THE BEST WAY TO EXPERIENCE
Once upon a time, the legendary hunter and crocodile catcher, Jack Bousfield set off on one of his regular walkabouts through the Botswana bush. Armed with a tattered sketch-map of an early 19C explorer, he headed off into territory unvisited for 100 years, and described as “hell for man and beast”!
His destination, the meandering shores of the remote and mysterious Makgadikgadi Saltpans the birthplace of the super-mammal and possibly - probably - man. Jack experienced the amazing sensation of being alone in an eerie and completely empty nothingness the size of Switzerland; a vast saltpan stretched dead level as far as the eye could see, heat waves dancing on its glittering-white surface. Here he decided to set up camp and make it his own private paradise!
In the same area, nestled amongst the acacias and Mokolwane palms of Hyaena Island, on the edge of the ancient super lake and adjacent to the Makgadikgadi National Park, in memory of Jack’s first visit to this area, Camp Kalahari is a return to the traditional safari style of the old explorers, and is the best way to experience the Makgadikgadi in a fresh and affordable way.
It is the ideal camp for those who want fun, comfort, style and adventure. Camp Kalahari accepts children of all ages and makes for a fantastic family safari destination. This traditional bush camp has ten spacious Meru tents, comprising six twin tents, three double tents and one family unit which has two adjacent tents, accommodating two Guests in each with an inter-leading bathroom. All Guest tents have en-suite covered bathrooms, hot and cold running water and flush loos along with four poster beds, crunchy cotton sheets, rich textiles, Moroccan kilims and hot water bottles in winter. A thatched central library, living and dining area featuring an eclectic mix of original African furniture and textiles paired with traditional campaign style pieces and colonial antiques provide the perfect area in which to relax and enjoy the serenity of this enchanting area. For those who’d like to cool off, or enjoy a lazy siesta in or out of the sun, the thatched swimming pool pavilion is ideal. Camp Kalahari’s chef is a talented chap, noted for his tasty soups and particularly for his "Pilli-Pilli Ho-Ho," a lethal concoction of chillies marinated in sherry and gin. Smeared over one's breakfast eggs, it's just the thing to sharpen sleepdulled wits in preparation for whatever adventures await!
There are two distinctly different seasons in the Makgadikgadi: The dry season, lasting from the 15th of April to the 31st of October and the wet season, lasting from the 1st of November to the 14th of April.
When the rains arrive at the beginning of the wet season, the landscape is transformed. Water gathers on the saltpan. Algae bloom, crustaceans breed, and clouds of flamingo descend to feed on them. Then herds of zebra and wildebeest materialise, drawn by the lush grass, and for several months, the desert is teeming with game and predators.
Guests visiting Camp Kalahari during the wet season can witness the last surviving migration of zebra and wildebeest in Southern Africa. Most people associate the migration with East Africa and don’t know about this, the second largest migration of African ungulates, with an estimated 30,000 animals, the majority being zebra, participating each year. When the waters dry up, the birds and animals migrate and the extraordinary ecosystem of the Makgadikgadi becomes the main attraction.
It is during the dry season that Guests can experience the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pans on quad bikes.
Get dressed up in dark glasses and Lawrence of Arabia headgear and race out on to the pan. Fat tyres skim over the surfaces where heavier vehicles would sink. The fact that you can travel across the pans at great speed and still arrive nowhere only underlines the pans immensity. There is nothing out here. Absolutely nothing. The Guides at Camp Kalahari team up with a small group of Zu/’hoasi Bushmen to guide our Guests on a morning’s walk, offering a window into the past, The Bushmen teach us how they have survived in this harshest of environments, using their vast and ancient knowledge of plants, animal behaviour and survival skills. Close by is the famous Chapman’s Baobab (Also known as the Seven Sisters) which is acknowledged to be the third largest tree in Africa, and was the campsite of early explorers like Livingstone and Selous when they pioneered the area. This gives you an opportunity to gain a fascinating insight into the history of the early explorers.
A safari to Camp Kalahari is also a complete desert experience focusing on species unique
to the area such as aardvark, gemsbuck and springbuck.
Guests are also virtually guaranteed of seeing the rare and elusive brown hyaena and are able to walk through the Kalahari with a gang of habituated but wild meerkats! As the sun rises, these pixie-faced creatures emerge from their burrows and join you, sunning themselves with paws behind their backs, completely indifferent to your presence. A baby might sit on someone's toe or a sentinel hop onto your head! As they all scurry off to forage, you follow. The meerkats dig up scorpions and pounce on beetles while your Guide maintains a running commentary on their social habits and survival strategies.
CAMP FACILITIES & ACTIVITIES
Botswana Safari Company recommends Camp Kalahari the rare and elusive brown hyaena as well as its close proximity to the famous Chapman’s Baobab
CAMP KALAHARI RATES
Low Season - January to March 2020 - $645.00
Shoulder Season - April to June and November 2020 - $780.00
High Season - July to October 2020 - $885.00
Peak Season - August 2020 - $995.00
Fully inclusive - Per person sharing per night - Excludes flights