Kalahari. The word conjures scenes of long-horned oryx striding across terracotta-coloured sand dunes, huge sociable weaver nests in camel thorn trees, tiny meerkats digging through flying sand for beetles and scorpions. Experience all this and more at Kalahari Anib Lodge some 25km east of Mariental and enjoy these 12 things to do in Namibia’s Kalahari.
Spend time outdoors at Kalahari Anib Lodge and listen to the wind, hear the booming call of ostriches, enjoy the feel of Kalahari sand between your toes, lose yourself in a night sky exploding with stars.
All finishes have been chosen with care, from wood-grain floors and copper towel racks to white bed linen with natural shades of green and brown on the cover. We could lie in bed and look up at the inside of the mosquito net with its hazy impression of a weaver’s nest in a thorn tree. This pattern is also etched into the hall and bathroom windows, not letting you forget for a moment how extraordinary the environment around you is.
Although I usually love light excluder curtains, it was pretty dark at night anyway so we didn’t use them, preferring to wake to the sight of pink and lilac in the sky at dawn – Kalahari magic.
1. Get a walking trails map from reception and stride out into the wilderness at your own pace. Choose from 5km to 16km self-guided trails, where you may spot tracks in the sand, antelope and birds, and enjoy the environment of camel thorn trees and three-thorn bushes.
3. Go on an early morning drive in an open 4x4. Feel the cool of the early morning (cold in winter) before sunrise colours deepen across the landscape and the sun warms you through. You may see antelope, zebra, blue wildebeest (gnu), giraffe and birds like kori bustard and black korhaan, and you’ll certainly enjoy the views of Kalahari thornveld and red sand dunes that stretch across the landscape.
4. In the late afternoon, go for a sunset drive and learn about the amazing sociable weaver colonies in the camel thorn trees, listen to the sound of the Namaqua sandgrouse as they fly overhead, feel the breeze as it ripples the silky grasses. End your drive with sundowners on a burnt-orange sand dune, the Kalahari laid out below you as the sunset paints neon colours across the sky. Read more about our sunset drive here.
Get up the next morning for a buffet breakfast – everything from porridge, cereals, fresh fruit, cheese and cold meats, to kick-ass croissants (so good you’ll think you’re in France) and a profusion of bacon, sausages and eggs. If you’re lucky, Doreen Fransman will be on duty during breakfast – she’s like an irresistibly happy ray of sunshine first thing in the morning (though I have to admit that all staff are warm and friendly).
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Kalahari Anib Lodge: enjoy a sundowner drive in Namibia
The Kalahari in bloom
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