On the edge of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, beneath the rattling palms on Hyena Island, lies Camp Kalahari. This is a simple and relaxed camp with buckets of charm and an ideal base for guests exploring the Kalahari salt pans. The desert safari experience here is excellent, with a captivating list of activities including game drives, San bushman walks, quad biking and meerkat visits. Popular with all looking for something different, especially families.
Camp Kalahari is the part of the Natural Selection collection of camps in the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans area, all offering a fantastic desert safari experience with varying degrees of luxury accommodation. Camp Kalahari is the more affordable option, for those who find Jack’s and San Camp beyond their budget or too opulent in style. This is one of the finest areas for an authentic San Bushman experience as well as viewing the extraordinary desert wildlife, including the ever popular meerkats. Makgadikgadi Salt Pans offers greatly different but equally fascinating experiences throughout the year.
Camp Kalahari is simply but comfortably styled, with splashes of colour from Moroccan rugs and brass pots and romantic lanterns. Furniture styled from the era of the original 1950s safari adds a sense of adventure to the camp. Camp Kalahari is suitable for all travellers, from couples to families and small groups with twelve Meru-style tents and include ensuite bathroom facilities which are interconnected in the family rooms. Electricity is limited to the bedrooms and is replaced by lit paraffin lanterns as evening closes in. Camera batteries and other necessary items can be charged in the safari vehicles when required.
Pathways from the tents lead to a small library, living area and dining area – this space constituting the main camp area and decorated with a mixture of local African furniture and colonial antiques. The cuisine is tasty and simple and is served at a long table positioned to encourage sociable mealtimes.
A thatched swimming pool offers welcome respite from the heat of the day.
A varied menu of activities is bound to keep you busy as throughout the year guests are invited to get acquainted with the semi- habituated meerkats that Kalahari is famous for. Game drives are offered in the morning and afternoon, as well as night drives where the lesser known nocturnal animals such as the brown hyena, aardwolf and bat-eared foxes steal the show. Informative walks through the desert are offered throughout the year as well.
From Camp Kalahari guests can experience first- hand the culture of the Zu’/Hoasi Bushmen who call this arid landscape home. The experience here is sensitively done and not contrived, it is one of the best such experiences in Botswana. Join the Bushmen on a walk as they share wisdom and knowledge from their own descendants - much of which enables them to adapt and survive in this challenging environment.
Exciting two-hour horseback safari adventures can be enjoyed at an additional cost by all levels of riders. Popular too, during high season, are the quad bike excursions across the salt-crusted pans to Kubu Island for 2 nights (kindly enquire regarding cost).
During the period between November and April, Camp Kalahari is an ideal base from which to witness the incredible zebra/wildebeest migration -the longest land mammal migration known to us.
The desert adapted species found here offer a complete contrast to the game viewing in the Okavango and make an interesting contrast to the Okavango, combining both areas is highly recommended to appreciate the incredible environmental diversity in northern Botswana. The famous black maned Kalahari lion is a highlight for many, as well as the cheetah, brown hyena, oryx, springbok, bat eared foxes, ostrich, as well as many of the more familiar species from the delta. The birding is varied and excellent, especially in the green season.
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Mapula has one of the most beautiful Okavango settings, overlooking a glistening and lively lagoon. A quirky and characterful camp, full of colourful kilims, tassled elephant lamps and velvet sofas, all under traditional thatch. Mapula is a camp of the legendary Bousfield family and has been spruced up since coming under the Natural Selection umbrella. The game viewing, like the landscape, is varied and interesting. A good value option in a game rich area.
Sable Alley overlooks a pretty lagoon on the game lively Khwai Private Reserve, in the east of the Okavango. This is a smart and sophisticated tented camp, stylish yet always with a lovely sense of place. Thoughtful service, great food and top guiding combined with good and varied concentrations of wildlife deliver a fantastic all round safari experience. The private reserve ensures this is an exclusive and flexibility safari experience.
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