We had booked to stay at Camp Kalahari but shortly before departure were upgraded to Jacks which is under same management, as Camp Kalahari was closed for renovation. We arrived late afternoon because of flight delays and after the briefing were taken on a very long walk to our tent. They are all lined with fancy material and furnished with old furniture and lots of knick knacks so not much room for you own stuff. The beds are so high they provide steps to get up there, what we had not been told was that there is no electric light, only paraffin lamps. Unpacking by the light of these is no joke! Luckily we had a torch to light our way to the bathroom in the night but having these lamps lit for several hours made the tent even hotter. We appreciate the desire to create a historic ambiance but maybe a few battery powered lanterns could be provided. Next day we were transferred to a tent nearer the mess tent as the distance to walk was going to make us late for the activities.
We really enjoyed the trips into the pans where areas were quite green after the rains and there were herds of zebra arriving. On the last day we even saw two large Kalahari lions, the first time they'd been seen for three months. We learnt so much about this harsh environment from our guide Brian and the owner Rolf who runs a guide training school and is heavily involved in helping the bushmen to preserve their way of life. Our walk with them did not seem at all staged. On the contrary they seemed genuinely pleased to show us how they could survive by hunting and using plants etc. That evening we were privileged to attend a so called trance dance where the shaman gets in touch with the ancestors and lays healing hands on those seated in the circle. Rolf explained all of this to us beforehand.
The pool under an awning was a great place to spend hot afternoons and the food and service was good.. Just be aware that this is a camp like no other and make sure it's what you want before signing up for it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Jack's Camp is an oasis of style and comfort in the middle of Botswana's Kalahari Desert. An authentic, 1940's style tented safari camp, which houses a private museum, shop, drinks tent and pool pavilion. Spectacular vistas, creative surprises, expert guiding, old-world safari styling and superb cuisine all come together to create an experience that is completely different to any other. Activities vary, combining wildlife with culture, history, archaeology and geology. Activities on offer all year round include: interacting with incredibly friendly habituated meerkats, walking with Bushmen Guides, game drives to experience unique desert wildlife, Chapman's Baobab - one of the oldest and biggest trees in Africa, birding and night drives. Dry season activities: 16h April - 31st October Quad bike across the saltpans Wet season activities: 1st November - 15th April Zebra and wildebeest migration ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Jack`s Camp Hotel Makgadikgadi Pans National Park