Menu
     

Poconos Articles

Poconos Travel Info

Review of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Indoor Water Park Resort - Pocono Mountains

Joan Matsui, travel writer for Visit Poconos takes you through her experience at the Poconos largest water park.

  • 29 February 2016
  • Author: Joan Matsui
  • Number of views: 2967
  • 0 Comments

Children and adults should be prepared to have fun from the moment they arrive at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions’ Pocono Mountain location.

Staff outfitted in safari gear greeted me under the canopy, as the sounds of rhythmic drums of tribal music playing in the background set the stage for my African-themed travel writing adventure.

Inside the lobby, the sweet smell of caramel and confections coming from the Last Bite Candy & Ice Cream Shoppe intermingled with the aroma of fresh coffee brewing inside Java Manjaro, Kalahari’s signature coffee shop.  

Kalahari Lobby The Last Bite Candy & Ice Cream Shoppe

Kalahari Lobby The Last Bite Candy & Ice Cream Shoppe

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions lobby view of The Last Bite Candy & Ice Cream Shoppe. Photo taken by Joan Mead-Matsui, freelance travel writer and photographer.

Kalahari Pocono is a full-service vacation destination that combines 100,000 square feet of indoor waterpark excitement with family entertainment, a luxury spa, kid and family-friendly restaurants and a 65,000 square feet convention center. The resort is undeniably a playground for folks young and old alike, who stopped to marvel at the array of eye-catching displays throughout the lobby.

During my second visit to Kalahari at the grand opening ceremony in July 2015, the resort was a work in progress, but as the first anniversary of the grand opening approaches, the resort abounds with the spirit of African culture. The Nelson family has journeyed to the African Continent at least 11 times and returned home with thousands of artifacts, many handcrafted, which they’ve proudly and thoughtfully displayed throughout the resort. 

Kalahari Resorts Lobby

Kalahari Resorts Lobby

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions lobby. Photo taken by Joan Mead-Matsui, freelance travel writer and photographer.

The lobby exudes a playful mix of color and texture and is accented by almost countless statuettes, two key components of African culture.

While children will understandably be eager to head directly to the arcade and waterpark upon their arrival, visitors should take time to tour the entire resort at least once throughout their visit. You’ll probably need to make several treks around the complex to experience the exhibits, photographs and statuettes. Kalahari is a treasure trove of indigenous African cultural objects hanging on walls or positioned in hallways, offering many educational opportunities for adults and children. 

Joan Mead-Matsui

Joan Mead-Matsui

Joan Mead-Matsui, travel writer and photographer enjoys a photo op.

I couldn’t leave Kalahari without a photo of the massive elephant head that is mounted on the wall above the stairwell that leads to the lower level. 

Wondering what to wear? Come dressed for fun

The dress code is casual and relaxed. A bathing suit, flip flops and cover-up are all you’ll need if you plan to spend your day at the waterpark and then satisfy your hunger pangs at one of Kalahari’s eateries.

Dining

Even the most finicky eater will find a variety of flavorful choices at Brandberg Food & Drink, Great Karoo Marketplace Buffet, Ivory Coast Restaurant, Felix's Bar, The Last Bite, Java Manjaro, Café Mirage, Waterpark Dining and Pizza Pub.

Kalahari Ivory Coast Restaurant

Kalahari Ivory Coast Restaurant

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Ivory Coast Restaurant, Photo taken by Joan Mead-Matsui, freelance travel writer and photographer.

Brandberg Food & Drink

Brandberg Food & Drink

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Brandberg restaurant, Photo taken by Joan Mead-Matsui, freelance travel writer and photographer.

Upon my arrival at Kalahari, I chose to satisfy my hankering for a salad at the Ivory Coast Restaurant.

Cranberry Chicken Salad at Kalahari Restaurants

Cranberry Chicken Salad at Kalahari Restaurants

The Cranberry Chicken salad featuring field greens, grilled chicken, sun-dried cranberries, walnuts, feta, and red wine vinaigrette is moderately priced at $13 and extremely satisfying. Photo taken by Joan Mead-Matsui, freelance travel writer and photographer.

The Great Karoo Marketplace Buffet was my choice for breakfast. Multiple food stations feature a tantalizing variety of eggs, pastries, bread and bagels, side dishes, fruit, and smoothies. My family and I were particularly pleased to find abundant smoked salmon with capers at one of the stations.

Kalahari Lodging Options

Kalahari Lodging Options

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions lodging options, Photo taken by Joan Mead-Matsui, freelance travel writer and photographer.

Kalahari offers 457 African-themed rooms and suites. The two-bedroom suite is equipped with one king size bed, two queen size beds and a queen size sofa sleeper. King size bed shown. 

Whether you’re destined for an action packed day at the waterpark with your children, newlyweds in search of adventure, or attending a group event at the resort’s convention center, you’ll find your night restful in any one of Kalahari’s 457 rooms and suites. The two-bedroom suite, for example, is welcoming, ultra-comfortable, and spacious. Amenities include a microwave and refrigerator; fireplace, free high speed Internet access available, telephone with voice mail, tables and chairs, in-room safe and HD televisions. Complimentary access to the Fitness Center and admission to the indoor waterpark and outdoor waterpark (seasonal and weather permitting) are included for each registered guest.

Waterpark

Kalahari FlowRider Learning to Surf

Kalahari FlowRider Learning to Surf

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions FlowRider learning to surf. Photo taken by Joan Mead-Matsui, freelance travel writer and photographer.

Kalahari FlowRider Learning to Surf

Kalahari FlowRider Learning to Surf

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions FlowRider learning to surf. Photo taken by Joan Mead-Matsui, freelance travel writer and photographer.

There were children who simply couldn’t get their fill of the Bodyboard or stand up surf on the FlowRider®

If you love water and rides, regardless of your age, I doubt you’ll be bored at the 100,000 square foot indoor waterpark. A crowd congregated under the Splashdown Safari each time gallons of water were set to drop from a large bucket.

Kalahari Splash Down Safari

Kalahari Splash Down Safari

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions Splash Down Safari, Photo taken by Joan Mead-Matsui, freelance travel writer and photographer.

Anaconda, Lazy River, Crocodile Cove, Indoor/Outdoor Family Whirlpool, Wild Wildebeest, Lost Lagoon, Tanzanian Twister, Thirsty Turtle Swim Up Bar, Rippling Rhino, Zimbabwe Zipper, Splashdown Safari, Barrelling Baboon, Tiko's Watering Hole, and Whirlpool Spas provide hours of splashing entertainment. Private indoor cabanas with a flat screen TV, chaise lounges, and refrigerator are available when guests decide to take a break.

Spa & Salon

Spa Kalahari & Salon

Spa Kalahari & Salon

Spa Kalahari & Salon, Relax and rejuvenate body and soul. Photo taken by Joan Mead-Matsui, freelance travel writer and photographer.
 
While the rest of your family or group is at the waterpark, you can find time to relax and rejuvenate at Spa Kalahari. The spa offers a variety of treatments and services that will pamper you from head to toe. A Dry Redwood Sauna, Herbal Infused Steam Room, Relaxation Sanctuary, Multi-sensory Experiential Shower, Whirlpool with Hydro Jets, Outdoor Patio and a Women’s and Men’s Lounge await you. Spa treatments, massages services, skin care, couples’ packages, manicures and pedicures, and Junior Cutie Pie and Royal Packages are available for younger guests. Reservations are required.

Character Breakfast at Brandberg Food & Drink

Kenya's Surprise Birthday Bash Character Breakfast

Kenya's Surprise Birthday Bash Character Breakfast

Kalahari Character Breakfasts at Brandberg. Photo courtesy of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions.

Kids are VIP guests at the weekly special Character Breakfast at Brandberg Food & Drink offered every Saturday morning beginning at 10:50 a.m. Breakfast begins at 11:00 a.m.  The cost is Adults/$25 and Children/$15 and includes visits with character friends, family style dining, games, music, coloring contests, and great photo opportunities. Reservations are required and must be made by 11:00 p.m. the day before. For more information, call (570) 580-6085. 


Kalahari is an ideal setting for families to reconnect and adults to unwind. Be sure to visit kalahariresorts.com/pennsylvania for a complete schedule of upcoming events and special deals.

Article by:Joan Matsui
Joan Mead-Matsui
Travel Writer and Photographer
Award-Winning Freelance Journalist
Facebook.com/JoanMeadMatsuiTravelWriter1115
Email: jmmatsu@epix.net
Travel Stories from Near and Far

 

Print
Book a Room
Book a Room Book a Room

800-641-2118