Opened in July 2007, !Xaus Lodge, owned by the Khomani San (Bushmen) and Mier communities, is the first fully catered luxury lodge located in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. This 3,9 million hectare Transfrontier Peace Park transcends the border between the Northern Cape Province of South Africa and Botswana and is one of the last pristine conservation areas on earth. The vision behind its creation, which was facilitated by the Peace Parks Foundation, has ensured in perpetuity a natural animal migration route to the north-east and an environment in which man and animal can peacefully co-exist.
!Xaus Lodge, a 24-bed thatched luxury lodge has been crafted to blend into the landscape of this remote wilderness area. Situated on the red dunes of the Kalahari it overlooks an enormous salt pan where, from the privacy of the deck of your own chalet, you can observe the animals drinking at the waterhole below.
Often aluded to as “A place to experience and not merely observe”, !Xaus Lodge offers visitors an opportunity to experience the scenic unspoilt splendour and the remoteness of the vast and arid Kalahari wilderness; to be drawn into the fascinating rituals, traditions and historical cultures of the Bushmen, the remarkable 'first people' of southern Africa; and at the same time enjoy the comforts of a luxury lodge that captures the essence of the Kalahari.
The Mier community, renowned for their culinary skills and for the recipes handed down from generation to generation that have been adapted to overcome the challenges of this arid environment, provide cuisine unique to the lodge.
At night, gathered around the camp-fire, the Bushmen share with visitors their legends of the night sky, their health secrets and the history of their culture and existence.
Whilst wildlife, much of which is seen on game drives from the lodge, is plentiful and the black-maned lion is one of its icons, this Transfrontier Park is also a bird-life paradise with two-thirds of the raptor species of southern Africa occurring within its boundaries.
But the real 'heart' of !Xaus Lodge lies in its spirit and its people. The experience of an African sunset, the sound of silence as day turns to night and the feeling of being able to touch the stars, provides a feast for the senses and the soul.
Guests are invited to accompany the Bushmen, the legendary 'hunter gatherers', as they track through the desert following the spoor of animals, identifying the plants they can eat or harvest for medicinal purposes and locating their water cache, buried to ensure that they are not overcome by thirst in this harsh environment.
!Xaus Lodge truly is an integral part of “an ancient African land which, when seen through the eyes of the Bushmen, is mystical, magical and spiritual” (Laurens van der Post).