Covering a portion of South Africa and Botswana, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is a hit for visitors who hail from around the world to see big game animals like lions, zebras, elephants, giraffes and more. However, don’t feel like you’ll have to stay in a hotel in a city a few hours away and make your drive to the park to experience it all. Instead, why not book a stay at one of the park’s nearby accommodations within minutes to extend your stay and get an early head start on your safari. Not to mention, you’ll enjoy the benefits of going on safari rides offered at some of the places to see the astonishing nature and wealth of wildlife that live there year-round. Here are some of the top accommodations worth staying at in and around Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.
Located in South Africa, Xaus Lodge is not your typical run-of-the-mill accommodation. Visitors will get to stay in authentic clay huts with thatched roofs facing miles of desert landscape. While the lodge maintains a traditional and tribal accommodation, guests will enjoy the benefits of modern convenience of electricity, running water and a luxury pool with an incredible view of the salt pans. It’s advised to book as soon as possible as there are only 12 chalets available per night, but it’s well worth the wait. Don’t leave the lodge without hitting its small shop selling bushmen crafts as souvenirs. Game drives on the pan are available for guests as well as night-time drives and guided dune walks to see more of the scenery.
When it comes to staying in this Botswana game resort, guests will have a choice of either staying at Polentswa or Rooiputs. The two locations at Ta Shebube provide different views and perks. For example, at Rooiports, it’s common to spot lions at an adjacent waterhole and guests can stay at one of the nine chalets with all the modern amenities. At Polentswa in the Nossob Valley, tented camps are nestled underneath towering trees with a view of the salt pans that’s frequently bombarded with antelopes early in the morning. As night falls, both sites have a bonfire pit for guests to warm up under the stars. Other animals spotted near the two locations are leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas and more.
Stay in one of South Africa’s modern, luxury chalets on red dunes only 3 miles away from the gates of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park’s Twee Rivieren section. Kgalagadi Lodge offers a comfortable stay with modern furniture and a private patio overlooking the salt pans. During sunset, visitors report seeing breathtaking, picture-worthy views of the sun kissing the burning red salt pans. Guests don’t need to venture far to eat, there’s an onsite grocery store with fresh produce, meat and freshly-baked bread. There’s also a restaurant serving up traditional South African Kalahari fare with modern influence. Guests can opt to camp on the site instead of staying in the chalets for a much more affordable and rugged accommodation.
Although Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park isn’t in Namibia, it straddles the border, meaning the country is just a few minutes drive from the gates of the park. One of nearby overnight stays in Namibia is Kalahari Farmstall, a farmhouse that doubles as a bed and breakfast-like accommodation. Guests will wake up to a hot-cooked breakfast using ingredients from the farm and visitors can stop by its roadside shop to take home biltong, produce and curio items. Guests can choose between staying in a furnished chalet or stay in a tented camp. In between safari trips to the park, guests can kick back and lounge at the farm to admire grazing goats on the open field or take advantage of the luxury pool.
Kalahari Trails Nature Reserve
We saved the best for last. Did you know that there’s a meerkat sancutary in South Africa near the park that also operates as an overnight accommodation? You can stay at Kalahari Trails Nature Reserve, a magical place where meerkats are so accustomed to humans that they’ll literally crawl on you if you lay down with them. The guesthouse, chalets and campsite are situated near a watering hole where meerkats frequent. You won’t receive a luxury service since it’s a self-catering accommodation, but you won’t find friendly meerkats at any luxury hotels either. Guests are encouraged to wake up at dawn to watch the animals do their routine of playing, grooming and being on the lookout for potential dangers. Some visitors have said to have meerkats crawl to the top of their heads to use as a lookout point. You’ll have your friends filled with envy once you upload your selfies with these cute animals.
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