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Why did we hand pick !Xaus Lodge?

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  • Access to the immense beauty of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
  • Only lodge in the park to offer full board
  • Great views across a salt pan and waterhole

!Xaus Lodge

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

315km from Upington


-26.15, 20.2564


!Xaus Lodge’s  is situated in the heart of the beautiful Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. This captivating landscape was formed through the amalgamation of the Gemsbok National Park in South Africa and the Gemsbok National Park in Botswana and is about twice the size of the Kruger National Park. It offers stunning scenery, excellent birding and overpowering silence. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is particularly well known for its Big Cats that patrol the ridges of the ancient red sand dunes.

A six hour game drive through the dunes and along the Auob River, with packed breakfast and picnic lunch, is complementary for guests staying four nights or longer, and available at an additional cost to short-stay guests. Take a sunset drive and dune walk to ‘listen’ to the sun set over the Kalahari, or take an after-dinner night drive, with the accompanying sounds of barking geckos, insect shrills, and larger animal calls to break the silence.

Set out at day-break with the guides and Bushman trackers to walk through the dunes. You will be shown how to identify animal spoor, birds, trees and plants, and discuss their medicinal uses. You’ll return to the Lodge in time for a hearty brunch made by the local Mier ladies. The length of the walk, and distance you cover, depends on the fitness and interest of the guests.

Walk to the re-created cultural village where you may join young Bushmen demonstrating their traditional games, and purchase traditional crafts hanging from the branches of the tree under which the crafters work.  These goods are also for sale at the Lodge curio shop.

There is a permanent telescope on the observation deck for guests who want a more intimate encounter with the spectacular night skies of the Kalahari.

The star gazing here is among the best in the world due to the cloudless skies and the absence of light polution.

Rates & Summary

12 Individual Chalets

All en-suite with shower
Each with its own deck
Spectacular views


  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above


All meals are included
Flasks of purified drinking water are provided in the rooms

Why Stay Here?

Pronounced ‘kaus’, which means 'heart', !Xaus Lodge provides luxury accommodation in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The accommodation comprises a central lodge building and 12 individual chalets, each with its own deck overlooking a vast saltpan and waterhole. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is an immense desert area, a place of wide open spaces, with a remarkable ecology and exceptional wildlife. There are many accommodation options in the Park, but !Xaus Lodge is the only one that offers full catering.


  • Access to the immense beauty of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
  • Only lodge in the park to offer full board
  • Great views across a salt pan and waterhole

Things to consider Bringing

Don't leave anything behind, because the nearest shops are miles away.

Road Conditions

IMPORTANT: The route suggested by most GPSes & Google Maps is incorrect. To get to the lodge, stay on the Auob River Road. Drive the Auob River Road to the Rooibrak turn off. Then head South West on the dune road. From Kamqua picnic site to !Xaus Lodge is 30km on a single-track sand road through the dunes. A 4X4 vehicle is necessary for this leg of the journey. Transfers to the lodge are provided as standard procedure.

Activities & Attractions

  • Game drives
  • Guided dune walks
  • Swimming pool
  • Kamqua picnic site
  • Night sky star gazing 
  • Bushman craft village


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Lounge
  • Dining table
  • Verandah / patio
  • Ceiling fans
  • Fireplace
  • Limited firewood provided
  • No under floor heating
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Daily housekeeping
  • No laundry service available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Restaurant
  • Licensed


  • Own water supply, showering and washing only
  • Gas geysers
  • Electricity from a generator

Leisure Amenities

  • Swimming pool
  • Library

Business & Connectivity

  • No cell phone reception

Access & Convenience

  • No pets allowed
  • Nearest shops further than 50km
  • Nearest fuel further than 50km
  • Shuttle service available


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted




Green Kalahari

Northern Cape


The Green Kalahari embraces a large tract of undulating red dunes, mountain desert, and grasslands in the far north of the Northern Cape Province bordering Namibia and Botswana. In the extreme north it is home to the popular Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park where the black-maned lion is king, while in the west lies the Augrabies Falls National Park.

Upington, which straddles the banks of the Orange River where the N10 and N14 intersect, is the region’s main town. Further down river the other important regional towns of Keimoes and Kakamas bask amongst the vineyards. 

Many may consider ’green’ a little optimistic where the Kalahari is concerned. However, the ‘Green’, in this case, is in reference to the extensive vineyards that flank the Orange River as it curves through the region. In summer they trace a lush, verdant line against an otherwise arid backdrop of hills and plains cloaked in autumnal colours for most of the year. The vineyards follow the river for 350km and cover over 17 000 hectares making it one of the most intensively farmed areas in South Africa. 

From here table grapes are exported to Europe, while some cultivars are turned into award-winning wines by Orange River Wine Cellars. This five-cellar co-operative, which produces around 30 different wines, is the largest in the country. 

Paradoxically, for a region considered by many to be a desert, there are plenty of water-based activities, all of which are centred on the Orange River - at 2200km it’s South Africa’s longest River. Great river-rafting opportunities can be enjoyed along the stretch between Kakamas and the Augrabies falls.

There’s also fishing, ‘twitching’ along the banks, and in Upington, an evening cruise while supping a few cold beverages to watch the sunset.

Then there’s the varied desert wilderness to explore, from the rocky environs around Augrabies Falls and Riemvasmaak, through the rolling red sand dunes further north, to the vast flat pans in the Mier area. Amidst all this rugged scenery Camelthorn trees dot the landscapes and the large thatched nests of the busy sociable weavers crown both trees and telephone poles alike. 

Game viewing in the Green Kalahari is somehow more rewarding than in areas more flush with rainfall. Perhaps it’s the amazement at the variety in an arid land. 

The prime spot is the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, but there’s also Augrabies Falls National Park, isolated areas like Spitskop Nature Reserve near Upington, and a host of game farms.

Birdwatchers, and especially those into raptors, are likely to suffer whiplash from swinging the binos around at the variety, especially in the far north. From the mighty martial eagle to the diminutive pygmy falcon, the region is a birders’ paradise. Wine-tasting, recreation and adventure sports, game-viewing, and bird-watching… and the area is well-known for its dried-fruit production. 

In essence a visit to the region is all about discovery, where visitors can shun the ordinary and expect the unusual. It’s not just an aimless wander through a barren desert, but rather an odyssey across a new frontier far removed from the tourist crowds. Above all, welcomes are as warm as the weather, the hospitality is superb, and the food – especially the meat – is excellent and plentiful.

Look out for

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park - in the far north of the region is a vast wilderness of red dunes, dry savannah, and majestic camel thorn trees along the Auob and Nossob Rivers. It’s a birders’ paradise and there are plenty of antelope and their associated predators, including the black-maned Kalahari lion. The park has 264 bird species, including two thirds of the raptors found in South Africa, however, this list includes many vagrants so numbers vary throughout the year. There is an abundance of smaller wildlife, from mammals to rodents, reptiles, and insects that will keep nature-lovers enthralled for hours. The three traditional camps are Twee Rivieren, Nossob, and Mata Mata, which offer accommodation in both chalets and campsites, and they have shops and sell fuel. However, there are also a number of wilderness camps - some accessible only in a 4x4.

Augrabies Falls National Park - the principal attraction here is the 6th largest waterfall in the world. Other highlights include Moon Rock, a massive granite monolith, and Ararat viewpoint which overlooks some of the 18km gorge below the falls. Although it is primarily a scenic park, wildlife includes giraffe and several antelope species, and 180+ bird species have been recorded. A drive along the network of gravel roads or a walk on one of the trails will reveal some of the region’s sublime mountain desert scenery. Accommodation is in chalets, bungalows, or camp and caravan sites, and there’s a licensed à-la-carte restaurant, a coffee shop, and a shop with basic foodstuffs and curios. Day visitors are welcome.

Orange River Wine Cellars - the cellars at the towns of Upington, Kakamas, Keimoes, Groblershoop, and also at Grootdrink (alongside the N10 between Upington and Groblershoop) offer wine tastings and sales.

Riemvasmaak Hot Springs - 56km north-west of Kakamas, is situated in a deep ravine surrounded by a mountain desert landscape. The 75 000ha wilderness near Augrabies Falls offers visitors a chance to relax in the soothing waters of the hot springs, take up the challenge of three 4x4 trails, break out on foot along three hiking trails, or enjoy other adventure activities. They have basic self-catering accommodation.

River rafting on the Orange - for specialised 4-day canoe safaris and shorter river trips around the Augrabies Falls call Kalahari Outventures. They also do 5-day back road trips through the Kalahari. Khamkirri Private Game Reserve, 30km from Kakamas, is a one-stop activity centre, excellent for those who get bored of routine. They offer game drives, river rafting, angling, horse riding, abseiling, tours to local attractions, 4x4 routes, and bird watching. They also have a range of accommodation.

Dried Fruit - there’s an unbelievable variety of dried fruit that can be bought at farm stalls throughout the region.

When to go

To Do

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