This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more

Skip to main content

Talk to an expert 1-800-242-2434 Lines now closed

User menu
Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge
Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge
Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge
Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge

Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge

24°5’26.6"S 17°38’47.5"E

Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge: Our full report

The unusual Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge stands in its own private game reserve some 70km north of Mariental.

A very convenient stopover between Windhoek and the Fish River Canyon, it's made up of attractive individual houses set around a dry lake and surrounded by the classic vegetated dunes of the Namibian Kalahari Desert.

We have always experienced very friendly staff and a homely, unforced management style at Kalahari Red Dunes and you are likely to feel this straight away upon reaching the lodge, having weaved your way through the shrubland from the main B1 road.

Please note that in 2021 there were extensive floods in the Kalahari region which inundated Kalahari Red Dune Lodge. As such the property closed, renovated, then reopened in June 2023. The write-up below is based on the lodge prior to the extensive renovations.

Named after various species of wildlife, the 12 houses remind us traditional rondavels with their circular shape and heavy thatched roofs. They are well spaced for privacy, and screens and gates made from wooden batons and gum poles add to the traditional and rustic feel, although the path that links them does run quite close to the back of some of the houses.

In front of each house, looking towards the dry lake, is a semi-circular outside sofa, adorned with bright cushions, and a table and chairs. On our last visit in April 2018, the lodge was supplementing the diet of the local wildlife and we saw plenty of eland, zebra and wildebeest taking advantage of the additional fodder.

Inside, each room feels spacious though the feel is warm and homely rather than modern or luxurious. Animal skins are laid on the floor and dark-wood tables, dressers and wardrobes dominate the room, along with a large bed beneath a mosquito net. Tea- and coffee-making facilities are included, as is a minibar (which is payable), but perhaps at odds with the terracotta walls and the heavy furniture is a modern steel woodburner – though we wouldn’t be complaining on winter nights when temperatures can really drop!

At the back of the room, we really liked the colourful bowl, which constitutes the bathroom sink, set on a large slab of rock and fed by taps made from copper pipes. There is an inside and outside shower and another small room houses the toilet. One of the houses, designated the “honeymoon suite", also has a small private pool, and two inter-leading houses can be used for families or couples travelling together.

Stone paths that continue onto raised wooden walkways lead to the thatched main area, where you’re met by a big circular bar made from stone and corrugated metal encompassing an old tree. Arranged around this are comfortable sofas, perfect for tucking yourself away with a book or to make the most of the WiFi. A small curio shop fills another corner and a stylish fireplace provides warmth on cold winter mornings and evenings. The restaurant sprawls from the end of building to an ample terrace, so you can eat outside if you want to. At the very end is a good-sized swimming pool, offering a much-needed refreshing dip in the middle of a hot day.

Activities from Kalahari Red Dunes, to explore the Kalahari environment around the lodge, include hiking, mountain-bike hire and even jogging trials for the very energetic! Guided and self-guided hikes vary from a few hours to a two-day guided trail (which must be pre-booked). This involves an early start (so you need to spend the first night at the lodge) for a full day of walking, followed by an overnight stay at a two-room bushcamp and a shorter walk back to lodge the next day. Having seen these walking camps, we'd expect this to be a fantastic experience for keen walkers – even if we haven't yet had the time to try the whole walk ourselves.

Less energetic are 4WD game drives and sundowner drives although with only two guides and vehicles we’ve found that the vehicles can get quite crowded. On the plus side, we saw a decent variety of wildlife on our most recent drive, especially considering that this is such a dry environment, the highlights being bat-eared foxes and a cape cobra.

Our view

Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge is a comfortable and well-designed lodge, with friendly staff and lovely views. We think it makes a good stop-off to break the journey on the way to Fish River Canyon, but do be aware that quite a large number of people have to fit into the vehicles for activities.

Tom Morris

Tom Morris

Country manager: Namibia


Southern Namibia, Namibia
Ideal length of stay
1-2 nights
Kalahari Red Dunes is just east of the main B1, about 197km south of Windhoek, and 70km north of Mariental.
Accessible by

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Half Board
Food quality
Over various visits, most recently in April 2018, the food at Kalahari Red Dunes has been generally really good.

Following a good breakfast buffet of cereals, breads, meat and cheeses, you can request a hot breakfast cooked to order.

For lunch there is a choice of light bites and dishes ranging from sandwiches to burgers and pasta.

We really enjoyed our five-course set dinner on our last visit, After an amuse-bouche of a deep-fried prawn tails served with a slice of lemon, the starter was a mixed vegetable soup served with fresh bread, followed by a palate cleanser of guava granite. The choice for the main course was beef steak with a mushroom sauce or slow-roasted pork neck with a curry sauce, both served with sweetcorn, potato wedges and broccoli. Dessert was a baked coconut pudding drizzled with natural yoghurt.
Dining style
Individual Tables
Dining locations
Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Further dining info, including room service
Drinks included
No drinks are included. Water from the taps is not suitable for drinking but drinking water is supplied.

Special interests

Perhaps the best way to explore and understand an environment is on foot. Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge offers a range of walking experiences in the Namibian wilderness, from short self-guided trails to the guided, overnight “Trans-Kalahari” trail.
See ideas for Walking in Namibia


Attitude towards children
The lodge welcomes children.
Property’s age restrictions
No age restrictions
Special activities & services
They can put extra beds in the rooms for children.
Generally recommended for children
There is not a lot to entertain children at Kalahari Red Dunes, although for those with an interest in the natural world there is plenty of space and areas to explore. It also has quite an adult feel so would probably suit older children rather than little ones.
Parental supervision would be essential at all times. There are walkways connecting the rooms with the main area, and the lodge is also completely open with quite a lot of wildlife wandering around.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Kalahari Red Dunes

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Kalahari Red Dunes Lodge have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.


92% success


71% success


64% success


64% success


59% success


44% success


0% success

Brown Hyena

0% success


0% success


0% success


0% success

Spotted Hyena

0% success


Power supply notes
Back-up generator
There is WiFi in the main areas.
TV & radio
There is no TV.
Water supply
Water supply notes
All rooms have plumbed-in showers and hand basins, and flushing toilets.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Medical care
Closest doctor in Mariental, about 70km drive
Dangerous animals
Moderate Risk
Security measures
There is a security guard patrolling at night.
Fire safety
There are fire extinguishers in each room and in the central areas.


  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Guided walking safari

    Guided walking safari

  • Mountain biking

    Mountain biking

  • Self-guided walking

    Self-guided walking


Disabled access
On Request
Laundry facilities
Laundry is available, at an extra cost, for those guests staying two nights or more.
Every house has a safe, but no currency exchange facilities are available.
Accepted payment on location

Other lodges in Southern Namibia

Alternative places to stay in this same area.

Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch

Bagatelle Game Ranch

Bagatelle is a welcoming guest farm in the Kalahari. Visit as a stopover heading south or to enjoy the photogenic red dunes and varied wildlife.

90% (195 reviews)
Eningu Clayhouse

Eningu Clayhouse

Scarcely an hour from Windhoek airport, Eningu is an artistic place to unwind amid the vast silence of the Kalahari.

90% (69 reviews)
Central Lodge

Central Lodge

Central Lodge offers clean, fresh and comfortable accommodation surrounded by a well-kept garden in the centre of Keetmanshoop.

71% (60 reviews)
Kalahari Anib Lodge

Kalahari Anib Lodge

Kalahari Anib Lodge is a comfortable stop between Windhoek and Fish River Canyon. Expect stunning Kalahari scenery, two swimming pools and lots of space.

90% (48 reviews)
Dabis Guest Farm

Dabis Guest Farm

For good farm hospitality, wholesome cooking and an interesting farm drive, Dabis makes a great stop en-route from Lüderitz to the Sesriem area.

94% (25 reviews)
Kalahari Bush Breaks

Kalahari Bush Breaks

Kalahari Bush Breaks, situated on the edge of the Kalahari Desert, is a perfect stop-over whilst driving between Namibia and Botswana.

85% (19 reviews)
Hotel Helmeringhausen

Hotel Helmeringhausen

Hotel Helmeringhausen is a unique hotel in the heart of southern Namibia's farming district and makes a good stopover option.

72% (17 reviews)
Namtib Desert Lodge

Namtib Desert Lodge

A charming owner run lodge, located off the scenic D707, Namtib Desert Lodge is a convenient stop en route from the south to Sossusvlei.

89% (14 reviews)
Kanaan Desert Retreat

Kanaan Desert Retreat

The tented Kanaan Desert Retreat offers a range of activities against the beautiful backdrop of the Namib Desert.

86% (10 reviews)
Kalahari Farmhouse

Kalahari Farmhouse

Kalahari Farmhouse, located in Stampriet has comfortable chalets in the gardens of an old farmhouse.

88% (5 reviews)
Otjimbondona Kalahari


Otjimbondona Kalahari is a luxurious, peaceful and relaxing lodge conveniently located close to Windhoek's International Airport.

100% (4 reviews)
Suricate Kalahari Tented Camp

Suricate Tented Camp

Suricate Kalahari Tented Camp is a relaxing spot with its own waterhole and a range of activities for exploring the area.

100% (3 reviews)
Camelthorn Kalahari Lodge

Camelthorn Kalahari

Camelthorn Kalahari Lodge offers a peaceful night's sleep in the Kalahari, breaking the journey between Windhoek and Fish River Canyon.

No reviews yet
Zebra Kalahari Lodge

Zebra Kalahari Lodge

Zebra Kalahari Lodge is located in the Intu Africa Kalahari Private Game Reserve; surrounded by red sands, it is a relaxing place for a night or two.

No reviews yet

Login to Expert Africa

Sign in with password

Sign in with email link

New to Expert Africa? Create an account

Forgotten your details?

It's free & quick to set up

  • Save your wish-list
  • Send us an enquiry
  • Pay online for your trip
  • Subscribe to our newsletter
  • Give us feedback on your trip
  • Full site benefits of the site

Need some help? Talk to our team