Rating: Simple Price from: £280 - £360 pp full board
A unique opportunity to enjoy spending time with the Kalahari San Bushmen in an authentic, non-touristy environment.
Grassland Safari Lodge sits alongside the edge of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve next to unoccupied land which borders the Ghanzi ranches. The owners came to Botswana five generations ago and have an amazing relationship with the bushmen who are considered part of their family, their own children conversing fluently in the local 'click' language with the San.
The accommodation is in eight chalets, each with en-suite bathroom. The main lodge features both an indoor and outdoor dining room, so you can eat under the stunning Kalahiri night sky. Grassland is also justifiably proud of the standards of its cuisine! The food is home cooked and wholesome.
There is an amazing waterhole near the lodge that attracts pleny of wildlife, one of the highlights is the early morning arrival of hundreds of Sand Grouse coming to drink. In 2015 2 white rhino males were released into the reserve and have also been seen by lodge guests at the waterhole.
The lodge is home to the Predator Protection Project which is providing a local conservation and education project. Predators move freely from the Kalahari to neighbouring ranches where they attack cattle and find easy water. Historically farmers have shot them, this project rescues them and keeps them on Grasslands own private lands in a semi wild state before hopefully re-introducing them into wild situations. Cheetah and Wild Dog are also being encouraged into captive breeding projects as they are so endangered now in Botswana. Guests at Grassland can visit the project free of charge, though donations are of course hugely welcome. The local people are being educated in the conservation projects and learning not to shoot these animals.
The bushman experience here is definitely the highlight of any stay. Unlike some other lodges, the bushmen are clearly thought of as part of the family and are very much at home on the land. Go walking in the bush with them (at times to suit them not the visitor, it's so authentic!), You can visit the hunting village and learn about their traditional way of life.
Horse riding is also available at Grassland.
Open: All year.
Location: The lodge is located on the western edge of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, about 80km northeast of Ghanzi, which can be reached by charter flight from Maun and Gaborone. The lodge also has its own airstrip for direct charter flights.
Rooms: 8 double chalets, each with en-suite bathroom with hot and cold water. The chalets are equipped with fans, wardrobes and dressing tables. There is also a family suite.
Activities: Day and night game drives into Moremi Game Reserve and the Okavango Delta, bush walks with San bushmen, village visits and horseback safaris. Guests can also watch wildlife at the waterhole in the camp and learn about the Predator Protection Project, the lodgeâ€™s rescue work with lions, leopards, cheetahs and wild dogs.
Facilities: The 2 main buildings house the indoor and outdoor dining rooms, covered bar, indoor and outdoor lounge. There is a large swimming pool. The lodge has a firepit looking towards the waterhole, which is floodlit at night.
Dining: Meals are eaten communally.
Children: The camp accepts children of all ages.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is telephone access.
This lodge works closely with San Bushmen as well as having a conservation predator project too.
"Thoroughly enjoyed this unique lodge in it`s middle-of-nowhere setting. Water hole was engrossing!"
Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499