Jack’s Camp: the True Soul of the Kalahari

Jack’s camp opened in 1993, and has been the gateway to the Makgadikgadi pans and surrounds ever since.

After decades of setting the standard of the Kalahari safari experience, this unique slice of Africa underwent a refurb in 2021, and if anything, we now love it even more.

Being one of just three camps in a million-hectare wildlife reserve means that space and exclusivity are literally the foundations upon which your safari will be built. The silence of the night here – broken only by the occasional roar of a lion or the plaintive cry of a jackal – is an experience in itself; “humbling” is a word most oft used to describe the uniquely stimulating feeling of isolation that one encounters under the southern stars.

Jack’s Camp features nine guest rooms – seven twin tents featuring two queen-size beds, and two double tents with extra-length king beds. The post-refurb camp features much larger rooms than before, so space is not an issue.
The main area stands alone in Africa with its one-of-a-kind swimming pool pavilion, natural history cabinets and 1820s mess table. Guests will feel part of a bygone era simply by seating themselves in a velvet clad chair and contemplating the seemingly endless space all around them. Unbroken views out over the Kalahari desert stretch the imagination and challenge the mind’s understanding of the word “space”.

Jack’s is very much a year-round destination, but very different seasons mean that guests should identify exactly what it is they are after before deciding when to come.

April through October is the dry season, when the Kalahari in its most pitiless form is bare yet utterly spectacular. Animals flock to the last remaining standing water meaning the wildlife viewing is predictable to a degree, and the cloudless night sky with its uncountable stars instils a sense of wonder each and every evening.The rains usually arrive in November, and until March the area that is normally regarded as a desert comes to life with abundant grasses. This is the cue for Africa’s second largest mammal migration to take place; thousands upon thousands of zebras flock into the area to take advantage of the surplus of fresh grazing.

The normal safari activities like game viewing and bird watching are supplemented by unique activities that really set Jack’s Camp apart. Guests can sleep out on the bare Makgadikgadi salt flats. They can walk with the San people and learn about their history and the intimate ways of the desert. They can lie on the Kalahari sands and have habituated meerkats cralw around and over them. Quad biking expeditions inject some serious adrenaline into what is an already exciting stay.

Jack’s Camp is one of those that sits in a class of its own. Part of the greater safari portfolio of Botswana yet completely unique.

There are currently unbeatable specials running to this utterly wild part of Southern Africa, so get in touch to book a stay…

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