Massive Africa-themed resort to make a splash in Round Rock with 2020 opening

2:18 p.m Thursday, July 20, 2017 Recreation
Round Rock Leader
Kalahari Resorts, which has this 100,000-square-foot water park in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania, plans to build an indoor and outdoor water park and convention center in Round Rock.

Round Rock already has the Rock’N River Water Park — but by summer 2020, there will be an even bigger place for us to play in: an African-themed indoor and outdoor water park and resort from Kalahari Resorts. 

Kalahari Resorts, which already has a few locations in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania, plans to have a similar site here: 1,000 guest rooms, fitness center and spa, restaurants, shops and a conference center. The $350 million project is underway at 351 acres across from Dell Diamond and Old Settlers Park after the blessing of Round Rock’s city council last year.

The privately owned water park will aim for authenticity with its Africa theme: Todd Nelson, the owner, and his family spent nearly a month touring the continent to know what to showcase at Kalahari. Even the coffee you’ll drink to get your day of play started will come from Rwanda, according to the Kalahari Resorts website.

There was an initial concern last year, when the project was still getting approved, that the resort, water park and convention center would go the way of Pflugerville’s Hawaiian Falls, a poorly managed water park that was ultimately taken over by Typhoon Texas. But Kalahari Resorts has plenty of experience running its massive facilities, Nelson said at the time.

On U.S. 79, the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center will be 700,000 sq. ft. and will bring 700 jobs to the area. And, of course, it’ll give us all one more place to go when we want to escape this sweltering summer heat.

View full experience