Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch

Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch: Our full report

Rooms
10 rooms
Traveller's rating
Good (90%) From 123 reviews
Open
All year

Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch stands on the east side of the D1268, about 25km north of the tarred C20 road, between Hardap and Stampriet. This owner-run tranquil lodge in the red Kalahari dunes was initially a sheep and cattle ranch. It is just a 2½-hour drive from Windhoek and makes for an ideal stop-over en route to the Naukluft Park or south to the Fish River area.

Approaching the game ranch, your first sight of Bagatelle is the four dune chalets, which appear to be balancing on a typical Kalahari sand ridge. Only closer, you then see the rest of the lodge, which includes another 6 rooms made out of an innovative straw-bale construction.

When we arrived at the reception area of Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch on our last visit, we were greeted by three horses, a springbok, two dogs and a cat, reflecting the owners' love of animals. One of the lodge staff also came out to meet us and welcomed us warmly, before leading us through into the comfortable main area.

The game lodge's main area is beautifully decorated in rich warm tones, much like the red Kalahari sand dunes and shades of brown. It has a well stocked curio shop to browse through, lots of seating areas, a reading lounge with a well stocked library – where the owner, Fred, being an avid reader, shares some of his favorite books with his guests. On our last visit here, in depths of winter, we found the roaring fires in the lounge and the dining area to be warm and welcoming, and also added a cosy, homely atmosphere to the lodge.

Outside, Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch also has a shaded pool area with many loungers, and a nearby hammock. It's a good spot to relax with a good book, or just to lie back and take in the silence - interrupted only by the occasional bird chirping.

Activities at Bagatelle include nature drives on the property as well as sundowners and opportunities to watch the cheetah feeding, as the lodge has four captive cheetahs in large enclosures, kept here in association with the Cheetah Conservation Fund.

Guests may also be interested in taking a look at the various animals here, which include an oryx, a number of peacocks and a family of meerkats, which if you are quiet will come quite close and pose for photos.

Our view

At Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch you will receive a warm welcome, wonderful food and great scenery, making this an excellent stop for a night or two on the long journey south to Fish River Canyon.

Geographics

Location: Southern Namibia, Namibia

Ideal length of stay: 1-2 nights

Directions: From Windhoek, Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch is about 2½-hours' easy drive. The easiest route here is via the B1 towards Mariental. Turn off onto the C20 towards Stampriet, before turning off onto the D1268. After another 25km along this gravel road, turn right into the lodge's entrance gate; the lodge is just 3km from the gate.

Accessible by: Self-drive or Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Half Board

Food quality: Afternoon tea is the first bite for many visitors, usually served at around 3.30pm. It's nicely set out with a variety of cakes and teas to choose from.

In warmer weather dinner is served around the pool. When we last visited, dinner was served indoors by the fire and was good, wholesome guest-farm fare, with substantial portions. If Bagatelle's busy then they'll often organize a buffet-style meal, whereas if there are fewer guests, they'll serve plated dinners.

Breakfast-time is flexible, depending on when you get up, and your morning activity, and is a continental breakfast with the option of a full cooked breakfast.

Lunch is served until about 2.00pm, and is usually an optional extra, paid for at the lodge.

Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch can cater for different dietary requirements if advised in advance; they can also organize children meals on request.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Drinks included: No. Drinks are an extra cost, charged for directly by the lodge

Further dining info: No – there's no room service; this is a safari lodge!

Special interests

Birdwatching: Bagatelle offers coverage of typical Kalahari dunes on your Namibia birdwatching holiday. White-quilled korhaan make spectacular displays in breeding season and an interesting variety of doves and raptors have been recorded here.

See more ideas for Birdwatching in Namibia

Photography holidays: Around December, January and February – during the rains – this area is covered in a carpet of beautiful yellow 'devils' thorn' flowers. It brings colour and life to the Kalahari, and then it's a lovely time for photographers to shoot the stunning scenery here – and close-up shots of the meerkats can be a real bonus too.

See more ideas for Photography holidays in Namibia

Wildlife safaris: Bagatelle's typical Kalahari dunes have good populations of springbok, oryx, giraffe, kudu, steenbok, black-backed jackals, warthogs, brown hyenas and marvelously comical bat-eared foxes. There are several troops of meerkats, including a habituated group. On old oryx and a young springbok frequent the farmstead – both are semi-tame. The ranch sometimes has cheetah and leopard in enclosures.

See more ideas for Wildlife safaris in Namibia

Children

Attitude towards children: Yes Bagatelle is child friendly

Property’s age restrictions: None - but parents need to watch over the children as there are snakes and scorpions about. Children are welcome on activities, but the guides will sometimes run separate trips for families.

Special activities & services: None

Equipment: Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch has cots, but no highchairs. The tables here are not that high, so they would add extra cushions for a child to reach the table.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Mains Electricity

Communications: Have wireless connection and guests may use front office to check their email or make a phone call. There is no mobile reception at all.

TV & radio: In the main area there is TV to watch important sports events

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: No

Medical care: In Mariental there is a doctor

Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk

Security measures: There are no security guards here. Staff are generally up until quite late, and 2-3 staff members are always on duty.

Fire safety: Fire breaks along the side of the fence, fire tank is always ready and they have fire sweepers. There are no fire extinguishers in the rooms.

Extras

Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: There is a laundry service if you are staying for a few days – for which there is an extra charge.

Money: The lodge cannot exchange foreign currencies, and does not accept travellers' cheques.

Accepted payment on location: Visa and Mastercard are both accepted.