Highlights of Jacks Camp:
- Seasonal migration of zebra & wildebeest
- The Makgadikgadi Pans is stunningly beautiful
- Jack’s Camp is a romantic and evocative safari camp with great style
- Quad bike excursions on the pan in the winter months
- Pink flamingos in the watery pans after the summer rains
- Spend a morning with the meerkats
- Walks with the Bushman people & options of overnight expeditions also on offer
Jacks Camp is an authentic evocation of a classic 1940’s safari camp, on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans – a unique and fascinating environment, deep in the Kalahari. This luxurious and utterly romantic camp is about as remote as you can get. Yet no visit to Botswana can be said to be truly complete without experiencing the beauty of the desert as well as the delta.
Jack’s Camp lies under a grove of palm trees at the edge of Nwetse pan with expansive views over the vast Makgadikgadi pans. It exudes romance and style in this remote setting. The ambience is of the early safari pioneers so expect Persian carpets, canvas washbasins, paraffin lamps, mahogany and campaign furniture. Ten tents are idyllically set on a tree and palm covered island in the vast golden grasslands of the Makgadikgadi pans.
En suite facilities at Jack’s Camp offer indoor and outdoor showers and flush toilets. The tents are well spaced for privacy and each has a covered porch area with an expansive view across the Ntwetse pan. All continue the pioneer theme with campaign furniture. But now it’s on wooden flooring!
Dining is in the elegant mess tent, or al fresco under the stars, whilst the bedouin tea tent, with eastern cushions, carpets, even a wind-up gramophone, is ideal for decadent afternoon teas. The dining and lounge tents have a wonderful collection of old photos, maps, natural history books as well as artefacts collected from various places in Africa.
Note that there is no mains electricity or plug points at Jacks Camp, only generator power for a few hours during the day so you can charge batteries. Each tent has a standing fan which works whilst the generator is on so no air-conditioning or heating.
Safari Activities at Jacks Camp
This stylish camp offers a traditional safari experience with the focus on a holistic understanding of Botswana’s wildlife, geography, geology and its people, both past and present. Jack’s Camp is not about seeing lots of big game though there are plenty of desert species on offer such as black-backed jackal and steenbok. Noctural species include the honeybadger, bat-eared foxes and aardwolf. A huge drawcard are the wonderful meerkats which are very likely to be seen as there are some semi-habituated colonies close to the camp.
The game-viewing is seasonal. After the rains (December to April), there can be good herds of wildebeest, zebra and springbok on the open grasslands around the pans. These are accompanied by their somewhat elusive predators which include black-maned Kalahari lions, cheetah and the occasional leopard. After good rains, the white salt pans fill with water so that all you see is a vast sheet of water attracting flamingos, other water birds as well as migrating game. As the rains cease, the pans dry up and in the dry winter months (usually late May onwards though it varies year by year depending on the summer rains) all-purpose quad bikes (ATV vehicles) are available, allowing you to visit the saltpans in an eco-friendly manner. (This activity takes place every third day so a three night stay is recommended.)
Other activities include nature walks with Bushman trackers, mornings spent with the meerkat colonies and nature drives to the historical baobab trees used as camp sites by Livingstone and Selous.
All in all Jack’s Camp (and its seasonal sister camp, San Camp) offers a truly unique wilderness experience. Don’t expect big game, do expect the unexpected and you will see a completely different side of Botswana.