Founded by Wisconsin family, the Nelsons, Kalahari Resorts are known for having America's largest indoor water parks. Todd and Shari Nelson were inspired to build the first Kalahari Resort back in 2000 after visiting Africa. They were moved by the spirit and culture they saw there, so their love of Africa has been incorporated throughout all of their resorts. The Nelsons even support African artists and craftspeople by featuring their work on the walls, in the gift shops, and more.
After opening their first location in Wisconsin Dells, the Nelsons opened up two more locations in Sandusky, Ohio, and the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania. After years of building its image as the "coolest water park" in the country, Kalahari decided to expand to its first location in the South. The massive water park and resort opened up in the Austin suburb of Round Rock, Texas making it an ideal getaway spot for Texans and folks all over the South to come out year-round.
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions are a bit more than just pools and water slides. All of the African-themed resorts offer a full convention center for events, Spa Kalahari, a fitness center, restaurants, and unique retail shops. The new Texas resort has 975 guest rooms on its 351 acres of land. The $350 million dollar project is located on U.S. 79 close to the Dell Diamond and Old Settlers Park.
The massive park is a combination of indoor/outdoor water park areas. There are also plenty of dining options with 6 different restaurants to choose from. There is also a piano bar, delis, pizzerias, and a 200,000 square foot convention center in the 1.5 million-square-foot resort.
You can definitely see the African theme throughout the park itself, from the print on the columns to the patterns on the throw pillows and walls. It is undoubtedly even more impressive in person though.
You can see that there are outdoor pools in addition to thrill rides and slides on the main inside portion of the theme park with plenty of play areas. There are multiple body slides, a swim-up bar, cabanas for lounging, a lazy river, an indoor wave pool, and lots of other rides that are full of waterpark fun. From a kiddie ropes course to mini-golf and an indoor zipline, some fun things have definitely made their way to Round Rock. And how cool does a wave pool sound?
This article was originally published in 2020.