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Planning a trip for the winter months, but not sure where to go? It may not come up as a first thought, but you should consider paying a visit to the Kalahari. If rest and relaxation is what you’re after, this unspoilt African jewel will cater to your desires and has loads of fun activities to boot.
Dirk Grobler, General Manager at N.C. Famous’ Molopo Lodge, gives some pointers for activities to keep you busy.
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
At 38,000 square kilometres, this wildlife preserve and conservation area is South Africa’s second largest park and extends past the South Africa-Botswana border. The park was established in 1931 to protect migrating game, most notably gemsbok.
“The park is about sixty kilometres from us, and temperatures are much lower around this time of year,” says Grobler. “There is an abundance of wildlife, including black-maned Kalahari lions, Namibian cheetahs, leopards and hyenas. Visitors looking to drive themselves will not need a 4×4 to access most of the park, but for the adventurous there are 4×4-only routes to travel as well. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park also offers its own game drives.”
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Sandboarding and 4×4
“Rooiduin Guest House is located 22 kilometres from Molopo Lodge and offers guided sandboarding, as well as 4×4 on the dunes. There are different sized dunes with differing difficulty levels to suit one and all,” says Dirk.
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Located close to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Kalahari Trails is a certified meerkat sanctuary. It offers 2-3 hours of guided tours where visitors are exposed to meerkats in their natural environment.
“There’s also a nocturnal walk and a night drive, which I strongly recommend,” Grobler says. “This is the only place in the Kalahari where you can do night walks, and really see a side of nature that few ever get to experience,” Dirk says.
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Erin Game Ranch
This 6,000 ha farm was awarded to the Khoisan in 1999 and is managed for the benefit of the local community. It offers guided walks by Boesman trackers, and offers visitors a glimpse into the lives of the indigenous people of South Africa. 4×4 drives are soon to come, and there are also vulture breeding sites.
“These places are great for a visit this time of year, as it is not too humid nor crowded,” says Grobler.
“At N.C. Famous’ Vischgat Lodge (just sixty kilometres from Molopo Lodge), we offer our own guided hunting. The 14,000 ha farm has a variety of game, including gemsbok, springbok, zebra, eland, red hartebeest, rooibok, steenbuck, blue wildebeest, black wildebeest, duiker & ostrich,” says Dirk Grobler.
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To contact Molopo Lodge or any of the other N.C. Famous Lodges, go to www.ncfamouslodges.co.za or check them out on Facebook at @NCFamousLodges.