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Namibia's Kalahari Desert ?

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Hi
Has anybody been to that part of Kalahari?
e.g. driving from Ghanzi into Namibia and south to Stampriet (70+km NE of Mariental)
anyone stayed at Kalahari Farmhouse?
what to see?
Are the red dunes around worth it?
sundowner drive?

thanks

aby

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    Hi again aby
    By Kalahari Farmhouse did you mean Kalahari Game Ranch near Stampriet? We were in this area in June this year. I wrote a short review which I tagged onto another thread - see below.

    As for making a special trip to visit that area I'm not sure. We stayed there on the way from Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park and it was an ideal stop, but the scenery is quite monotonous, and unless you're passing through I'm not sure it's worth a detour. What is your trip plan? I've seen your questions about Caprivi and Ghanzi so I'm imagining a circuit something like Windhoek-Rundu-panhandle to Ghanzi and back into Namibia (or vice versa)? If you are doing something like that then I think you might find the red dunes in that area an anti-climax. I would personally rather find another stopping point on the Botswana side - have you thought of the Tsodilo Hills and the San rock art? Happy to answer any specific questions, and there's more about our trip in that part of the world here: Affordable Botswana - trip report Aug-Sept 08 http://www.fodors.com/community/africa-the-middle-east/affordable-botswana---trip-report-aug-sept-08.cfm

    ________________________________

    Treepol expressed an interest in Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch and I said I'd post a review if I visited, which I did in June. I'll keep it in this thread as the interest was shown here, and hope Pol finds it!

    Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch in Namibia, is a convenient stop-over near Mariental if you’re travelling to/from Kgalagadi or further south.

    http://www.bagatelle-kalahari-gameranch.com/index.html

    We camped, but ate in the restaurant and enjoyed the comfort and warmth of the lodge in the evening. We didn’t see the chalets but you get a good idea of the style and decor from the website.

    The campsite is fantastic, there are only 5 sites set among the dunes with a good distance between them, and the site is about 1km from the lodge. Each campsite has it's own ablution block with toilet, shower & washbasins with hot water and lighting. There’s also plenty of room to get changed and spread out your things in the ablution block without getting sand and dust in everything, a welcome change if you’ve been bush camping.

    We couldn’t have received a warmer welcome, plus the offer of extra blankets because it had been so cold (minus 3 degrees C). We decided to eat in the restaurant and they offered to come and pick us up and take us back after dinner so that we could put the roof-top tent up.

    The interior of the lodge is very homely with several seating areas inside and out, and a swimming pool for warmer weather. We enjoyed a pre-dinner drink at the lodge and a good buffet dinner for 195N$ pp. I couldn’t face the springbok steak with Skunky the tame springbok looking at us with huge eyes through the dining room window! We also met Jacky the tame gemsbok, quite a few cats and several peacocks in the lapa. We chose not to visit the captive cheetahs which are kept in an enclosure right next to the lodge area. These cheetahs are kept in association with the Cheetah conservation fund and not able to be released into the wild. We would have liked to have seen the meerkats which visit the lodge regularly but the morning we left was so cold they hadn’t got up yet.

    I can certainly recommend the lodge for the excellent campsite, hospitality of the lodge staff and the warmth of their welcome – sometimes we feel that as campers we are treated as the ‘poor relations’ who shouldn’t be allowed to mingle with the ‘real’ guests, but it’s certainly not the case here. The campsite is a little more expensive than usual in Namibia (N$125 pp) but you get what you pay for.

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