Reviews of !Xaus Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
!Xaus Lodge review
An enjoyable stay with some good night and day game drives. We felt that the staff needed to relax - they were doing everything right but seemed rather tense to us.
We disliked the ' bushman village experience' - they had made it clear that it was put on for us and these bushmen were the jeans and t-shirt kind normally but it still managed to be embarrassing. A much better way, we think, would be to have these people come to the lodge fully clothed and show us traditional clothes and perhaps things like making fire and string etc. perhaps a visit to N'homa would be of benefit we did not feel voyeuristic there.
!Xaus Lodge review
I am not sure what to say about !Xaus. It is a lovely camp with great views and our guide John was delightful, but it was not what we were expecting. It is not run by the community - it is run by three white people from a company, with profits going to the community.
The activities were very limited and regimented - we were given an itinerary on arrival (I will send you a scan of it). We had expected walking, but there were two very brief walks, one of which was to the staged 'craft village' which made some of us feel quite uncomfortable and voyeuristic. The 'bushmen' had had to strip their western clothes off and put traditional ones on, and were clearly very cold and, in the case of a teenage girl, embarrassed. Apart from this brief excursion we did not meet any bushmen.
The boma was not used for meals. The day drives were disappointing - we hardly saw anything despite there allegedly being many animals including lions in the area, and there was little effort to inject any other kind of interest. We also hardly saw any animals around camp. In contrast the night drives were excellent - very good spotters who found several things of interest, including wildcats and an aardwolves.
Our room was extremely comfortable with a heater and hot water bottles, beautifully tended by Anetje. Very salty water in the showers. Food was OK though the service was pretty dire with many mistakes and oversights, and my request for vegetarian food was only met intermittently. The manager did not preside at mealtimes which didn't help.
There was a lot of downtime and you were not allowed to set food outside the rooms and walkways so we became quite bored and stir crazy. Another guest said she felt claustrophobic. There are nice loungers and a pool, though the water was too cold for anyone to use it. We did leave a good review on the feedback form but after careful reflection we feel disappointed in this camp, and uneasy about the way it is managed - perhaps more for the enjoyment and ease of the manager than the guests?
One Meerkat Safari !!
You have to meet a member of the iXaus Lodge at the picnic spot before journeying to the Lodge. Providing you are driving a 4WD drive vehicle you are given the choice of leaving your vehicle in a shaded area and travelling in the Lodge vehicle or driving your own vehicle over the 97 dunes to get to the Lodge.
We chose to drive ourselves - great fun with some quite high dunes to negotiate. It was quite good to follow the Lodge vehicle as we got a good indication of how steep the lea side of each dune would be. Some were very steep and this is certainly not a road to be rushed but to be enjoyed at gentle pace.
On arrival at the Lodge we were greeted by Sharon offering us a refreshing cool towel and by Richard, the Manager,, who quickly offered a welcome drink and then told us about the Lodge and discussed what we would like to do during our stay. Richard also introduced us to Winston Churchill - a yellow mongoose and Claude - a guinea fowl, both residents!!
Our accommodation was a spacious and very comfortable room with a king sized bed and good en suite shower etc There was a verandah with table and chairs overlooking the waterhole and the salt pan and lovely view beyond. There was a ceiling fan which gave a much welcomed draught. The electricity is on for approximately 3 hours each morning and then again from 17.30 to 22.00 each evening, a battery powered lamp was supplied for use after this. All the walkways and communal areas were well lit by solar powered lamps.
The communal areas were very pleasant with views over the waterhole or by the bird bath which was always busy with visiting birds There a small swimming pool - good to cool off from the heat of the day - with comfortable loungers and shade provided by sun umbrellas
Our meals were taken either on the large communal verandah or in the dining room. The food was delicious and our only criticism is that the portions were huge and we just couldn't eat everything as much as we would have liked to!!! The service was great with the always smiling Sharon overseeing proceedings.
Andreis ( who had guided us into the Lodge) was our guide and he was ably assisted by Melissa (as 'spotter) her eyesight was amazing especially on the night drive. We enjoyed the night drive, the morning walk, our visit to the San crafts people and our sundowner trips. The long morning drive was for the most part good though the latter part became a little tedious following the perimeter fence having said that the trip was brilliant as we saw a meerkat - the one and only of the whole holiday and one of the reasons for choosing to visit the Kgalagadi. Generally the wildlife was very sparse throughout the National Park including iXaus but that is the nature of things and though a little disappointing did not spoil our overall enjoyment..
Andreis and Melissa were extremely good guides they are not as experienced as many of the guides in other parts of the African continent and, occasionally, needed a little prompt to give us information. Their knowledge of the fauna, flora and general topography was very good.
Our stay at iXaus was super and we would definitely include it in any future visit to the area.
!Xaus Lodge review
Wonderful setting with very courteous and friendly staff. Game viewing very limited but lodge and environment are superb.
Food good and well served.
Amazing Place Off The Beaten Path
It was such a great experience to stay at !Xaus. I am so happy that we were able to spend two nights there instead of only one. We would have missed some of their activities. We drove all the way into the lodge which added to the whole experience. As soon as we arrived we felt right at home. The staff could have not been more welcoming and pleasant.
We joined all of their activities and loved each one of them. We did two night drives that were great. We were able to see an Aardwolf which it is my understanding is pretty unusual. The morning drive and walk was also excellent. The guides were friendly and knowledgeable. The sunset drive was also beautiful.
The rooms have a ceiling fan which helped cool down the room before the power is turned off at 10pm. The view of the salt pan from the rooms is spectacular. The food was excellent!
!Xaus Lodge review
This is a wonderful place to stayRead more about the whole safari
!Xaus Lodge review
This was an outstanding experience. If you go to the KTP, this is a must.
Not a lot of animals but the natural surroundings and peacefulness of the camp and the grounds are well worth it. Quite magic!!!
We were the only guests for the first night and we certainly had VIP treatment. The hosts and their staff do an excellent job.
Very comfortable lodge in a superb location
A real oasis in the Kalahari! A beautifully designed lodge where it is impossible not to relax. Rooms were excellent, as was service from the friendly staff.
Lots of activities should you want them and some wildlife around the lodge also, including barn owls which nest in boxes under the roof of the chalets. Nothing seems to be too much trouble here. The plunge pool looked very inviting and in summer no doubt would have been!
The track to the lodge seems to go on for ever and 4wd is necessary due to the steep, sandy inclines.
a very pleasant and mind expanding experience
The Xlaus safari camp was well run with excellent and very friendly, helpful staff. Their were plenty of activities from day walks, game drives, "sun downers" and star gazing. The arrangements went smoothly, everything went well and the whole party thoroughly enjoyed themselves very much. The food was especially of very high quality thanks to Ellen and her people in the kitchen.
The visit to the Kalahri bushmans camp was OK but none of us would undertake it again as not there was not much to be observed or learnt. However the concept of involving the indiginous people as developed by Pete the camp manager was quite brilliant. The camp itself was decorated with many local, interesting and appealing artefacts.
The camp was having a few problems with their water wells and water purifiers when we were there but the only noticable problem was with the swimming pool which was cloudy and quite unappealling. The electricity was on for a limited time each day which wasn't a problem but I suspect that the pool needed extra time to filter properly. A little more shade around the pool would have been a bonus.
It was a very hot time of year and there was no air-conditioning but surprisingly it wasn't too much of a problem. The "cottages" cooled down very well at night.
The evening winds were a wonderful experience and interesting phenomina.
The moonrise on one particular night was spectacular while the over abundance of stars was a wonder every night.
There was a good library with reference books and Pete was very knowledgable on just about all topics. His love for the area and the people was quite obvious and contagious!
The only shortfall was the lack of big game although we were warned of this before the trip. There were plenty of sightings of Gemsbok, Springbok, Springers, Ostrich, Wildebeest, Jackals, black backed Hyenas, desert foxes etc. but we were not priveleged to see lions, cheetahs etc.
!Xaus Lodge review
Super place and the hosts Piet and Arnie are so enthusiastic about the whole area which makes it even better.
Excellent welcome and information given.
Would love to go back.