Amongst the red dunes and patches of golden grass, you will realise that the Kalahari Desert invites all your senses to come to play. It is first and foremost a tactile experience of cool red sand underfoot while walking barefoot as the sun nods off behind the horizon. As your toes sink deeper into the ochre velvet, you will fall even deeper in love with this ancient desert formed more than 65 million years ago. When it starts tugging at every heartstring, you realise that it is more than just touching, seeing, hearing, smelling or tasting… It is feeling. Once you have been moved by the spirit of the Kalahari, you are sure to return.
As the largest continuous stretch of sand on the planet, the Kalahari stretches into Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. With an annual rainfall of 150 to 350 mm, this area is considered a semi-desert. However, due to the sandy savannah’s inability to retain surface water, it has earned its description as a desert. Against the odds, it is still home to more than 500 different species of plants, animals and insects.
As you hit the road to Namibia’s south, known for its hot and arid conditions, you are on your way back to Mother Nature’s embrace. Kalahari Anib Camping2Go ranks high on the list of those who yearn to feel closer to nature. Only a stone’s throw from Kalahari Anib Lodge, it still offers the luxuries of a lodge, while providing the feeling of absolute remoteness.
The Camping2Go concept is exclusive to Gondwana Collection Namibia and is a glamorous camping merge with nature. Think camping, but an effortless version thereof, cancelling out all equipment and tools. Travelling light is all the rage and with good reason. Less baggage means you can invite more friends along on the trip. That is the ideal since each tent has four beds, bedding included, with an en-suite bathroom. Inside you will find crates with all the supplies you need from bottle opener to braai tongs and a pair of kitchen scissors. It is like opening a lucky packet that went to private school. The outside terrace is equipped with a kitchen sink, a table with benches, and a refrigerator. Of course, no bush experience would be complete without a braai and a firepit.
With Camping2Go, it takes you no time at all to set up camp and all the time you want to explore, braai, relax, and repeat. Happy campers make use of lodge facilities, which include a restaurant, bar, a pool with a view of a waterhole, plus another pool in case you feel like a change of scenery.
After unloading your provisions and making sure that everything that needs to be is refrigerated, set off to explore and learn the local lingo from eloquent and knowledgeable guides. The “Kalahari Ferrari” is the fast-running red hartebeest logging up to 55km/h. “Kalahari popcorn” is not an edible snack but rather a reference to pronking springbok with their white fluffy tails in the air. This is a way of showing off strength, but also serves as a defence mechanism when danger lurks. “Kalahari water” is the traditional gin and tonic on a sundowner drive. “Kalahari chocolate” brings us to the edible stuff – finally – enjoy droëwors or biltong to accompany your glass of water – strong water, that is.
As a Camping2Go guest, you can book any lodge activities of your choice. Whether it be a game drive, guided dune walk, e-biking, hiking along one of the walking trails or simply lazing next to the pool with a book in hand, you will be sure to become one with the peaceful rhythm of the Kalahari.
Head back to camp for the next evening ritual, the braai. Pour yourself another “Kalahari water” and relax around the firepit. As the flames grow smaller, the stars start shimmering more brightly. You are hardly aware of neighbours should there be any fellow campers. Drink in the absolute silence.
At the end of each day as you watch the Kalahari dust settle after the last eland disappear onto the horizon, there is no need to feel disappointed that another day of your trip has gone by… Gondwana offers three more Camping2Go sites for avid travellers who seek a quick fix: Namib Desert Camping2Go, Namushasha River Camping2Go, Etosha Safari Camping2Go.
To go or not to go? Camping2Go gives you reason not to stay.
Original article published in Platteland Summer 2019.
You might also be interested in the following stories about:
Adventures in the Namib and at Namib Desert Camping2Go
Kalahari Anib Lodge and where the inspiration for its interior design came from
Author – Annelien Robberts is an avid wordsmith who turns her pen to all things travel, culture, and lifestyle. She was born in a small town called Otjiwarongo and grew up on a farm nearby. Creativity, nature and animals make her happy.