks throughout our time there.

If you want to experience the Kalgadi in luxury, this is the place to go to! Only bring your children if they are adventurous and be prepared to spend hours walking and on the back of a 4x4 without seeing alot. A must for the adventurous family that enjoys their comforts.

Stayed: April 2015, travelled with family
2  Thank Cobus B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2016

iXaus is a community lodge situated where the San and Mier Heritage Lands meet. Guides will meet you at the Kamqua picnic site and the lodge is a roughly 30km drive west from the Auob River over 90 dunes. It is situated on dune 91 and overlooks one of the salt pans.

The lodge consists of 12 wooden chalets connected via a raised walkway. The rooms all face the salt pan and have a comfortable bed and bathroom area, with a covered patio. The rooms face the setting sun and give great views. There is no air-conditioning, but the rooms have a ceiling fan. The shower, toilet and basin water is salty and soft. Normal water is provided for drinking and brushing teeth etc.

The lodge has no permanent electricity supply and is reliant on its generators which operate for an hour or two in the morning and for around 4 hours in the early evening. This was more than sufficient for our use, but sadly does not allow for air-conditioning.

The central buildings contain the dining area (indoor and outdoor area), the swimming pool, small gift shop and offices. It was extremely hot during our 3-day stay, yet the swimming pool water remained cool and very refreshing.

The lodge offers various activities which are included in the price. We did the early morning dune walk, visited the bushman craft village, did the evening dune sundowner drive (twice) and an evening game drive. They offer a "long" game drive (free if you stay 4 nights or on a paid basis for shorter stays). It takes you back to and along the Auob River. There is much time in the middle of the day to relax at the pool or in your room with a book etc.

Our guide was Johan who was very knowledgeable and helpful and went out of his way to make our stay enjoyable.

The management team of Anthony and Suzi were great and always around and this lodge is well run. There are many challenges in the background given that the lodge provisions (including ice) come from either Askham (5-hour return trip) or Uppington (8-hour return trip), but you would never have guessed.

  • Stayed: January 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Les P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2016 via mobile

Remote, placed on top of Dune 99 in the Kgalagadi National Park.

We were greeted as we arrived at the lodge by the very charming and informative Richard, and Claudine (resident Guinea fowl). Richard informed us of our program of activities and gave us the run down of the lodge and its history.

We had a delicious dinner and then went off on our night drive. This was our first interaction with Melissa (Ou Sus). The woman is an encyclopedia of knowledge and has a great excitement for her job and the rolling red hills of the Kgalagadi.

Our itinerary for our 4 day stay included a morning walk, visit to the "Bushmen Village", numerous sunset drives and a long day drive through the Kgalagadi Park. We saw an abundance of wildlife - lion (22 in one day!) jackal, wild cats, hyenas, gemsbok, birds, etc.. - all look healthy and chubby despite the arid harsh surroundings.

Our room was comfortable, clean, unique and completely embodies the lodges minimal carbon footprint policy. True there is no aircon but I would gladly give that up to not miss the sounds of the jackal and the hyena calling, as the aircon will surely drown that out.

A tranquil escape with great food, abundant wildlife, knowledgeable staff and an amazing host.

This is a place like no other and it is an experience of a lifetime.

Melissa and Richard you are both one of a kind, as is !Xaus!

Stayed: December 2015, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Munro83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2015

We (two couples) have just spent 3 night's at iXaus Lodge and had a wonderful relaxing stay.our guide Koos was very knowledgeable and with a great sense of humour. Rooms were very comfortable (luckily not the end chalet where the lions camped out for a day!!) Food very good overall and plentiful. Sure there is no wi .fi, tv and showering in salt water is a new experience but that is what made it so special. Far from the maddening crowds! Everything is included in the price and we found it good value for money. Thanks Anthony,Susie and your great team, we loved it. Barbara,Glen,Andre and Riana

Stayed: December 2015, travelled as a couple
Thank bjane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about !Xaus Lodge

Address: Dune 91 | Off the Auob River Road, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park 8814, South Africa
Region: South Africa > Northern Cape > Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Speciality Lodging in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
Price Range: R8 030 - R9 295 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — !Xaus Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
!Xaus Lodge is a private Safari Lodge in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. Set in an isolated corner of the Kalahari Desert, this eco-lodge is owned by the local Khomani San and Mier communities, and commercially managed. Guests stay on a full-board basis, with all meals, activities and game drives included in the tariff. Activities include wilderness walks with local Khomani San trackers, a visit to the craft village to meet local crafters, game drives and an opportunity to listen to the sunset. Night-sky star-gazing is a highlight of the evening.!Xaus Lodge is an isolated, desert destination where the emphasis is on experiencing this unique part of the world. Guests stay in chalets on the edge of a large salt-pan and can view game at the waterhole from their private viewing deck. Wilderness walks provide an opportunity to see the smaller details, and give an opportunity to learn about desert life.The local community owners, the Khomani San and Mier, make up the majority of the staff, and their influences dominate the aesthetics and culinary experience. !Xaus Lodge is a place to experience, and not just observe. ... more   less 
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