Graslands Bushman Lodge (Central
Kalahari Region) Botswana
Grassland Bushman Lodge is situated to the west of the
Central Kalahari Game Reserve on a private wildlife reserve
of some 15 000 hectares.
The Central Kalahari has been the home of the De Graaf
family for seven generations – since Cecil John Rhodes,
eager to create a buffer between his interests in central
Africa and German settlers encroaching from the west,
granted vast swathes of the Kalahari to Boer ranchers. The
Germans duly arrived and faced with the task of stopping
their westward migration, the Boers brought out their
daughters. Mission accomplished!
With the courtliness and hospitality peculiar to people
living in deep solitude, they love to share their passion
and first-hand knowledge of the Kalahari with their guests.
The lodge is a family concern, and the rest of the staff
is made up entirely of San (Bushmen), from a clan that has
lived and worked alongside the family for many generations.
The lodge accommodates up to 16 guests and includes two
family units. The lodge is well appointed, with a swimming
pool for the hot desert days, and overlooks a waterhole
which attracts a large variety of wildlife Accommodation is
in comfortable, en-suite thatched chalets.
At Grassland, you will be amazed by the comfortable
chalets, dining facilities, and hospitable staff. Grassland
has eight extremely well furnished chalets, each with their
own en-suite bathrooms, beds, fans, closets, and dressing
table. Each facility has constant hot water and your laundry
is done daily at no extra costs. We can accommodate up to 16
guests in these chalets and have a family suite as well.
We have two beautiful main buildings that contain both an
outdoor and indoor dining room. Our meals are extraordinary,
well prepared, and a far cry above most other safari
outfits. We provide 3 meals a day, snacks, mid-day tea and
dessert, cold drinks, wine, and a fully stocked bar for
evening nightcaps. Another unique aspect of our camp is our
large swimming pool. Guests can enjoy taking a soothing swim
after a long day of game drives and cultural walks.
Likewise, guests often enjoy sitting by the bricked fire pit
and watch as hundreds of animals come in at dusk to feed at
the large illuminated water pan - a mere 50 yards away.
Activities / Wildlife:
At Grassland Bushman Lodge, the focus is on four main
activities:- An authentic, comprehensive San (Bushmen)
experience. Distinct from most lodge-based San activities,
the San experience at Grasslands takes place not with a
couple of ‘hunters’, imparting their knowledge, but with the
entire clan on a genuine foraging expedition.
One becomes immediately sensitized to the important role
every member of the clan plays, and how the tasks are
performed, and the opportunities exploited, by the different
age and gender groups within the clan. Fascinating to
western eyes, and instructive to witness a culture in which
people become responsible and make real contributions to the
common weal from a very early age.
There's never a dull moment at Grassland Lodge! Guests
are free to take life at their own pace and soak up the
unique atmosphere of the lodge, but you'll always find
there's something different to do. Because of the lodge's
unusual location, many of the activities offered are either
exclusively available at Grassland or will be sufficiently
different from anywhere else, to make the experience truly
memorable. Having been brought up through childhood
alongside the local bushmen, your host, Neeltjie Bower, has
a close affinity with these fascinating people. A shared
love of all things natural is apparent from the outset.
Guests at Grassland Safari Lodge are able to take
advantage of this special relationship, as Neeltjie is able
to introduce you to the local people, who are all too
willing to give you an insight into their world and give
guests a true bushman experience. Communicating in Naro (a
bushman language which some refer to as "clicks", because of
the curious clicking sounds made with the tongue) there is
an obvious close bond between the local people and Neeltjie.
activities include looking for food and medicines amongst
the many different types of plants and trees that grow in
the region (and you will be astounded by the wealth of
resources around you at any one time). The bushman will show
you how they hunt for meat, make fires, prepare their food
and build their nomadic homes. They will also show you some
of their interesting past-times and communal games, which
all have benefits towards maintaining fitness and health or
improving essential skills.
A highlight is to see the bushmen perform one of the many
story-telling or ceremonial dances. The entire bushman
experience at Grasslands is authentic and charming. Guests
sometimes find it difficult to leave, because of the genuine
warmth of the welcome and hospitality offered by the
Day and night drives.
The desert fauna and flora is very different to that of
the Okavango and Chobe, and driving across the vast plains
of the Kalahari by both day and night reveals the richness
of this extraordinary environment, in which water is
plentiful, but always beneath the earth’s surface.
The unique predator rehabilitation centre.
Surrounding ranchers experience constant conflict with
the Kalahari’s many predators. The De Graafs offer an
alternative to the traditional response of shooting
predators on sight – they will capture them (we’ll leave the
jaw-dropping descriptions of experimental lion capture to
the family) and bring them into their 10-acre enclosures
behind the lodge.
Consequently they offer guests the unique opportunity to
walk with Cape Hunting Dogs, and experience first-hand these
fascinating creatures’ expression of curiosity, and of
superb viewing of the legendarily large Kalahari lion in
their natural environment.
Accommodation Rates:- From $400 per
person per night sharing. Please contact us for a quote and