Camelthorn Kalahari Lodge

Camelthorn Kalahari Lodge: Our full report

12 chalets
Best for 8+
All year

Camelthorn Kalahari Lodge lies within the private 100km2 Intu Afrika Kalahari Game Reserve, surrounded by the deep-red sands of Namibia’s south-west Kalahari. From here, guests can experience some gentle wildlife watching as well as interesting cultural experiences with San tribespeople.

Camelthorn shares the Intu Afrika Reserve with its sister properties Suricate Kalahari Tented Camp and Zebra Kalahari Lodge. Although we have never stayed at Camelthorn, we have visited on several occasions, most recently in May 2018.

Set among the camelthorn trees that give the lodge its name are 12 chalets, spread reasonably far apart for both peace and privacy.
The interiors of these thatched, air-conditioned chalets are decorated with branches from the surrounding trees, making them feel quite dark, but they are well furnished with a double bed, bedside tables, table and chairs, wardrobe and luggage rack. Each also has a minibar, electronic safe and tea and coffee facilities. Double glass doors lead out onto a small patio with chairs, so you can sit and admire the surrounding deep red sands. The en-suite bathrooms are simple but functional with twin sinks, a shower and toilet.

When we last visited, the lodge was in the process of updating and refreshing the chalets with new furniture and a fresh coat of paint, but in much the same style as the original. Essentially, the formula works and they are sticking to it.

Camelthorn’s two-storey main area is quite small, but includes a lounge and bar that doubles as reception. Up a small flight of stairs is the dining area, where tea and coffee are available all day, making it a convivial spot to relax over a meal or a drink and take in the views of the surrounding Kalahari dunes. Outside, you can retreat to a small boma with a fireplace and a turquoise pool surrounded by shady trees.

Activities from Camelthorn Kalahari include afternoon game drives, when you may spot ostrich or springbok, and sundowner drives culminating in a cool drink on the top of a dune. Guests can also participate in quadbiking or have a massage at the neighbouring Zebra Kalahari Lodge. (NB: It's essential that you read the Quadbike warning in the 'Health & Safety' section below for our comments on insurance issues regarding this activity.)

Our view

Camelthorn Kalahari is a relatively simple lodge in a less-visited area of Namibia. Although we believe that there are better options in the area, it could work well for a no-frills stop on the long journey between Windhoek and Fish River Canyon, and it offers a few activities for exploring this area of the Kalahari.


Location: Southern Namibia, Namibia

Ideal length of stay: 1-2 nights

Directions: Camelthorn lies in the Intu Afrika Game Reserve, west of the town of Kalkrand in the Namibian Kalahari.

Accessible by: Self-drive

Key personnel

Owner: Leading Lodges

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Half Board

Food quality: We have not stayed at Camelthorn but we understand that breakfast here is served as a buffet whilst dinner is a set menu. A light lunch set menu is also available.

Dining style: Individual Tables

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: £10-15

Drinks included: No drinks are included, these cost extra.

Further dining info: No


Attitude towards children: Children are welcome at Camelthorn Kalahari Lodge.

Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions.

Special activities & services: None

Equipment: Up to two camp beds can be added to a chalet to accommodate children.

Notes: With the potential for wildlife in camp and an unfenced pool, children should be supervised at all times.


Power supply: Mains Electricity

Power supply notes: There is a back-up generator in case of a power failure.

Communications: There is sporadic mobile reception here and WiFi in the main areas.

TV & radio: None

Water supply: Borehole

Water supply notes: Each chalet has hot and cold running water and a flush toilet.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: No

Medical care: The nearest doctor is in Mariental 76km away.

Quadbike warning: Quadbiking is sometimes available as an activity for guests at Camelthorn Kalahari Lodge. As with any potentially dangerous activity, it's vital that you take responsibility for ensuring that you have adequate travel insurance prior to getting involved. Be aware that some insurances cover quadbike activities only for bikes with lower engine ratings; check such clauses particularly carefully before you get on a bike.

Dangerous animals: Low Risk

Security measures: There is a guarded gate at the entrance to Intu Afrika Kalahari Private Game Reserve.

Fire safety: Fire extinguishers are found in each room.


Disabled access: On Request

Laundry facilities: Full Laundry Service - Extra Charge

Accepted payment on location: Visa and Mastercard are accepted, along with cash in Namibian dollars, South African rand, US dollars and euros.

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