Lodges

Jack's Camp

Like no other camp – as unique as it is stylish

Jack's Camp

Jack's Camp is set on a palm-clad island on the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. The pans are one of the largest salt flats in the world, so the camp feels like an oasis of luxury in a truly inhospitable environment. Inside its 10 traditional-style safari tents, the sumptuous furnishings and attention to detail transport you back to the early days of European travel in East Africa. Guests can explore the vast salt pans by quad bike, on foot or in a vehicle and the seasons play an important part as to the diversity of game that can be seen.

At the lodge

The hotel

The main area is adorned with antiques and mementos from the past, with cabinets displaying stone tools and fossils found in the salt pans. Sepia photos of Bushmen give a feeling for the adventurous spirit that led legendary crocodile hunter and safari leader Jack Bousfield to create this camp. Guests have the luxury of a swimming pool to cool off during the intense heat of the day and there is also a well-stocked library of fascinating books.

The rooms

Jack's Camp consists of 10 very spacious canvas tents with Persian rugs on the floors and crisp cotton sheets on the beds. Each tent has been individually furnished so has its own character, with an enchanting en-suite bathroom giving you the option to take a shower outside.

On safari

Experiences

Exploring the raw expanse of the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans can be enjoyed by vehicle, on foot or by self-driven quad-bike, All trips are expertly guided by a mixture of local bush-men with all their local historical knowledge and graduate students who combine research with guiding. Depending on the seasons large concentrations of plains game can be found which inevitably brings in the predators. Camping out under the stars is another exhilarating experience not to be missed.

When to go

Makgadikgadi by month

January

Season: Wet
  • The Pan's are waterlogged during this time of year making certain activities like quad biking impossible.
  • Temperatures are high and relatively humid, with rainfall at its peak for this desert environment.
  • There is plenty of water and lush green grass attracting wildlife and their predators from far and wide.
  • Second largest migration in Africa, with zebra and wildebeest moving into the region.
  • The treetops are alive with the sounds of migratory birds in breeding plumage.
  • Witness a sea of pink on Sowa Pan, home to tens of thousands of Greater flamingo during this time of the year.

February

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are hot with relatively high humidity, rainfall is at its peak for this desert environment.
  • Wildlife viewing is at its best with lush green vegetation, plenty of water and predators and prey in close proximity.
  • Experience the spectacle of Africa's second largest migration of zebra and wildebeest.
  • An ideal time for birders with migratory species present and in their breeding plumage.
  • The Pan's become waterlogged over this period, making quad biking and overnight fly camping impossible.

March

Season: Wet
  • There is low humidity with high temperatures, less rainfall is experienced usually in the form of sporadic showers.
  • Animal densities are at an all-time high with predators and prey enjoying a time of plenty with lush green grass and waterholes full.
  • Zebra and wildebeest have gathered in the region, following the second largest migration in Africa.
  • Bonding with the habituated meerkats of Jack's Camp is a real highlight of any trip into the area.
  • The Pan's are not accessible during this time of year making certain activities like quad biking and fly camping impossible.

April

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are still high in April, with rain taking the form of irregular afternoon showers.
  • Over the course of this month animals begin to migrate out of the area as water starts to dry up and the lush grasses die back.
  • Walks led by local bushman provide an incredible insight into survival in this harsh environment.
  • A great time of year to visit the ancient chapman's Baobab, an incredible tree steeped in history.
  • In this month the Pan's may still be too wet for quad biking and fly camping activities.

May

Season: Dry
  • May is a transition month, temperatures begin to drop from the extremes and rain is almost nonexistent.
  • By the end of the month, water's have dried up leading to a mass exodus of wildlife, only the most hardy species remain.
  • Enjoy an incredible landscape of extreme beauty and extreme hardship in this month.
  • There is no better way to meet this region than on a bushman guided walk, offering insight into their ancient culture and survival in this environment.
  • Quad biking and fly camping are just a couple of the must do activities at this time of year.
  • Clear winter skies make for picture perfect sunrises and sunsets.

June

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures are comfortable but have dropped considerably at night, with morning frost on occasion, rainfall dry's up.
  • Wildlife has now spread out over a large area with only the unique species of the desert remaining.
  • A breathtaking landscape awaits over this period, showcasing the contrasts of extreme beauty and hardship.
  • Bushman guided walks provide a special look at survival in this harsh environment.
  • Take advantage of ideal quad biking and fly camping conditions in this month.
  • Enjoy the romance of desert sunsets and sunrises during this time of year.

July

Season: Dry
  • Nights are cold with occasional frost, day temperatures are comfortable and rainfall is nonexistent.
  • Big game has migrated out of the region, allowing the unique desert species to take centre stage, such as brown hyena, aardvark and the very habituated meerkats of Jack's Camp.
  • Incredible harsh landscapes provide interesting photographic composition at this time of the year.
  • Meet the habituated meerkats of Jack's Camp, an unmissable experience in this region.
  • Explore the incredible archeological sites present in the region with ancient stone tools and other remnants of our history.
  • The night sky is at its most impressive, with shooting stars and the Milky Way taking centre stage.

August

Season: Dry
  • The coldest night temperatures have passed, with the daylight hours warming considerably, rain is still very unlikely.
  • Africa's larger species have migrated out of the region, leaving the unique desert species as the wildlife highlight in this month.
  • Quad biking and fly camping are just a couple of the must do activities at this time of year.
  • Bushman led walks offer insights into this ancient culture and survival in this desert environment.
  • Relax with an ice cold beverage, as the sunsets on this magical place.
  • The night sky is at its most impressive, with shooting stars and the Milky Way taking centre stage.

September

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures start to climb, with rain being unlikely in this month.
  • During this month the unique desert species like brown hyena, aardvark and the habituated meerkat of Jack's Camp, provide interesting wildlife viewing.
  • Fly camping in the desolate salt pans looking up at a blanket of twinkling stars is a not to be missed experience.
  • Visit the ancient Chapman's Baobab, an immense tree thought to be thousands of years old.
  • Enjoy the romance of a picture perfect sunrise or sunset at this time of year.

October

Season: Dry
  • Temperatures reach their peak with humidity starting to climb toward the end of the month, it is unlikely that the rains will fall in October over the Makgadikgadi region.
  • Wildlife is experiencing its most dire month with the unique desert species the only wildlife present until the rains break.
  • Photography is particularly good in this month, with clear blue skies and an extreme landscape.
  • An early morning bushman walk, provides insight into an ancient way of life and surviving in this harsh environment.
  • The habituated meerkats of Jack's Camp, are a highlight of any trip into this region.
  • Explore the incredible archeological sites present in the region with ancient stone tools and other remnants of our history.

November

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are hot and relatively humid with the first rains of the year falling in the form of late afternoon showers.
  • This can be difficult to predict as weather can come early or late depending on the year.
  • Large mammals slowly start to make their way back into the area, bringing a host of predators with them.
  • Visit the ancient Chapman's Baobab, an immense tree thought to be thousands of years old.
  • Known for interesting cloud formations and spectacular electrical storms, illuminate the evening sky.

December

Season: Wet
  • Temperatures are hot and relatively humid with rain falling in the form of late afternoon showers.
  • There is plenty of water and lush green grass attracting herbivores and their predators from far and wide.
  • Migratory birds have returned in breeding plumage, displays for mates are frequent and flamboyant.
  • The smaller insectivores of the region are particularly active during this period with the habituated meerkats of Jack's Camp always a highlight of any stay.
  • Known for interesting cloud formations and spectacular electrical storms, illuminate the evening sky.

Wildlife


This harsh desert environment is transformed during the wet season, attracting wildlife from far and wide. Africa's second largest migration of wildebeest and zebra can be seen here, followed by the infamous Kalahari Black-maned lions and stalking cheetah. An added bonus is the impressive list of unique birds, and a sea of pink flamingos, feeding on the algae-rich waters of the pan.

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