Camp Kalahari (Adjoining the Makgadikgadi Pans) Botswana
SIMPLE STYLE IN THE KALAHARI
The laidback little sister of Jack’s and San Camp, Camp Kalahari is our understated and affordable base in the heart of the great Kalahari. Set amongst the waving palms and acacia trees of Brown Hyaena Island, the 11 funky Meru tents are perfect for families, groups and couples, and are an ideal base for discovering the charms of the desert and the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, a landscape that’s as surreal as it is sublime, and as mysterious as it is magical.
And if you’re looking for adventure, then look no further! We’ve got quad bike adventures, across the otherworldly salt pans, walks with the Zu’/hoasi bushmen to discover the amazing creatures that somehow manage to survive (and thrive) in this harsh environment, and our very own ‘’Kalahari cool cats,’’ the habituated meerkat family who like nothing more than to use unsuspecting guests as lookout points. Come for a day, and you’ll be wowed by the landscape and the people; stay for a few days and you might never want to leave…
WHY BOOK THIS CAMP?
Camp Kalahari is one of only three camps in a one
million-acre private wildlife reserve, with just eleven,
Meru-style tents set amongst the palms.
There’s a veritable blockbuster of activities to get stuck into, including quad biking, horseback riding, bushman walks and traditional game drives.
CK is great camp for families. It’s unique, fresh, and affordable, children from all ages are welcome, there’s a dedicated family suite and a fence around the camp too.
Watch 50,000 zebra and wildebeest migrate through the area from January to April.
Enjoy lazy siestas in the swimming pool pavilion and, in the dry season, watch the ellies come to drink at the water – a memory you won’t forget in a hurry!
Camp Kalahari sits amongst the acacias and mokolwane palms of Brown Hyaena Island, on the edge of Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Salt Pans and adjacent to the Makgadikgadi-Nxai Pans National Park. So, what on earth does that mean, we hear you cry? It means that you’re surrounded by dry savannah and the semi-arid Kalahari Desert. The salt-baked, sun-scorched pans are clear of vegetation, quite simply because it can’t grow, but around them are glittering grasslands and profusions of enormous baobabs. It doesn’t get much more dramatic than that.
Laidback and understated, nothing is overly elaborate at Camp Kalahari. Instead, you’ll find 11, Meru-style canvas tents filled with fresh textiles, Moroccan kilims and funky four-posters. Shower alfresco in the open-air, ensuite bathrooms (there’s definitely no one around to disturb your privacy here!), and there’s plenty of hot and cold water available throughout the day. If you’re travelling with your brood, choose the interconnecting family tent; with a bathroom linking the space for children and adults, it’s ideal for families and groups.
The common areas include a central library and a living and dining area, festooned with an eclectic mix of original African furniture and colonial antiques. Meals are refreshingly simple and wonderfully tasty, and served, family-style, at the long table. There’s also a thatched swimming pool, providing the perfect place for a refreshing dip on a hot afternoon – just watch out for the eles who might pop in for a quick drink too.
We’ve kept our use of electricity to a minimum too; there are electrical lights in the bedrooms, but when night falls, the majority of camp is lit by twinkling paraffin lanterns (but camera batteries and other appliances can be charged in the safari vehicles when required).
Brown Hyaena Island, the palm dotted island that Camp Kalahari calls home, took its name from (can you guess?), the brown hyaena. Bashful yet brilliant at foraging and scavenging, this is the third rarest large carnivore in Africa, and an animal that’s virtually impossible to see elsewhere on the continent. But that’s just the beginning of what you might see in the Makgadikgadi: look out for bat-eared foxes, aardvark and aardwolves scampering across the salt, elephant plodding through on their nomadic journey (our swimming pool is a welcome refreshment stop!), and dazzling numbers of zebra and wildebeest.
And where there’s a zebra, a predator will never be far away, so keep an eye out for cheetah and lion, close on the hooves of the herds. Not to be forgotten are our cheeky, habituated meerkats, a constant source of amusement and a regular feature of a safari at Camp Kalahari.
The guides at Camp Kalahari team up with a small group of Zu/'hoasi Bushmen to guide guests on morning walks and game drives. Venturing far into the centre of the Makgadikgadi, on quad bikes, guests are able to explore remote archaeological sites, periodically discovering never before documented fossil beds of extinct giant zebra and hippo. The fact that one can travel across the pans at great speed and still arrive nowhere only underlines their immensity.
A safari at Camp Kalahari is also a complete desert experience focusing on species unique to the area such as aardvark, gemsbuck and springbuck. It is the only place where guests are virtually guaranteed to see the rare and elusive brown hyaena and be able to walk through the Kalahari with a gang of habituated but wild meerkats.
The camp has teamed up with David Foot to create a fantastic five-night horse-riding safari, combining Camp Kalahari with two nights fly camping out on the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Now visitors can explore this wild, unspoilt area in the same way many of the earliest explorers, hunters and missionaries did – on horseback.
Accommodation Rates:- Please contact us for a quote and suggested itinerary