The Africa Connection
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions isn’t your typical resort. Its authentic African theme is designed to bring families together in the African spirit of Ubuntu or “togetherness”— the philosophy that encompasses a belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all of humanity. A love of Africa is shared with guests in every aspect of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, from the handcrafted artwork on the walls to the original music throughout the resort that supports African artists and craftspeople. It’s all part of Kalahari’s commitment to bring guests a beyond-expectations experience.
The Nelson family regularly returns to Africa to reconnect with the land that inspired their vision, strengthen the ties with communities throughout the continent, and source artisan items for their properties. Todd Nelson said, “The majesty of Africa and the continent’s beauty are our inspiration for the resorts. My family has long been inspired by the spirit and culture of Africa, ever since our first visit to the continent more than 20 years ago, and it’s important to us to support those we’ve met there by sharing their artwork, craftsmanship and talents with our guests.”
Partnerships to be Proud of:
From custom-crafted artwork on the convention center walls to furniture in guest rooms, recorded music from the streets of Cape Town and original crafts for guest souvenirs, Kalahari has a passion for sharing the beauty of Africa with resort guests. Kalahari Resorts and Conventions is committed to giving back to the people, places and cultures that inspire us through fostering entrepreneurship and collaborating with a variety of business and philanthropic partners.
Kalahari Art Partners
The Nelson family, owners and operators of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, travel throughout Africa creating inspired partnerships. Every African sourced product shares a story of entrepreneurship woven into every stitch, carved into every curve and thread on with every bead.
- Investment of more than $5.5 million to support local artists and craftsmen through purchase of African art, textiles and more showcased throughout the resorts.
- Sponsor of the Mandela Poster Project – a celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela created by nearly 100 artists from across the world. Kalahari sponsored the North American debut of the art exhibition in 2015.
- Designing the Future of Africa – In 2019, Kalahari Resorts & Conventions is partnering with Ithateng Mokgoro of Gamatong Foundation to sponsor a design competition and exhibition with a call for African artists and designers to interpret and illustrate the beauty of Africa today and tomorrow. Winning designs will be featured in the resorts.
- Sculpting the Future – In 2021, Kalahari Resorts funded solar power, clean water access, facilities for female sculptors and raw materials to support the community of 180 artisans at ZimSculpt in Zimbabwe.
Kalahari Health & Education Partners
Kalahari Resorts works with trusted partners to support health and education initiatives that will make a lasting and meaningful impact to improve the lives of people in Africa.
- Kalahari partners with international organizations providing education, economic development and cultural exchange opportunities for Africa’s youth. Each of our resort locations hosts recent college graduates for a year-long work and cultural exchange program. Students gain practical hospitality education, skills and work experience as they work in a variety of positions during their time at the resorts, benefiting both their personal career development and Africa’s tourism and hospitality industry. An important part of the program is cultural exchange and appreciation, as these students share their cultures with Kalahari associates and guests who do the same in return.
- Proud donors to Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, a specialized pediatric facility that provides surgeries and critical care to the children of South Africa. Kalahari also contributed to production of “Be Like Madiba” journals for the hospital’s patients.
- Contributor to Clean The World – the largest global recycler of hotel amenities to provide sterilized hygiene kits around the world. To date, Kalahari has diverted more than 43,000 pounds of plastic from landfills and contributed to more than 33,000 hygiene kits.
- In collaboration with charity: water, Kalahari is funding a build to help provide access to clean water for approximately 250 students and staff at a school in Malawai (2019)
- Through a collaboration with charity: water, Kalahari helped to provide a Malawi school with access to clean water and sanitation to support students and staff (2019)