Enjoy cocktail hour on burnished sands
by Ron Swilling
East of Mariental, the traveller finds himself entering a new and interesting- landscape. Hills of rich-red- sand dotted with the green of acacia trees begin to appear, extending east into Botswana.
When travelling on the B1, the main artery running longitudinally through Namibia, a stop in this area is an opportunity to experience the interesting and lovely landscape, and Kalahari Anib Lodge, situated 30 km from Mariental off the C20, is a convenient, easy and friendly stopover.
For those who prefer to wake up with the bush and sky around them, Anib’s three private campsites are positioned a fair distance apart, and a good distance from the lodge.
Each has its own access road and ablution facility with piping-hot shower and flush toilet. Each site has a shaded lapa area with a table, electric points and a barbecue, with site one having an extended lapa to accommodate larger groups.
Waking up with long grass and trees around you as Namaqua sandgrouse fly past, yet still having all the modern conveniences close at hand, is having the best of both worlds.
The sundowner game drive at Kalahari Anib Lodge is a recommended activity to experience driving through a portion of the 10 000-hectare Gondwana Kalahari Park to enjoy the landscape and abundant game along the route.
Gemsbok and wildebeest stop and watch you pass, then turn tail and run; ostriches disappear over hills; and springbok leap and pronk in the acacia savannah. The guide points out trees heavy with sociable weavers’- nests, happily stopping for yet another of many photo opportunities.
A choice of 3- to 6-kilometre walking trails is available for those wanting to stretch their legs and experience the land on foot. The trails meander down to the riverbed and to Bushman Dune, a site once used by the hunter-gatherers to carve their tools before venturing into the desert.
Back at the lodge, campers are welcome to have dinner (pre-booked) at the lodge, after sipping on Namibia’s latest brew, Camelthorn beer, while sitting around a sizzling- fire, or trying a cocktail called Cheetah’s Last Dance in the relaxed and comfortable bar or restaurant. Campers may also partake in a morning game drive and make use of the pool facilities.
This welcome stop is ideal for self-drivers en route to Windhoek or making their way to the Fish River Canyon, and for those travelling to or from the Mata-Mata border post and Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. A hop and a skip away from the main road, camping at Kalahari Anib provides peaceful and private sites and a taste of the unique landscape that is characteristic of eastern Namibia.
Photos courtesy of www.gondwana-collection.com
This article appeared in the Feb/March 2011 edition of Travel News Namibia.