Xaus Lodge

Accommodation in Kalahari Gemsbok National Park

Star Rating:3

!Xaus means ‘heart’: a symbol of reconciliation between the traditional San and Mier communities.

!Xaus Lodge provides luxury Kgalagadi accommodation in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park for eco-tourists and visitors to the Kalahari.

Our Kgalagadi accommodation comprises a central lodge building and 12 individual chalets, each with its own deck overlooking a vast saltpan and waterhole fed with fresh water. Pronounced ‘kaus’, this is a place to experience a unique desert environment. Highlights of the lodge include a cosy lounge with a fireplace, an art and craft shop, a large observation deck prefect for star- gazing, a refreshing swimming pool and a heart- warming fire in the boma, perfect for enjoying the beauty of the silence of the night while keeping warm.

!Xaus, a place to experience; not merely observe.

!Xaus’ warm, friendly and informal reputation is comfortably appointed with high standards of service, however it is not merely a stop-over, nor is it a commercialised resort. From its remote location in the desert, with its long and sometimes corrugated dune track access and scarce saline water, limited power supply and the harsh climatic conditions that prevail, the experience of !Xaus is realistic and these aspects are all part of the authentic way of life that guests are privileged to experience first hand.

Room Description at :

  • 12 en-suite chalets each with its own deck overlooking the waterhole in the pan.
Chalets are equipped with:
  • Twin beds, high quality mattresses and linen.
  • Winter sheets, hot water bottles and gas heaters for the cold months.
  • Ceiling fans for the hot months.
  • Bedside tables with bedside lamps.
  • Wardrobe, writing table and chair.
  • Luggage rack.
  • Floor rugs.
Please note:
  • Chalets are not air conditioned. Traditional methods, using shade and damp cloths as means of keeping cool in this environment, are explained to guests.
  • There are no hairdryers in the individual chalets but these are available on request.
  • Large shower, wash-hand basin and separate flush toilet.
  • Rooibos soap, sandalwood moisturizing hand-cream and shampoo are provided.
  • Gas water heaters for hot water.
  • Water is an extremely scarce resource.
  • Water is drawn from a borehole close to the lodge and is hard and fairly saline.
  • A system of reverse osmosis is used to produce purified desert drinking water.
  • Laundry is done in Tweerivieren 90 kms from the camp and for this reason linen and towel changes are limited to the duration of a guest’s stay unless circumstances require otherwise.
  • Guests are encouraged to use water sparingly.


Inclusions / Exclusions

Included: Accommodation, all meals, all activities & transfer to and from Kamqua Picnic Site

Excluded: Park entry fees, curios, alcohol & drinks, gratuities


Extra information

  • KTP falls in a semi-arid region of the Kalahari.
  • Average annual rainfall in the southwest is 150mm rising to 350mm in the northeast.
  • Rain, usually dramatic thunderstorms, falls between November and April.
  • Temperatures vary greatly from -11°C on cold winter nights to 42°C in the shade on summer day
    • Winter: May to August is cool and dry
    • Spring: September to October is warm and dry
    • Summer & Autumn: November to April is hot and the time of rainfall
Safety Policy
  • The general rules and regulations of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park also apply to guests.
  • Guests depend on the Lodge Manager and Guides for their safety and for guidance. For their own safety and that of other guests, the Lodge Manager should therefore be obeyed at all times.
  • For reasons of safety and sensitivity, excessive consumption of liquor is strongly discouraged. Liquor may only be consumed at the Lodge or on specific activities but not on wilderness walks.
Indemnity Policy
  • !Xaus Lodge is unfenced and is located in a National Park that is home to a variety of dangerous predators and reptiles.
  • Wilderness walks are accompanied by guides but nevertheless carry the risk of injury or death should predators or reptiles be encountered
  • In light of the exposed nature of the Camp, all guests have to complete an indemnity form.  Minors must be in possession of an indemnity form signed by a parent or legal guardian in the presence of a company representative.
Clothing and footwear
  • For guests planning to participate on any guided walks, clothing should be comfortable and durable.
  • Neutral colours such as khaki are preferable.
  • Footwear should be worn-in if possible, have thick soles and provide good ankle support. It is preferable not to wear white shoes.
  • Night drives in winter can be extremely cold so warm clothing and headgear is required
  • More information on clothing and recommended items to take is contained on our website
·        For guests flying in to Upington a return road transfer to Kamqua picnic site in KTP is.
·        From Kamqua guests are transferred to !Xaus Lodge in an Open Safari Vehicle (This transfer is included in the accommodation rate).
·        For guests flying in to Twee Rivieren or wishing to leave their vehicles at Twee Rivieren a return road transfer is available to !Xaus Lodge
Self-drive options
  • Self-drive to Kamqua picnic site.
    • Can be done in any standard sedan motor vehicle.
    • Guests are met at Kamqua and escorted to the turnoff at Rooibrak to !Xaus Lodge. Guest vehicle are parked in a demarcated zone off the road behind the dunes for the duration of their stay at !Xaus Lodge.
    • Guests are then transferred to !Xaus Lodge in an Open Safari Vehicle.
  • Self-drive directly to !Xaus Lodge.
    • 4x4 vehicle is definitely required.
    • Guests are met by a lodge guide at Kamqua picnic site and drive in convoy to !Xaus Lodge.
  • Fuel can be purchased at Askham, Andriesvale (diesel only), Twee Rivieren and MataMata.
  • Tyre pressures should be reduced to 1,6 bar for traveling on gravel roads in the KTP and to 1,4 bar if self-driving through the dunes to !Xaus Lodge.
Border posts
  • Tweerivieren: South Africa entry and exit, opens 07.30 closes 16.00 all year
  • Two Rivers: Botswana entry and exit, opens 07.30 closes 16.00 all year
  • Mata Mata: Namibia entry and exit, opens 08.00 closes 16.30 all year
  • Guests departing into Namibia or Botswana must clear Customs and Immigration at Tweerivieren even if they are planning to spend some days in KTP before their intended date of departure. This is particularly important if exiting into Namibia because guests will be made to return from Mata Mata to Tweerivieren (120kms) if they have not cleared South African Customs and Immigration there.
  • Guests entering KTP from Namibia at Mata Mata are required to spend at least two nights in KTP before exiting into South Africa. Nights spent at !Xaus Lodge meet this requirement
  • A valid passport is required.
  • Self-drive guests must be in possession of the motor vehicle licence papers or a letter of authority from the vehicle owner or the car hire company
  • Meals include items prepared in the tradition of the Mier community such as roosterbrood, potjiekos, braised meats, sweet pumpkin & other vegetables, seasonal local fruits such as tsama melon, home baked beskuit, breads etc.
  • Meals are served at times advised by lodge management on a day to day basis.
  • Times are scheduled according to the day’s activities and guest departures.
  • All meals are served either in the dining area or boma.
  • Three, set-menu meals are provided each day; Breakfast, light lunch and two/three course dinner.
  • Complimentary tea or coffee is available on request throughout the day.
  • Every effort is made to accommodate dietary requests/allergies provided these are advised in advance of arrival at the lodge.
  • Open to the night sky.
  • Pre-and post-dinner drinks and dinners are served in the firelit boma on occasion.
  • Purified desert water is provided in guest chalets and at meals.
  • Bottled water is available for sale
  • Limited variety of beers, popular brand spirits and mixers are available for sale.
  • Limited variety of red and white wine is available for sale.
  • Power is supplied by a generator providing 220 volt power.
  • The generator operates for four hours per day in the evenings and for half an hour before sunrise.
  • Computers and cameras can be charged during generator operating hours.
  • Outside of the generator operating hours no electric lighting is available at all. Torches are available in the chalets.
  • No cellphone reception is available at the lodge.
  • Two-way radio communication is available between the lodge and several of the KTP restcamps.
  • All lodge vehicles are fitted with two-way radios for safety reasons.
  • The lodge is equipped with satellite telephone and email communication which is available to guests only in cases of emergency.
  • Guided wilderness walk along the dunes identifying animal spoor, birds, trees and plants, and their medicinal uses.
  • Guided pan walk to the “Heart” of the Kalahari
  • Guided walk to a re-created cultural village to visit Bushman crafters at work, see young men demonstrating their traditional games and to purchase traditional Bushman crafts hanging from the branches of the tree under which the crafters sit peacefully at work.
  • 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 
    • For guests staying longer than three nights, a full day game drive through the dunes to the Auob river with packed breakfast and picnic lunch
  • Night-sky viewing through telescopes from the observation deck