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“Genet in my bathroom”
Review of Camp Kalahari

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Camp Kalahari
Certificate of Excellence
Pukekohe, New Zealand
Level Contributor
31 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Genet in my bathroom”
Reviewed October 4, 2012

First stop on a flying safari tour of Botswana & Zimbabwe could not have been more perfect. The contrast to our homeland was immense, having flown for hours across the Kalahari Desert which enveloped us from all directions, we could not believe the life we found once we touched down. Our fabulous host Jonathan and wonderful guide Topps made our stay memorable with a variety of activities for our two night stay. We arrived just on sunset, which was stunning, where we were met at the airfield and escorted to camp for welcoming drinks around the fire with English guests who thrilled us with tales of their experience with a Black Mamba snake the night before. We were warned to stay in the tent at night and shown the emergency siren in the event of unwelcome visitors. During the first night I woke to sounds in my bathroom just feet from my bed and watched as this tiny faced, striped tailed creature peered back at me. The following day we were delighted with our meerkat (mongoose & squirrel) experience, game animal viewing, the birdlife and ancient Baobab tree, four-wheel drive on the Pans for dinner, and visit with the local bushmen the second morning before our departure. Who would have guessed that such a barren looking place would be so full of life....the sound of nothing on the Pans will sing in my ears as the night sky came alive with stars! Sunrise at dawn was a magnificent sight. Thank you Camp Kalahari

Room Tip: Ask for the Pans night experience when booking.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank Kiwidee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Asia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2012 via mobile

A very warm welcome greeted us at Camp Kalahari. Our experience was mostly good, but with a bit of effort (and for the money we paid) it should be great. While the staff was warm and friendly, the place definitely felt under staffed. Could this be because San Camp had just opened and some staff had been redeployed? Chief complaint was that 10 guests were crowded in one safari truck, including 2 children. Lucky for us, these children were very well behaved. What a nightmare this could have been otherwise. With one couple in the group very serious birders, our lone guide was compelled to stop for each bird sighting and wait for these guest to find the bird in their books. This became insufferable in the Kalahari heat. Frankly, this overcrowding in one truck was ridiculous. We did not experience anything as bad as this at any of the 5 other camps we visited on this trip.

The camp has very limited electricity. The only time this was a problem was the heat of midday. The tents really need fans. Food was very good. While we missed the migration by one week, we had pretty decent game sightings, including brown hyena. The meerkat experience and our morning with the Bushmen we're highlights.

Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
12 Thank CanTrav88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 17, 2012

We loved Camp Kalahari from the moment we arrived, we were so well looked after by all of the staff that we felt like part of the family by the time we had to leave. The tents were very comfortable and close to the main camp. We were big fans of the outdoor showers and enjoyed relaxing on the daybeds by the plunge pool. The food and wine were superb and the activities surpassed all our expectations.

A unique and special place to visit that is well worth the price. Staying at CK's was undoubtedly the highlight of our 4 week trip to Africa.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank TripLovers101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blonay
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2011

The team is warm, kind, interesting and thoughtful.
The food is excellent.
The place is great.
Perfect balance between activities, social and rest.
The only disappointment is that although Jack's camp has a water place where animals go to drink we were not welcome to go although we were the only guests in both camps. Might be worth organizing something as they are part of the same group. It would add go the magic

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank NalBlonay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2011

Camp Kalahari does everything right, beginning with the warmest of welcomes and continuing with unforgettable experiences and the most authentic experience in this area. the other two camps in this concession -- Jack's Camp and San Camp -- owned by the same company that. Runs CK, are both far more luxurious than CK(and far more expensive as well.) But CK feels like a true bush desert camp, with dining under the stars, outdoor showers, all light generated from herosene lanterns, and comfortable tents and common areas. Activities are precisely the same as are available at the other camps and the food and beverages are plentiful and delicious. we highly recommend that anyone going to Botswana make time to visit the Makadikadi and seriously consider staying at CK. and say hello for us to Mercedes and Kotla.

  • Stayed September 2011
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Helpful?
2 Thank stoner50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bewdley, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed October 6, 2011

This is a really unique place - the sister camp to the famous Jack's camp.

Very comfortable tents,with every convenience. Plenty of wonderful activities planned, and some really amazing surprises. Great food and very friendly good service

The camp has no electricity and no cellphone signal - it is a great place to escape the modern world and unwind in some stunning empty scenery.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank John P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marburg, Germany
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2011

it was a wonderful stay here. We enjoyed the great food, our nights in original Hemingway-style-Safaritents and the quiet location

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank allovertheworld33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Camp Kalahari

Property: Camp Kalahari
Address: Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana
Location: Botswana > Central District > Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Makgadikgadi Pans National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Camp Kalahari 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This family-friendly camp accepts children of all ages. It's the best way to experience the Makgadikgadi in a fresh and affordable way, ideal for those wanting fun and adventure as well as comfort and style. You'll find Camp Kalahari's ten tents amongst the acacias and Mokolwane palms of Brown Hyena Island, on the edge of the Makgadikgadi saltpans. It's simple, yet comfortable, with a traditionally built thatch library, living/dining area and swimming pool for those hot Kalahari days. Activities on offer year round: Interact with incredibly friendly habituated meerkats, walking with Bushmen Guides, game drives to experience unique desert wildlife, Chapman's Baobab - of the oldest and biggest trees in Africa, birding & night drives. Dry season activities (16h April - 31st October) Quad bike on the saltpans Wet season activities (1st November - 15th April) The zebra and wildebeest migration ... more   less 
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