!Xaus Lodge

Hotel category: Stars Stars Stars Stars

Rating: BirdsBirdsBirds

Country: South Africa

Region: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park

We speak: English


!Xaus Lodge is a very remote and special Bed & Birding place situated in the South African sector of Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park: !Xaus means heart and it richly deserves the name. The Park comprises an immense desert area with grass-covered dunes, representing a single ecological unit straddling the border between South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. At over 3.5 million hectares (about the same size as the Netherlands!), it is managed jointly by the wildlife authorities of the three countries. !Xaus Lodge is reached from Upington, 260 km from Tweerivieren. The ongoing journey is via the Auob River road that connects Tweerivieren with Mata Mata, 60 km north-west of Tweerivieren. The actual meeting point for !Xaus Lodge is Kamqua picnic site (64 km from Tweerivieren), the one-and-a-half hour journey being a ‘game-drive’ all the way. The journey from Kamqua to the lodge is 30 km, crossing soft dunes by 4x4 vehicles for a further one-and-a-half hours.


!Xaus Lodge provides fabulous access to an outstanding wilderness and caters particularly well for the requirements of visiting birders. There are over 270 bird species recorded from the park (see our checklist) of which eleven are globally threatened (including Ludwig’s Bustard, 5 species of vultures and Black Harrier). Guests have exclusive use of the safari cars and knowledgeable local guides are available on request. Moreover, the lodge offers various activities which are included in the price, such as Early morning dune walk, bushman craft village visits, evening dune sundowner drive and an evening safari drive. The lodge also offers s a "long" game drive (free if you stay 4 nights or on a paid basis for shorter stays). It takes you back to and along the Auob River.


The complex comprises a central lodge with 12 individual chalets, each with its own deck overlooking a vast saltpan and a waterhole fed by fresh water. One family until sleeps four people. The en-suite chalets are supplies with purified drinking water; winter sheets and gas heaters provide comfort on cold nights, while ceiling fans bring relief during hot months. The central lodge consists of a welcoming reception area, a cosy lounge with fireplace and library of selected books, and a dining area overlooking the salt pan. There is a craft shop where items made by Bushmen may be purchased, a swimming pool that provides cool relief during the heat of the day, and a large observation deck from which the wonders of the African sky may be observed after dark. There are no signals for cell phones, no Wi-Fi and no TV reception, just magical hours of silence - except for the sounds of nature - thereby ensuring the ultimate digital detox!

* Please note that the English bird names on this site follow the American terminology. If you can't find a species name, try searching by Family or latin name.
Status key: B = breeding species; RB - rare breeding; W = winter only; V - vagrant; RV = rare vagrant; TM - trans-migrant; In - introduced

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