Kalahari Resort: A Review

Kalahari Resort: A Review

If you’ve been contemplating exchanging your pricey beach vacation for something cheap and close to home—well, we’re entirely against that, everyone should be taking pricey beach vacations far from home- especially after the holidays.

Or maybe you’re looking for a last minute New Years Eve bash for your family.

Either way, if you’re looking for something fun that’s not too expensive but still involves water, you could always try Kalahari Resorts. They can be found in quite a few locations but the one closest to home for us is in Sandusky, Ohio- home of Cedar Point.

Kalahari is an Africa themed indoor waterpark plus mini zoo built for the masses. Here’s the good, bad and kinda nice awaiting you at Kalahari.

Kalahari Resort Review


As with all waterparks, you can count on killer waterslides.

waterslides kalahari toilet bowl

Know that you may get tossed outta that raft if you don’t hang on. You can also count on a wave pool filled with loads of people and lifeguards on standby if you get tipsy from too many pina coladas at the swim-up tiki bar. Interestingly, there does seem to be a pool for small children adjacent to the bar area- which allows the inebriated parents to watch their kids from the bar.

We also love that Kalahari sells bathing suits 365 days a year. Since we’re always looking for our next vacation, its nice to know that even if it isn’t bathing suit season we can be sure to find something in one of the gift shops.

If you bring the boyfriends, husbands or children you can also get some alone time by dropping the boys off at the arcade and heading over to the spa.

arcade kalahari sandusky winter vacation

At the spa you can get a massage, mom/daughter mani pedis, or commandeer the place with your bachelorettes for a party.

If you’re looking for shopping therapy there are gift shops that carry animal related items, fair trade goodies and everything you may need to get through a fun filled weekend. The items tend to be all season, so you can find a cute scarf in the middle of summer or flip flops when it’s snowing.

And if you’re planning on not leaving Kalahari during your weekend stay, you’ll be glad to know there are several places to grab food onsite.

The Ivory Coast Restaurant is the cheaper of the grown-up restaurants but still sports some pretty decent food if you don’t want to live on pizza through the weekend.

ivory coast foodie traveltaco salad ivory coast kalahariimg_0891


All in all, it’s still an “indoor waterpark” so here are things to know.

Bring shower shoes, water shoes, something that can cover your feet.

Take some Emergencee Vitamin C-every day. Combining a lot of people, germs and water is never a good combination.

Pack Snacks, the goodies from Java Manjaro and the gift shops can get expensive.

Bring several bathing suits/ trunks, you don’t know what’s in the water and while they do have a laundry service at Kalahari, you don’t want your vacation to depend on it.

It’s also a conference center so if you’re there with your family be ready for the group of crazy adults all on a break from work at an indoor waterpark. This is a happening conference center and they hold multiple events at once. That said, know that there is a great bar called Longnecks in the conference area of the resort and that you can always call ahead to see what companies are going to be there during your stay.

kalahair conference center

Kinda Nice

With all the judgement out there about the right/wrongness of a place that highlights Africa in a theme park setting I thought I’d share a few things.

Kalahari donates soap and shampoo to countries in need through the Clean the World foundation so you can feel like your helping provide clean water to those villages in highest need right from your hotel room.

The restaurants source their meat and produce from local farmers. In fact, the steak here is so fresh that its known to be some of the best around the area.

At Java Manjaro not only is the pastry case always stocked you can also find yummy seasonal coffees in flavors like almond joy, salted caramel mocha, and white chocolate pumpkin. For those less indulgent vacationers you can also always find a fruit cup or parfait.

pastries at kalahari

Whether you consider Kalahari as your vacation, your weekend getaway or your bachelorette party destination know that Kalahari gets 4 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and with a top notch customer service team you’re sure to have a great stay.


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