Do you want to go away from it all? The Makgadikgadi salt pans in Botswana’s Kalahari heartland stretch for hundreds of square kilometers, where once, thousands of years ago, there was one of the earth’s largest inland lakes. By night, it hunkers under a vast blackness shot with millions of stars. This is an area that is remote to the extreme. Jack’s Camp is here.
But why is this exclusive tented camp in the Botswana wilderness so special? Why should you go on safari in an area where there is not much game? What this concession in Botswana offers are the ultimate luxuries: space and silence. Come here to explore the wonders of nature. Expect spectacular vistas, meerkats, quad bike tours and old-world safari styling, an experience that is completely different to any other.
Set among glades of towering palms on the edge of the desolate Makgadikgadi Pans, Jack’s Camp invoke a sense of the old, uncharted Africa. This oasis of silence and style in the middle of Botswana’s Kalahari Desert is the perfect place to switch off from the rest of the world.
We love Jack’s Camp’s traditional East African 1940s style. The photos, bones of animals and other collected things remind you of the safari from the past. Surrounded by amazing scenery and unique desert species, this luxury tented camp in Botswana has 10 stylish safari tents with en-suite bathrooms including indoor and outdoor showers. Ideally positioned for maximum privacy and perfect views, the khaki canvas tents are lavishly furnished with African fabrics, hardwood floors, time-worn Persian carpets, unique artifacts and four poster beds. Flamingo colored Indian cotton line the inside of the stylish tents. There is no electricity. At night, storm lanterns or torches light the way. Sometimes, camp beds are set up for a night under an indigo sky streaked with shooting stars.
Jack’s Camp’s elegant mess tent is a canvas pavilion where meals are served at a communal table; a romantic spot where you can mingle with other guests and talk about the day’s adventures.
The adventures are great at Jack’s Camp, but timing is everything here, you really have to consider the season before venturing this far out. Dry season is from 16 April – 31 October and green season starts at the first of November until 15 April. Don’t go in October when it’s too hot. When you come in dry season, “fly” across the Makgadikgadi salt pans on your 4WD quad bike, view a vast landscape of nothingness in every direction, watch the stunning sunset, and listen to absolute…. silence. The silence is overwhelming as you search for any sign of life on the shimmering white salt surface of the ‘thirst land’. The quad biking tour was absolutely the highlight of our stay and such a cool once in a lifetime experience we will never forget. It may be difficult to convey in words, but this is really one of the most special experiences on the continent. When you come in wet season, you can witness the only zebra and wildebeest migration left in Southern Africa. Herds of zebra and wildebeest come to feast on the fresh grasses. In times of good rains, the Makgadikgadi Pans can fill with a shallow expense of water, attracting thousands upon thousands of salmon-pink flamingos and other birds.
Other daily activities include walking with the Bushmen, going on a safari, and watching the super old Baobab trees. Moreover, the area around Jack’s Camp is one of the best places to view meerkat clans; the cute and fascinating inhabitants of the surrounding Kalahari grasslands. If you are lucky and sit still enough, you will enjoy the privilege of serving as a meerkat lookout post. Do you need some relaxation after all the adventurous activities? No problem! Relax on an antique lounge bed in the pool area and take a dip in Jack’s Camp’s extremely refreshing pool – yes, it’s ice cold. Or return to the comfort of your lavish tent, where you can sip a cup of tea on your terrace and gaze out at the remote Botswana wilderness.
Good to know: keep in mind that the service at Jack’s Camp is good, but not excellent. Same for the food. We expected a little bit more. If you’re a real foodie and sublime food is a must for you, than just stay somewhere else. Jack’s Camp is all about luxury in experience and enjoying nature at its best. And that’s what you’re here for, right? Despite of Jack’s Camp’s service level and food standard, we still think this is such a unique place you really can’t find somewhere else in the world. Without a doubt, Jack’s Camp in Botswana is one of the coolest and most special places we’ve ever stayed!