There’s never a dull moment at Grassland Bushman 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 different from anywhere else, to make the experience truly memorable. At Grassland we focus on four main activities: A very, comprehensive San (Bushman) experience, morning and afternoon game drives, unique predator protection project and finally horseback safaris – where guests can get close to wildlife.
Please note: The horses are not trail horses and therefore guests who wish to partake in the horse-riding activity need to be experienced riders. Please note we do not provide helmets and horse riding needs to be booked in advance.
These activities are included in the Chalet rates
Camping guests are more than welcome to pre-book (7 days in advance) any of these activities at an additional cost.
Grassland Bushman Lodge (Central Kalahari GR, Botswana) is a little world of wonders…
See a wide variety of Kalahari animals and bird species on game drives, on horseback, or simply gaze out at the numerous species attracted to our own waterhole. Enjoy memorable moments in the company of the area’s endemic San bushmen. Learn how they hunt for food; make medicines: traditional dances; build their homes and even how they play games together. Learn about our Predator Project, rescue work which we conduct with lions, leopards and wild dogs.
Predator Project Tours (feeding Days)
Bushman Games & Dancing
Horseback safaris (only for the experienced rider)
Predator Project Tours (Non feeding days)
Guests at Grassland Bushman Lodge are able to take advantage of their special relationship with the San.
Real-life 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 bushmen will re-enact how they used to hunt meat, show you how to make fire with their fire-making sticks, prepare their food and describe how to build their nomadic homes. They will also show you some of their interesting past-times and cultural games which all have benefits towards maintaining fitness.
Meet Willie De Graaf
Willie de Graaff has spent his whole life in the Ghanzi District of Botswana. He grew up with the Bushmen children of the District. He learned from these gentle people, their hunting skills, food gathering and general knowledge of the veld. He can speak two of the Bushman languages fluently and says that he even dreams in Bushman. He is a descendant of the original Afrikaans trekkers who settled in Ghanzi after it was declared Crown Land in 1894. It is believed that this declaration was Cecil John Rhodes’s scheme to restrict the Germans (who then ruled German South-West Africa) from uniting “their” territories Tanzania and South-West Africa. Rhodes wanted to expand British colonial rule in South Africa to “his” Rhodesia, and therefore promised farms and support to white farmers from the Marico and Gordonia (Mier) areas in South Africa. The first group of families (who had temporarily settled around the Marico area to wait for permission to trek, but came from the Orange Free State and Rustenburg areas) arrived in Ghanzi during 1898.
Willie spent his younger years trekking cattle through the Kalahari, he did this for an income and this is how he built up everything which he has today. While he did this cattle trekking he once again spent a lot of time learning from the bushmen who came with him.
The predators on Grassland have literally been saved from a bullet. They are all problem animals which have entered the surrounding cattle farms and therefore are allowed to be hunted. Willie captures these animals and with the help of the Department of Wildlife does his best to relocate them to new homes where they can be safe and free. Ten lions were relocated to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in 2012 and two have been relocated to a private park in Lobatse this year.
Some of the bushman families on the farm are the children and grandchildren of the original old man that taught Willie most of his skills in the bush. Qhiegau was his name and his grandson also named Qhiegau is the leader of all the bushman activities at Grassland Bushman Lodge.
At the moment there are 5 lions, 48 wild dogs and two leopards at the lodge. Willie covers all the expenses for the care and feeding of these animals and is constantly on the lookout for places where the predators can be relocated to.