!Xaus means ‘heart’ in the Nama language and was proposed as a name for the lodge by a group of visiting Bushmen and confirmed by the representative bodies of both the ‡Khomani San and Mier communities. Significantly, the lodge’s name, ‘!Xaus’, symbolizes the healing of relationships, the restoration of dignity and the aspirations of these communities, who after many years of deprivation are now owners of the lodge and the land on which it is situated.
The name was inspired by the fact that the lodge overlooks a large salt pan with a distinctive heart shape in its northwest corner, as well as the fact that the lodge is located at the ‘heart’ – the meeting line – of the land restored to each of the Mier and Bushman communities. It also symbolises the vision of the settlement agreement which was: ‘in the national interest, to finally settle the land claims of the community parties and to establish a positive, co-operative relationship between the community parties and SANParks.’ The symbol ‘!’ denotes a palatal click in the Nama language but for those who can’t master the click, !Xaus is pronounced ‘kaus’.’
!Xaus Lodge is located in the South African sector of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) and access is via the Auob River road that connects Tweerivieren with Mata Mata. The lodge is situated 30 km into the desert, reached after driving over 91 sand dunes from the turn-off at Rooibrak waterhole, 60 km northwest of Twee Rivieren.
!Xaus Lodge offers luxury Kalahari accommodation as a game lodge in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park for eco-tourists and visitors to the Kalahari.
The complex comprises a central lodge building and 12 individual chalets, each with its own deck overlooking a vast saltpan and waterhole fed with fresh water. One family unit (sleeps 4 people).
Experience life in the Kalahari, it’s animals and people when you visit !Xaus Lodge. Enjoy game drives, guided dune walks, bird watching, stargazing and the Bushman craft village.
Enjoy a fantastic sunset game drive on the pan or an after- dinner drive to explore some of the night creatures the Kalahari has to offer. A complimentary six to seven hour drive through the dunes is available to guests staying four nights or longer.
Enjoy a fantastic sunset game drive on the pan or an after- dinner drive to explore some of the night creatures the Kalahari has to offer:
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, with the accompanying sounds of barking geckos, insect shrills, and larger animal calls to break the silence.
A complimentary six to seven hour game drive through the dunes and along the Auob River, with packed breakfast and picnic lunch, is available for guests staying four nights or longer. At an additional charge, this game drive is also available to those staying for two or three nights. Please discuss the availability and cost of this with our management.
Guided dune walks
An early start with the guides and bushman trackers will take you through the dunes as you learn all about your natural surroundings. A shorter guided walk is also arranged to see the ‘heart’ of the pan.
Set out at day-break with the guides and Bushman trackers to walk through the dunes as you learn all about your natural surroundings. 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.
A shorter guided walk is also arranged to see the ‘heart’ of the pan.
Child Policy: Children under the age of 12 may not participate on walks.Visit the Bushman Craft Village
Take a walk to our recreated cultural village and see the Bushman crafters at work. You may join young Bushmen demonstrating their traditional games and purchase traditional crafts hanging from the branches of the tree under which the crafters sit at work. These crafters also sell their goods at the Lodge curio shop.
Clean air and no light pollution makes for a wonderful opportunity to gaze at the night sky. The best night- sky viewing is during the new moon when the sky is at its darkest.. Committed to meeting the requirements of the International Dark Sky association for IDA-accreditation for the entire !Aei !Hai Heritage Park, !Xaus Lodge is leading the application for this status.
This Kalahari game lodge offers a unique living space. The central lodge building consists of 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.
Water is an extremely scarce resource in our environment, any contribution made to using it
sparingly is most valued.
The lodge is equipped with a generator. In order to limit the environmental impact, the
generator operates for 4 hours in the evening and 2 hours in the morning.
No cell phone, Wi-Fi or TV signals. Telecommunications signals don’t reach the Lodge. The Lodge
and the vehicles have 2-way radio links with SANParks facilities. Satellite phone and email available only in cases of emergencies.
Wonderful hours of silence and an opportunity to unwind from day-to-day life, enjoy the digital detox!
The locations markers on this map were manually captured, Exclusive-Africa cannot accept any responsibility for errors or positional accuracy. This map should be used as a guide only.