Makgadikgadi Pans, Makgadikgadi and the Kalahari, Botswana
At a Glance
Explore the lunar landscape of the breathtaking Makgadikgadi Pans
The camp accepts children of all ages and is a perfect spot for families
Excellent cuisine - make sure you try the Pilli Pilli Ho Ho - a concoction of chillies in sherry and gin!
Come at the beginning of the wet season in November to see the landscape transform
Come in the dry season for some adrenaline-inducing quadbiking across the Pans
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Botswana’s winter is May to October when the weather is hot during the day (not stiflingly hot) and cold at night. Botswana's summer months (November to April) can be hot and humid and there is a chance of rain. Botswana has one rainy season which runs between mid-December and runs through to mid-March.
To start planning your holiday to Camp Kalahari
Run by Uncharted Africa Safaris, the simple and rustic little Camp Kalahari is found in the incredible Makgadikgadi Pans, and offers guests the chance to explore the vast and ever-changing moonscape of the pans by vehicle, on horseback or on foot.
With 12 well-spaced and en-suite meru tents, Camp Kalahari is an intimate camp, and part of the Uncharted Africa family which includes Jack's Camp and San Camp, both also in the Makgadkgadi Pans.
Camp Kalahari is Jack's and San's little brother; simple and authentic, with a traditional thatched lounge, a library and a dining area where guests meet in the evening for delicious hearty meals, prepared by the camps chefs. The tents are simple, dotted fairly far apart and each feature an en-suite, which opens to the stars. Camp Kalahari also offers the benefit of two family tents, comprising two merus with a shared en suite bathroom. As at Jack's and San, the camp prides itself on no electricity, instead being lit by spirit lamps at night, giving a wonderful and atmospheric feel! A recent addition is the plunge pool with its raised deck and thatched pavilion, a great place to base yourself during a hot Kalahari afternoon.
The main attraction here is the myriad of activities the camp offers both in the dry and wet seasons. Day and night game drives are on offer all year round. Highlights of the wet season include 4X4 safaris seeking Southern Africa's largest land migration of wildebeest and zebra, both within the concession and further into the Makgadikgadi National Park. In the dry season the vast Ntwetwe Pan becomes accessible and is best explored, true explorer style, by quad bike. The quads are light on the salt-crust of these fragile pans, and the views to the horizon are nothing short of breathtaking!
Throughout the year you can choose to visit a family of meerkats near the camp - spending a morning with them. This is a wonderful experience - through extended research the meerkats have been habituated to human presence and will, if you sit down long enough, scramble up you and perch on your head - all the better to see further! You can spend the entire morning with them, watching them as they forage for grubs and scorpions - their favourite food!
Nearby there is also the famous Chapman's Baobab - this is an incredible, historic sight - the baobab is estimated to be over 4,500 years old and can be seen for many miles around.
Camp Kalahari is used as the base for the Makgadikgadi section of our Saddle and Paddle trip - ask us for more details.
Camp Kalahari has 12 Meru tents. There is a choice of six twin tents, four double tents and two family units which comprise of two twin connecting tents. All the tents have en-suite outdoor bathrooms which feature flushing lavatories and hot showers. The interior of the tents are very classic in appearance with comfy beds, crisp sheets and stripy African blankets. During the colder months, hot water bottles are provided.
Children of all ages are welcomed at the camp. The family tent is a good choice of accommodation with its interconnecting rooms, sleeping up to 5, and inter-leading bathroom. Alternatively, for children below the age of 12 years, a rollaway bed can be put in their parents bedroom as it is not recommended that they stay alone.
Rose Gemmell (Staff)
This is the more affordable Unchartered Africa option in the Makgadikgadi
but it was my favourite. The main area has a wonderful, friendly atmosphere and the tented rooms are absolutely beautiful with big four poster beds and an outdoor bathroom covered with a canopy. This camp is set within the bush slightly so there is plenty of shade provided by the bigger trees and there is also a small plunge pool and thatched pool house where you can enjoy a siesta before the afternoons activities.
Horse riding safari from Jack's Camp, Makgadikgadi Pans
Horse riding in the Makgadikgadi Pans with Ride Botswana is an incredible way to explore this unique landscape, cantering across the chalky white pans. Staying at Jack's Camp each night ensures a good dose of comfort after a day in the saddle, too.
Meerkats on the Makgadikgadi
Down in the Makgadikgadi Pans, and accessible from both Jack's and San Camp, is a very special, habituated clan of meerkats, which have been studied by scientists for years. Guests to Jack's and San are able to visit and observe quietly.
Quad biking on the Makgadikgadi Pans
Staying in the Makgadikgadi during the dry season from May to November gives guests the opportunity to explore Botswana's salt pan by quad bike, a unique and fun adventure for the family.
Walking Safaris and Nature Walks
Walking in the African bush with a professional safari guide is a fantastic experience. Enjoy a completely different perspective on foot than from a vehicle.
Walking with the Kalahari Bushmen
The San interpret the signs of the bush like no one else, all senses build a picture of their world. Beyond this, on the hunt, San tap into the spirit world, entering the minds of their quarry. This natural understanding has to be seen to be believed.
Family Fun in Botswana
Makgadikgadi Pans, Linyanti & Victoria Falls
from £8500 pp inc flights & transfers for 9 nights
- Active teenagers will love the chance to do a canoeing safari along the Selinda spillway, and horse ride in the Makgadikgadi
- Explore the untamed wilderness of the Selinda Concession and the Makgadikgadi Pans to see how vastly different they are
- Head across the Makgadikgadi Pans on a quad bike or by horseback to see what this moonscape landscape is really like
Location & directions
Makgadikgadi Pans, Makgadikgadi and the Kalahari, Botswana
Camp Kalahari is situated in a remote part of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR) and offers some of the best summer wildlife viewing opportunities in Africa. Located in the Kalahari Desert biome in the central part of Botswana, this reserve is the largest conservation area in this country and at 5 million hectares (12 million acres), one of the largest in the world.
How to get there
The nearest international airport is Maun, which is a 2-hour international flight from Johannesburg. From there you will need a short flight (30-minutes) in light aircraft to Jack's Camp Airstrip, here you will be met and transferred by game vehicle to the camp.
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