Reducing negative impacts on local communities, environments, and celebrating local culture.
!Xaus Lodge, by bringing guests into the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park who pay a conservation levy, contributes directly to the conservation authority’s revenue and thus its ability to run one of the best desert parks in the world. At the lodge itself, !Xaus operates on a ‘tread-lightly’ model. Off the grid with no cell phone, wifi or TV, guests are encouraged to have a digital detox when visiting. While there is a generator, its use is limited to 5 hours a day and funders are being sourced to convert the power at the Lodge to solar. Water is desalinated on site, as well as bottled for guest consumption, with a major focus placed on teaching guests to limit water wastage. The focus on food procurement is to avoid foods that might be imported so that the ‘’carbon footprint’’ is minimised.
!Xaus operates on a ‘tread-lightly’ model. Off the grid with no cell phone, wifi or TV, guests are encouraged to have a digital detox when visiting.
Meeting with the local community is one of the core attractions of !Xaus Lodge, and the reason many people come to visit. The guides at the Lodge are all members of the local community, and offer guests a proud insight into their modern lives, while sharing the stories and skills from their ancient heritage. In addition, a group of crafters have a ‘crafting village’ at the Lodge where they make crafts for guests’ purchase, and teach their youngsters their ancient skills. Spending time at the craft village is a fascinating experience for many guests. It is a place of work where the artists will both teach the guests the skills as well as sell their crafts.
The guides at the Lodge are all members of the local community, and offer guests a proud insight into their modern lives, while sharing the stories and skills from their ancient heritage.
Crafters working at the Lodge have sold R892,400 worth of crafts since the Lodge opened. In addition, other crafters in the area who do not work at the Lodge have sold a further R478,000 worth of good to tourists. This access to market is critical for a viable crafting economy. Assisting the local community to create a currency from the indigenous skills and knowledge encourages young people to continue to practice their culture.
Crafters working at the Lodge have sold R892,400 worth of crafts since the Lodge opened.
A further celebration of local culture is in the focus on the night sky. !Xaus Lodge is situated in one of the best star-gazing places on the planet. With Sky Quality Measures of 21.9 out of 22 for perfect darkness, guests at the Lodge are able to see a greater depth to the Milky Way than at almost any other place. The local folklore places a huge emphasis on the night sky, and thus these stories are retold over and over to guests at the Lodge.