Accommodation

Introduction

The Kalahari and the Transfrontier Park receive about 22 000 visitors a year, both national and international. There is a range of accommodation available in the area, but until recently, none of this has been owned by or has benefitted the community directly in any way. With the assistance of NGOs and advisors that work together with us, we are in the process of developing a number of community-owned accommodation options for visitors. Some of these are community owned and run, whilst in other instances we either have or are in the process of contracting private sector parties to develop and operate these concerns in partnership with us, while we develop the necessary skills to run them ourselves.

Witdraai Bush Camp

Making ash bread putting the dough into a bed of ashes | Khomani San
Making ash bread covering the dough with coals | Khomani San
Making ash bread allowing it to bake and rise | Khomani San

The bush camp is situated on the traditional farm Witdraai and is a rustic facility designed to give one the feel of living in a Bushman village, with the option to stay in grass huts (four) or to camp. It is serviced by an ablution block with simple showers and toilets. There is a kitchen area that can be used for food preparation. If you are too tired to cook your own food, delicious traditional food can be prepared for you during your stay at the bushcamp, though it is necessary to arrange this option in advance.

From here it is possible to undertake guided nature and heritage trails with San guides and trackers and in the evening you can enjoy traditional Bushman dancing (on arrangement and an activity fee applies). If the dancing is too energetic for you, you can also enjoy some old folklore and traditional story telling told by the elders of the community.

For more information contact Vinkie van der Westhuizen on +27 (0)72 977 0120 or e-mail bushcamp@kalaharivinkie.co.za

Erin Traditional Farm

A tented camp has been established on the beautiful traditional farm of Erin, which has been restocked with giraffe, zebra, springbok, gemsbok, red hartebeest, blue wildebeest, ostriches and the iconic eland that is of such symbolic value to the San. The camp sleeps up to 12 people in six tents overlooking an attractive waterhole. A communal kitchen and outdoor braai area give visitors the option to self-cater or if desired arrangements can be made for community members to prepare delicious traditional food such as ash bread, affal and potjie for your enjoyment. Two ablution blocks offer hot showers.

Alternatively you can bring your own tent and stay in our simple rustic campsite located in a beautiful tranquil setting. This site offers campers a fire for cooking or we can arrange caterers to prepare traditional food. A simple toilet is located at the camp but please note that there is no electricity, showers, or hot water at this site.

Either of these camps can be used as a base for special interest tours such as birding, nature and heritage walking trails, hunting, a chance to experience traditional San song and dance, visits into the local community and their various enterprises and projects, and most importantly a chance to experience the tranquil Kalahari whilst staying at these small, exclusive camps.

For more information contact the Bushman Council Office and speak with Dirk Pienaar on +27 (0)84 943 2722 or email bookings@khomanisan.com

The !Ae!hai Heritage Park

!Xaus Lodge

!Xuas Lodge at sunset | Khomani San
!Xaus Lodge provides luxury accommodation in the Kgalagadi transfrontier Park (KTP) for eco-tourists and visitors to the Kalahari. The lodge is owned by the ‡Khomani San and Mier communities, and is operated on their behalf by Transfrontier Park Destinations.

It is located in the South African sector of the KTP and access is via the Auob River road that connects Tweerivieren with Mata Mata. The lodge is situated 30 kilometres into the desert, reached after traversing around 91 sand dunes from the turn-off at Rooibrak waterhole, 60 kilometres northwest of Tweerivieren. !Xaus overlooks a large salt pan approximately 4 kilometres in circumference with a waterhole directly below the lodge. GPS co-ordinates for a Google search are: S26°09.005′ E20°15.392′.

!Xuas Lodge sunrise | Khomani San
The complex consists of a central lodge building and 12 individual chalets, each with its own deck overlooking a vast saltpan and waterhole fed with fresh water. The central lodge building has a welcoming reception area with its unique wall-hanging made by the ladies of Vezokhule, a sewing co-operative in Upington. The cosy lounge has a fireplace and a library of selected books for paging through before dinner. Our dining area overlooks the pan, with furniture hand-made in Upington and images burnt by Bushmen artists.

Visitors to the lodge can enjoy various activities during their stay. Game drives and morning walks with our knowledgeable local guides while a visit to the Bushman cultural village offers a unique experience. Guests will see ‡Khomani artists at work making crafts which visitors have the opportunity to purchase.

Bushman crafts, can also be purchased at the arts and crafts shop, as well as crafts made in the wider Kalahari. Visit the large observation deck from which we gaze in wonder at the night sky, and by day the swimming pool provides cool relief from the desert heat. Wood is a precious commodity in the Kalahari, so the inviting fire in the boma is made in the traditional method with three or four crossed sticks around which everyone huddles companionably.

For more information visit: www.Xauslodge.co.za or call +27(0)21 701 7860

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