You know the feeling when you smell the yeasty aroma of freshly baked bread then bite into it to discover the taste is even more heavenly? Now imagine you watched the swirl of spinach threaded through the roll being harvested earlier that day. That’s when you know that the concept of farm to fork is thriving here at the Kalahari Farmhouse, a relaxing oasis in the Kalahari, Namibia.
So, what is there to do in this oasis among the dry Kalahari sands? Here are 9 things to do at Kalahari Farmhouse:
- Go walking at sister lodge, Kalahari Anib, about 25km to the west. Collect a walking trails map from Kalahari Anib reception when you arrive, then choose from as little as 5km or as long as 16km. Note that there are no dangerous large predators in the reserve.
- Join a morning or sundowner drive at Kalahari Anib Lodge. Kalahari Farmhouse will phone ahead to confirm your place, then you drive about 25km to Kalahari Anib for your activity. Animals you may see include springbok, oryx, red hartebeest, kudu, eland, giraffe, wildebeest and zebra. To get a sense of what the sundowner drive is like read my blog post, Kalahari Anib Lodge: enjoy a sundowner drive in Namibia.
- Enjoy good food that’s a cut above what you’d expect here in the Middle of Nowhere, Namibia. Breakfast is a buffet of all the usual suspects, but I especially loved the fresh fruit (what a luxury in this semi-arid area) and the light-as-air pastries and croissants. Dinner is a set menu that includes things like delicious vegetable soup, springbok fillet in a wine sauce, and toffee apple pudding. It’s good farm-style food with a sophisticated edge.
- Admire the parade of old farm implements that line the entrance road to the lodge. Especially atmospheric in the early morning light, they will put you in the farm mood and evoke nostalgia in anyone with farming in their blood.
- Go for a swim in the pool, a welcome treat on a hot Kalahari summer’s day. There are loungers, chairs and tables around the pool where you can soak up the sun even in winter.
- Relax on your stoep – it may be the only time you really do this during your Namibia holidays. Our visit was during the last week of an extended and busy trip to Namibia so it was a pleasure to kick back and just chill out, no long distances to drive, no madcap activities to be ticked off the list. If you’re quiet you may even hear the tinkling of water from the aquifer that bubbles up near the main building.
- Take a stroll in the garden to enjoy quirky touches like small statues (I loved one old man taking a nap next to a pile of red leaves, as if he was tired from sweeping them up). Order a cold drink or cup of tea to enjoy on a rustic bench or sit at one of the tables that dot the garden. Listen and watch for birds like white-browed sparrow-weaver, hornbill, laughing dove, Namaqua sandgrouse, wagtail and olive thrush.
- Enjoy some star-gazing. Here in the clean, dry Kalahari air, you’ll be astounded by the masses of stars in the dark sky, the density of the Milky Way. Try to walk a little distance away from the lodge’s lights for the best effect. If you’re camping at the lodge’s campsite, you’ll know what I mean.
- Remember that Kalahari Farmhouse's Stampriet accommodation is just a three- to four-hour drive from the KgalagadiTransfrontier Park, so perhaps schedule a stopover there on your way to or from the lodge. The Kgalagadi landscape is pure Kalahari, just like Kalahari Anib Lodge, but with the added excitement of large predators like lions, leopards and cheetahs.
Certainly, you could do with a weekend away to appreciate two or more of these experiences in the Kalahari!
Writer: Roxanne Reed is a freelance writer, photojournalist, blogger, editor and proofreader. As a travel writer, she has walked through the Kalahari with a San tracker, camped under the stars in the bare stillness of the Richtersveld, and drove along the Roof of Africa in the high mountains of Lesotho. She also enjoyed breakfast in the Okavango Delta with a herd of elephants, walked among the wild horses of the Namib Desert and felt the spray of the Victoria Falls on her face. So, please do enjoy the complete blog by clicking here: Kalahari Farmhouse.
What are some other things to do in the Kalahari oasis of Namibia? Share some of your favourite experiences in the comment section below.