4:20 min June 03, 2024

The Water Colors Life Project | Kalahari Resorts & Conventions

Learn how Kalahari Resorts & Conventions is giving back to communities in Africa and how you can get involved with the life-changing mission.

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, with a location in the Pocono Mountains, is home to America's largest indoor water park open year-round, nearly a thousand overnight rooms, a variety of high-quality restaurants, family fun both indoors and out, an award-winning spa, and one of the northeast’s largest convention centers hosting any kind of meeting or event.

“It really is a one-stop-shop for great family vacations and conventions as well,” said Don Pleau, general manager of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions – Pocono Mountains.

Right away you'll notice the resort's African theme, inspired by a trip the Nelson family took many years ago to South Africa.

“Within two or three hours, the Nelson family decided they were going to come back to America and build authentically themed African resorts. It's amazing because everything you see, if it looks like it's from Africa, it's from Africa,” Pleau explained.

As their visits continued and the Kalahari brand expanded, the Nelson family realized African communities lack what their indoor waterparks have an abundance of: water.

That's why they've pledged to bring clean, safe drinking water to a million people in Africa through The Water Colors Life Project, in partnership with Charity: Water. It’s a $50 million commitment.

“My favorite video is when they're drilling a well and hit water, and the water sprays out of the well and the entire village dances through the water. They realize how their lives are about to change,” Pleau said.

All around Kalahari are the faces and stories of African residents, including one woman who lost her ten-year-old son after he fell down a hand-dug well and drowned while fetching water. She prayed for a community well so other mothers wouldn't feel her same pain, and The Water Colors Life Project delivered.

Guests can also pick up a heavy jerry can in the lobby, which gives a glimpse into how water is carried for hours back to rural regions.

“They fill them with water usually from a stream that's not running, or a pond shared with animals,” Pleau explained.

There are several ways for Kalahari's guests to get involved, including by purchasing select sculptures on display, each piece proudly handcrafted by an African artist. The initiative is called Sculpting the Future.

“Guests can purchase these sculptures, take one back to their home, and know that the money is going to help drill more wells in Africa. And, the family is matching these proceeds,” Pleau said.

Direct donation devices can also be found throughout the resort, or guests can simply round up their order at select retail locations. Special water bottles and books are on sale to support the cause. Guests can also toss a coin in the lobby's wishing well, or donate online.

So the next time you come to splash and slide, remember the people who inspired Kalahari Resorts & Conventions and helped create your family memories here. And consider giving water, while enjoying it.

“We're creating great resort experiences but at the same time, helping to bring fresh, clean water to a million people in Africa. It's such a game-changer for their entire lives, and I’m very proud to be part of this,” Pleau smiled.

If you live in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Kalahari Resorts offers various deals and discounts to residents of 17 surrounding counties through its Lokals Crew program. Visit Kalahari’s website to learn more.