Is this the most all-encompassing waterpark you’ve ever heard of? We think so -- and it just opened in Texas

Kalahari is now in Round Rock

Kalahari Resorts Round Rock has three acres of outdoor pools. (Provided by Kalahari Resorts)

Does the name “Kalahari” mean anything to you?

If it’s not ringing a bell, it will be soon.

Kalahari Resorts and Conventions opened earlier this month in Round Rock, about 20 miles north of Austin, and it’s truly a unique, all-under-one-roof experience that offers pure fun -- with world-class dining, luxurious spa options, live entertainment, diverse shopping experiences, a thrilling theme park and a state-of-the-art convention center, according to the company.

Kalahari Resorts are authentically African-themed. This marks the first location open in Texas. The waterpark originated in the Midwest.

So, what makes this place stand out? Here are just some of the ways:

The waterpark itself

It’s a whopping 223,000 square feet (do you have any idea how big that is?)

It offers 30 waterslides, 20 pools and whirlpools, and the outdoor pools span 3 acres.

Attractions include FlowRider, the ZeroVision Wave Pool Experience, a grotto adult swim-up bar, special areas for the kids, private cabanas and waterfalls.

The indoor waterpark is 223,000 square feet with 30 waterslides, and 20 pools and whirlpools. (Provided by Kalahari Resorts)

An adventure park

It’s called Tom Foolerys Adventure Park, to be specific -- and no matter whether you’re a child or an adult, you won’t find a shortage of fun things to do.

Attractions include thrill rides, more than 250 arcade games, ropes course, climbing walls, an indoor zipline, bowling, laser tag and mini-golf.

A spa

Spa Kalahari and Salon offers body treatments, massage, skin care, nail care and hair services.

Special offerings include Halotherapy salt therapy, a wet therapy room with a dry sauna, a chromotherapy steam room and a brow and lash bar. They truly have it all.

The food

You can choose between 20 dining options, including a signature steakhouse, Italian and Tex-Mex, a buffet and many spots to grab a quick bite.

The full-service restaurants include:

-- Double Cut Charcoal Grill/Bourbon Bar: With premium cuts of meat, craft cocktails, family-style sides and more.

Inside Double Cut. (Provided by Kalahari Resorts)

-- Sortino’s Italian Kitchen: This includes Pizzeria Sortino, Sortino’s Cafe & Gelato and Enoteca wine lounge.

-- Cinco Niños: A modern Mexican and a tequila bar.

-- B-Lux Grill & Bar: Unique burgers and shakes, handcrafted from scratch, with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

That’s not all. The Great Karoo Marketplace Buffet features multiple food stations and chef-action stations. The Marrakesh Market Eatery is inspired by the shops of Marrakesh. Redd’s Piano Bar and Lounge offers a diverse wine list, handcrafted cocktails and live entertainment, daily at 7 p.m.

There’s even a coffee shop and a candy store.

Guest rooms

You can find a whopping 975 guest rooms.

These include one-, two- and three-bedroom suites, including presidential suites with balconies.

A convention center

Need to host an event? Or maybe a wedding or a work function? This convention center is 200,000 square feet.

The center boasts the following:

-- Two massive ballrooms

-- 16 meeting rooms and multiple hospitality suites with flexible space

-- A full-service business center

-- An additional 50,000 square feet of outdoor event space, including an event barn, covered terraces and an outdoor lawn.


You’ll find 10,000 square feet of retail space, with an outdoor marketplace selling authentic African items.

In spring 2021, they plan to include workshop tours with artists in residence, activities and more.

A cool design

The African theme was inspired by the owners' family trip to the continent more than 20 years ago. Some of the ways they brought Africa to the design are ...

-- 1,000 pieces of African art, sculpture, furniture and retail items for the Round Rock resort -- these were hand-selected by the Nelson family during an October 2019 visit to meet the artisans and entrepreneurs in South Africa, Ghana and Tanzania.

Boabob’s Social Lobby Bar is just below the entrance to Kalahari Round Rock, and home to a 23-foot woven baobob tree sculpture. (Provided by Kalahari Resorts)

-- A $600,000 art investment, which is part of an ongoing brand commitment to the people, places and cultures that inspire the resort.

-- 22 life-size animal sculptures, including 12 elephants, seven zebras, a mother and baby rhinoceros and a cape buffalo, welcome guests to the property.

And finally, the resort is doing everything it can to ensure a safe experience.

“We continue to monitor the recommendations from the CDC and follow the guidelines set by each state we are proud to call home to,” Kalahari officials say online. “(This) continues to be fluid. ... We are committed to this evolving process.”

Click or tap here to read about the resort’s wellness initiatives, physical distancing standards, communication, waterpark safety, food and beverage safety, and how things are being handled at the convention center.

Per Texas’ statewide mandate, all guests older than age 10 are required to wear masks while on the property. Guests will be asked to wear masks throughout the resort. This includes wearing masks to and from the waterparks, lounging within the waterpark and while not actively using an attraction. The exceptions include dining in a restaurant, at the bar, in the water or in a guest room. Read more.

The resort has won a slew of awards. Some recognition includes: Condé Nast Traveler’s No. 1 World’s Coolest Indoor Waterparks, Sensory Friendly Certified in 2020 (in Ohio), Best Family-Friendly Meeting Hotel and Resort in Smart Meeting’s 2020 Smart Stars Awards, Parents’ Magazine 2019 Kids’ Travel Award Winner and TripAdvisor’s 2018 and 2017 Travelers’ Choice Awards.

Want even more information?

To learn more or book, click or tap here.