Kalahari red dunes lodge

Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge is situated on a 4,000ha private game reserve, 200km south of Namibia's capital city of Windhoek, near the small town of Kalkrand. As it is only 240km from Windhoek International Airport, this is an ideal stopover for self-drive tourists on either the first or last day of their holiday in Namibia. The town of Mariental is a further 70km south of the lodge.

Individual travellers, families or small groups wishing to experience privacy and luxury amongst red sand dunes in the Kalahari Desert without having to drive too far off the beaten track, should head for this lodge. An unusual feature of the The Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge is that it is situated in a nature reserve characterized by 2 deserts. The Kalahari Desert can be identified by infinite chains of red sand dunes that alternate with green valleys. The Great Karoo is home to enormous grass steppes and dry river courses lined with abundant water banks.

Facilities include a restaurant, bar and lounge enclosed in a lapa with fire place, a swimming pool with a shaded decking, a viewing deck also with a fire place, free wireless LAN Internet and a safe to store your valuables at reception. The pool and shaded deck are actually situated in a dry lake. A 120m board walk connects the main building with the chalets which are strategically placed around this 'vlei'. A variety of Namibian wildlife can often be observed from the privacy of the chalets.

European meals with African flavours are enhanced by the lodge's home-grown herbs and fruits. Seasonal Kalahari truffles are also available. Breakfast can be enjoyed on the large, teak terrace. Buffet meals can be served in either indoor or outdoor dining areas with an open fireplace to ward off those chilly Namibian winter mornings and evenings. For those seeking a more romantic setting dinner can be taken 'between the red dunes of the Kalahari Desert'. A large selection of good to excellent South African wines can be ordered to accompany your meal as well as an inviting glass of cool Camelthorn Draft Beer, which can be drank under the tree of the same name.

The goings on of the Kalahari Desert can be experienced from the comfort and safety of your accommodation. Traditional African stoned/thatched roofs and canvas walls maintain a cool interior even in the hotter months. Features include teak floors, natural stone tiles in the bathrooms, teak terraces and board walks, individual private outdoor shower, generous spacing allowing for maximum spacing and a 'picture window' for observing animal activity.

There are 12 twin chalets (including 1 disabled chalet) each equipped with a private terrace, en-suite showers, fridge, tea/coffee station, mosquito nets, hair dryers, Wi-Fi connection and air-conditioning. Each stilted guest house is named after the largest species roaming the reserve. Paved, barrier-free, illuminated paths lead to the main building. The layout of the individual rooms is as follows

Nyala: The only guest room with a 'wide-angle scenic view'. Glass windows in the canvas run along the entire length of the building enabling guests to follow the course of the dunes. This chalet has the largest living space and affords the the most spectacular sunset view of the 12 rooms. There is no view of the waterhole.
Distance from the main building: 300m.

Impala: This chalet overlooks a tree savanna inundated with seasonal shiny golden yellow high grass to one side and the red sand dunes of the Kalahari desert on the other. Distance from the main building: 240m

Blue Wildebeest & Black Wildebeest: These are 2 separate houses linked by a board walk, ideal for a family or small group. Alternatively the houses can also be booked separately by locking the doors to the board walk. Both houses offer breathtaking sunset views over the grass savannah and camelthorn trees. Distance from the main building: Blue: 180m. Black: 160m.

Springbok: As this guest house is elevated on the edge of the vlei it affords a spectacular panoramic view of the surrounding tree savanna, dry lake and steppe. An open shower has views of the magnificent savannah landscape. Distance from the main building: 100m.

Eland: This spacious guest house features a particularly beautiful bathroom. French windows offer spectacular views and you can observe waterhole wildlife activity from the comfort of your bed. Additional outdoor shower. Distance from the main building: 150m.

Giraffe: Features include the largest bathroom, open and outside showers of all 12 rooms. It is set amongst ancient Kalahari Acacia bushes, where giraffe feed between the shrubs. There is a great view over the vlei and the waterhole, as well as the red sand dunes on the opposite sides. Distance from the main building: 200m.

Oryx: The position of this guest house offers spectacular wildlife viewing as well as affording extra privacy. Antelope can be observed through the 'picture windows' as well as from the comfort of your bed. There is an additional hidden outdoor shower. Distance from the main building: 300m.

Red Hartebeest: This guest house is ideal for game viewing in and around the waterhole on one side and and the dunes on the other. Warthogs, zebras and kudu regularly pass by for a drink. There is an additional outdoor shower. Distance from the main building: 350m.

Zebra: The front terrace of this guest house is located under a large camelthorn tree, a location which not only sets this room apart from the others but gives the impression of being actually inside the vlei itself. The outdoor shower, obscured from view by an overhanging tree, adds to the ambiance. Distance from the main building: 480m.

Kudu: The very first guest house built for the lodge which still holds a special place for those involved with the lodge. It is the only guest house with steps leading to the terrace. Ideal for those who want to enjoy the quiet and solitude of the Kalahari Desert. Distance from the main building: 450m.

Ostrich: This is the furthest and therefore the most remote and secluded of the 12 guesthouses. Outstanding views of the immediate environment have been enhanced by a number of additional windows that have been installed recently. Many guests opt for a candle-lit dinner complemented by a bottle of fine red wine on the wooden terrace instead of walking to the main building. Distance from the main building: 500m.

Species of animal that freely roam the private game reserve at Kalahari Red Dune Lodge include: Hartmann’s mountain and plains zebra, giraffe, blue and black wildebeest, eland, nyala, springbok, kudu, steenbok, oryx, red hartebeest, blesbok and impala. Some smaller creatures include pangolin, porcupine, aardvark and warthog. Amongst the many species of birdlife which include ostrich, waterfowl visit during the rainy season.

Activities and excursions are either by customized 4x4 safari vehicles or guided and unguided tours on foot. All trips are accompanied by experienced and knowledgeable guides.

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Game drives: Enjoy the Kalahari Desert from the safety and comfort of a morning or afternoon safari. The leisurely drive gives ample opportunities to observe the many species of mammals that live on the reserve. The energetic can opt to climb some small dunes of around 30m high. Experience the vegetation and wildlife of the pristine wilderness environment as nature intended.

Sundowner drive: A great way to finish your day in the Kalahari red dunes is to participate on a sundowner drive in an open off-road car under expert guidance. This is definitely one of the most dramatic hours of the day in the desert.

Jogging: Join Namibia's fastest marathon runner (2 hours and 15 minutes) on one of the The Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge own jogging trails. One of the lodge's bushman residents trains in the early morning and evening. Distances of up to 20km have been set up for those keen on keeping up their fitness whilst on holiday.

Hiking: Another great way to explore the Kalahari Desert is to take a guided or unguided walk around the private reserve. All trails are clearly marked and drinking water is available at designated stops. Distances range from between 5-20km and last from 2hrs to all day. Tour guides can provide advice and assistance to set up a hike of a suitable distance and duration catering to your own fitness and requirements.

Mountain biking: Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge have 2 mountain bikes available for guests to ride on original bike trails in the private nature reserve. Crossing the Kalahari Desert on a modern mountain bike entails a bit of hard work but is great fun and healthy exercise at the same time. Experience the breathtaking vastness of the camelthorn savannah from a rather unusual mode of desert transport.

Visit to the Protection of the Devil’s Claw Site: The Devil's Claw is a rare plant that produces healing ingredients for rheumatic and arthritic diseases. This has resulted in the roots being harvested out of the dry Kalahari sand almost to extinction and has recently been classed as an endangered plant species. The name is derived from the way this plant spreads its seeds. The Devil's Claw Project aims to provide a certain amount of water, falling as rain, to enable the plants to sprout and produce seeds in October not just March.

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Traveller Reviews

These are honest reviews, both good and bad, from our travellers who visited this property.

Bailley, Vivien

14 Mar 2014

Room not clean, no hot water second day, few guys of the staff not friendly but great animal tour. Lodge almost empty..

Sampson, Jan

23 Feb 2013

Exceptional lodge - staff very good, food excellent, lodges first class, game drives terrific - no complaints whatsoever.

Siefken, Dirk

12 Jan 2015

Also very nice, small but cosy. We liked it there although after Gocheganas it first seemed to be too small, it was still very nice


29 Aug 2013

like for all the other lodges, you should make people aware that at night it can be FREEZING, so people should bring their ski clothes.............

Mouradian, Pierre

5 Sep 2015

we were afraid it could be quite similar to Bagatelle but we were quite happy with it, we had a walk there in the morning, was nice. A bit too close to the road.

Tucker, Matt

20 Aug 2013

liked this place very much. partly due to the meerkat Toffee that the staff feeds so its semi trained. It would come sit in the kids laps. highlight of the trip for the kids.

Reinecke, Karin

6 Jul 2015

It was OK. Food was acceptable but certainly nothing special (pork and vegetables). Bike paths were not that well marked so we got lost in the heat of the day. Staff were friendly.

Read, Mary

18 Apr 2017

Great place for first real nights on first trip to Namibia. A comfortable and welcoming lodge with real feel of Africa without being too far away or presenting any driving challenges. We loved it


28 Jun 2014

Excellent value, nice touches such as free wine/beer in fridge and a little carved elephant on the pillow! Tame meerkat was very cute. Good food, but lodge was very quiet and no activities were available.

Maudslay, Simon

18 Aug 2013

Good service and we enjoyed the affections of Doffy the meerkat. We couldn`t do the afternoon sundowner drive as it was full ( taken by non resident family we think). The management need to communicate activity options more clearly.

Ferguson, Rob

22 Oct 2012

This was also very good - walkways to the restaurant from rooms was what was needed (Wolvedans should do something similar). Not much to see by way of animals but a friendly meerkat (something of a hotel pet) was amusing. A nice place to stop of at.


From Windhoek, drive 190 km south on the B1 towards Mariental. The entrance to Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge is 8 km south of Kalkrand - and is clearly marked from the road.

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