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“Unexpectedly wonderful!”
Review of Camp Kalahari

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Camp Kalahari
Certificate of Excellence
Houston
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Unexpectedly wonderful!”
Reviewed July 25, 2013

At first sight it seems as though there is little to see or do in this scrubby, dry desert. How wrong we were! We were fortunate to have the best guide ever - Bart. Thank you Bart for your expertise and enthusiasm. We learned a lot and were constantly surprised by all that the Makgadikgadi National Park has to offer. The camp itself was fine - not very luxurious - but a good fit for the environment. The camp manager Zach was an excellent host. We enjoyed discovering that game-viewing can be just as rewarding without the "big five". Some once-in-lifetime, mind-blowing experiences and wonderful memories.

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank cleobun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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89 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2013

This is an authentic camp with lovely decor and excellent service. Set in the bush, the wildlife is all around you. The food is delicious, and the staff is very friendly and does everything that they can to make your stay a wonderful experience. The tent is very comfortable, and it's exciting to look at the stars from the bathroom. Bart and Fanuel are excellent and knowledgeable wildlife guides. Zachary, Devon, and Asale are cheerful while managing the camp. Be sure to experience every game drive possible. We saw so many gorgeous animals and plants. Visit the Chapman's Baobab, Meerkat area, and learn from the Bushmen. It's an adventure of a lifetime.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank peg p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lady Lake, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed May 18, 2013

The accomodations are simple here. Really like the idea of adding a fan in the tented camp cabins to help with the heat of the day. Food was spotty. Really good, then the next lunch was 1/4 or 1/2 of a tea sandwich. Need to stock American whiskey or bourbon. Beds seem to be DOUBLE size. Seemed pretty small. Should include this info with brochure.

Game drives were good if you had the right guide. One of them never spoke, while the other two guides in vehicles stopped often to talk to guests. Wonder what they were telling them?

Went in early May, 2013, migrations were completed. Meerkat experience was enjoyed by all who went. Nice that there is a charging station for electronics.

Room Tip: All rooms are the same. Some are much farther away than others.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank kseggert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2012

This lovely rustic tented camp had all the comfort needed. It is small and intimate but you still had privacy in your tent. I came specifically for the meerkats and was delighted to be able to walk with them twice over a 3 nights period. We were also lucky enough to see the elusive brown hyenas and walk with the bushmen, which was very interesting but since the rain had not yet come, there was less animals to see but still beautiful views over the pans. I would not have missed this trip but instead plan to come back.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank BenteM_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pukekohe, New Zealand
Level 5 Contributor
32 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
10 Thank Kiwidee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Asia
Level 2 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 2 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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank TripLovers101
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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