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.
- 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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