Saturday, August 31, 2013

Wisconsin's Kalahari Maji Hifadhi Ya

Hujambo, wenzake msomaji,

Wisconsin Dells is one of the water park capitals of America. The Dells are an interesting place, as, aside from the water parks, the town would seem like a standard place to pull off the highway for an overnight hotel stay - most of the restaurants and hotels are generic brand-name hotels. But this blog is about the Kalahari water park. I visited my brother who was spending the summer in Milwaukee, WI, and one day we drove up to the Dells for some water park fun - it was surprisingly cold for a July day, so we went to the Kalahari water park, the largest indoor water park in the Dells. There is a smaller outdoor section - I went on some of the rides, but it was too cold to stay out for long.

It was built in to it's own hotel - unlike Great Wolf, however, they sell a limited number of day passes.

The rides include:

Victoria Falls - a raft ride, I didn't go on it.

Master Blaster - a water-coaster type ride that propels you up and down the hills. When I was reading about this ride before, the site said "no single riders", but that turned out to be a blatant lie (note that it no longer says that on their website.) Be careful where you position your feet however, you don't want your ankles to be rubbed by the grills. This was probably the best ride in the park.

Screaming Hyena/Sahara Sidewinders - body slides that involve being dropped through a trapdoor at the start. I didn't go on this - as adventurous as I can be sometimes, this seemed way too scary for me.

Rippling Rhino - a tube slide with where you go down with a long raft.

Elephant's Trunk - a body slide. It is exciting, until the end where I would be thrown into a pool and get water up by nose.

Tanzanian Twister - a bowl slide where you are dumped into a pool of water at the end. I didn't do this ride - I've done a similar ride at Splash Lagoon (Erie, PA) but had no desire to do it again.

Zig-zag zebra - your standard tube slide deal - get an inner tube and have fun!

The Outdoor section of the park includes:

Extreme Rush - a mat slide, but one with twists and turns, unlike the straight mat slides in other parks. I personally didn't care for the twists and turns while I was on my stomach.

Swahili Swirl - A bowl slide, where you would be Swahili Swirled in an inner tube and then dropped into the exit pool.

Wild Wildebeest - An inner tube slide - it had parts that would drop water on you, and was more exciting than Zig-Zag Zebra, but as the weather was colder this day, it was harder to enjoy.

Anaconda - a raft ride outdoors, I skipped this ride.

The water park had a number of hot tubs, a wave pool, and a lazy river inside. One hot tub would be entered from the indoor park but went outside.

Food: Everything was pretty standard as far as water parks go. There may be more restaurants on the hotel premises, but I didn't want to get too far from the park. As much as I enjoy water parks, eating at them is becoming my least favorite part of the experience - the food offered is always along the lines of poorly-prepared burgers, hot dogs, and fatty fries.

Transportation: Wisconsin Dells doesn't really have any public transportation. I got up here by driving up with my brother from Milwaukee. The closest airport is Madison-Dane County (MSN), and the Kalahari hotel does have a shuttle from MSN (about 50-60 mins in distance), but that's pretty much it. Wisconsin Dells isn't easy to get around if you don't have a car or a friend with a car.

Overall: It was a very nice indoor water park. Some of the rides are pretty intense, so if you enjoy the more extreme types of slides, you will love this place. It's probably the largest indoor water park I've been to. It was crowded, but this was a Saturday in July, whereas I usually try to go in May/early June/late August/off-season.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

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