Planet Baobab isn’t a new planet in our solar system – it must be one of the most original places you can stay at if you are visiting the Makgadikgadi Pans. This series of pans are the remains of what used to be a huge ancient inland ocean. The fun lodge that is Planet Baobab is situated on the Ntwetwe Pan’s edge, on the Maun–Francistown road near Gweta Town, in Botswana.
The accommodation at Planet Baobab is truly original, reflecting the traditional building methods of the original inhabitants of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans in Botswana. You can choose between a traditional Bakalanga hut, built from mud, and a traditional grass hut, made in the way the Bushmen used to. Because both these types of huts at Planet Baobab are made from natural materials indigenous to the Makgadikgadi area in Botswana, they are perfectly temperature-controlled without the need for airconditioners.
The Bakalanga mud huts are en suite and equipped with linen. The interiors of these huts reflect what Planet Baobab is about: true creativity. The walls are smeared with cow-dung in traditional Botswana style, and adorned with art made with natural pigments found in the many termite mounds in the area.
The traditional grass huts at Planet Baobab are constructed in the manner used by the first inhabitants of the Makgadikgadi – the Bushmen of Botswana. These huts are not en suite, but you are guaranteed a very comfortable night’ sleep on two single traditional mopane and cow hide beds. If you need the comforting presence of light the paraffin lamp will be welcome. If you want to sleep in your own tent, Planet Baobab has lovely shaded camping sites, each with braai area and shared ablution blocks.
Planet Baobab’s Kalahari Surf Club adds a new dimention to surfing. You won’t find 10-foot waves in this club on the Makgadikgadi Pans, only wide open spaces and quad bikes for the thrill of your life. After this, enjoy the magical sunset of Botswana before tucking into a braai in the moonlight. When you can’t keep your eyes open, go to sleep in a traditional bedroll while the African stars keep watch. This is magic!
The shebeen at Planet Baobab reflects the essence of traditional African hospitality. Listen to the adventure stories of other guests while you relax in a cowhide recliner or traditional kgotla chair – ice-cold beer in hand. The enormous chandeliers, crafted from beer bottles, are quite something to see. Versailles meets Botswana! Listen to the sounds of the Makgadikgadi while enjoying your evening meal next to the campfire or beneath the giant marula tree.
If you are looking for more to see, the open-air courthouse in Gweta Town is very interesting. Also try the local traditional sorghum beer. As benefits an area such as the Makgadikgadi with its ancient geological history, the vicinity of Planet Baobab contains many stone tools from prehistoric eras. The well-known Fossil Pan also contains many fossil remnants.
Why not try something different? If you are on your way to the Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana, make Planet Baobab near Gweta Town part of your itinerary.