Kalahari Red Dunes is located just east of the main B1 road, surrounded by the Kalahari Desert.
Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge: Our full report
Kalahari Red Dunes is located just east of the main B1 road, about 197km south of Windhoek, and 70km north of Mariental – making it a very convenient stop-over between Windhoek and the Fish River Canyon. It stands in its own 40km² private game reserve and has 12 individual guesthouses around a dry lake, surrounded by the classic vegetated dunes of the Kalahari Desert.
Each of the 12 guesthouses at Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge are situated around a dry lake (Vlei), with sufficient space in between them to guarantee a high level of privacy. Every house is named after a wildlife species of the area. Each room consists of a combination of thatch, canvas and stone, all raised on a wooden decking. Inside the canvas tents there is a large bed with mosquito net, tea and coffee making facilities, a mini-bar (which is payable) and a large wardrobe to store clothes. Towards the back of the tent, in an attached terracotta coloured stone section, is a log-burner – perfect for the winter nights when temperatures can really drop! Behind this is the bathroom, which has the usual hot-and-cold sinks, hot shower, flushing toilet – and an additional outside shower! Outside the front of each tent is a comfortable seated area, shaded by the thatch. We thought that the tents were really well designed, and had been thoughtfully decorated. One of the rooms is designated as the “honeymoon suite" and also has a small private pool.
From the restaurant you get a panoramic view of the area, while you enjoy the European dishes (often with African influences). Since it is very cold in the mornings and evenings during winter, a stylish fireplace heats the huge restaurant. A good sized swimming pool sits just outside the restaurant, and it perfect for the hot summer days where a refreshing dip in the middle of the day is very needed!
Many activities in Kalahari Red Dunes give the option to see more of the Kalahari environment around the lodge. There are a number of hiking trails you can do – either guided or self-guided - from a few hours’ hike, up to a two-day hiking trail (which must be pre-booked). Besides the trails, there is also free mountain bike hire, and jogging trials for those who are feeling very energetic! In addition they offer game viewings on an off-road vehicle (although just be aware, on our last visit in May 2016 they piled 12 in a vehicle though) and those who are interested in botany might like to learn more about their fascinating Devil's claw project.
Our viewKalahari Red Dunes Lodge is a comfortable and well designed lodge, with friendly staff and lovely views. We think this makes a good stop-off to break the journey on the way to Fish River Canyon, but do just be aware of the large number of people they put in the vehicles for activities.
Ideal length of stay: 1-2 nights to break the journey.
Accessible by: Self-drive
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Half Board
Food quality: Breakfast is a good buffet selection of cereals, breads, meat and cheeses, and you can then order a hot breakfast.
We really enjoyed our dinner on our last visit in May 2016. It was a 3-course set menu, and we had a tuna salad to start, poached pork in a pineapple sauce with roasted potatoes and corn-on-the-cob for main. This was followed by a cheesecake. Generally we thought the food here was really good.
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: No
Further dining info: No
Attitude towards children: The lodge welcomes children.
Equipment: They can put extra beds in the rooms for children.
Generally recommended for children: There are high walk-ways connecting the rooms and main areas at Kalahari Red Dunes, so parents will need to supervise their children.
Communications: There is WiFi in the main areas.
TV & radio: There is no TV.
Health & safety
Medical care: Closest doctor in Mariental, about 70km drive
Dangerous animals: Moderate Risk
Security measures: There is a security guard patrolling at night.
Laundry facilities: Guests staying 2 nights or longer can do laundry.
Money: There are safes in the rooms.
Accepted payment on location: The lodge accepts Visa, Mastercard and Cash (Rand and N$)