Jack's Camp was set up by the legendary African character Jack Bousfield, who was one of the great explorers and adventurers of the continent. There are just ten tents and this intimate camp is one of only two permanent camps in the Makgadikgadi.
At a Glance
Learn about how the San bushmen live in this harsh environment
Spend a morning hanging out with the family of habituated meerkats close to camp
Relax by the tented swimming pool with its amazing views
Explore the fascinating artifacts in Jack's very own camp museum
Quad-bike right into the center of the Pans; where the horizon merges into the sky
Lie on the pans after the sun has gone down and listen to the complete silence!Louisa Ross-Taylor
Experience the largest land migration in Southern Africa as the Wildebeest and Zebra arrive with the years first rains.Scott Dunn team
Meet our specialists
Call us on (858) 523-9000 to start planning your vacation to Jack’s Camp or take a look at our itineraries to Makgadikgadi and the Kalahari
While on a trapping expedition in the Makgadikgadi Pans during the 1960s, Jack Bousfield stumbled upon a site that so captured his imagination, he set up camp under an acacia with the unshakeable expectation that others would feel the same. A relic of one of the world’s largest super-lakes, the Makgadikgadi dried up thousands of years ago as a result of the continued shifting of the earth’s crust.
At Jack’s Camp, the sand-scape is stark but awe-inspiring in its apparent emptiness. The camp is set on a small rise with endless views of rolling grassland on one side and saltpans on the other. A stylish pool tent is a great place to enjoy the views over the area and keep an eye on the small waterhole in front of camp. The water hole is regularly visited by all animals and birds in this often water scarce area.
Jack's is furnished in traditional East African 1940s safari style. The tents are positioned for maximum privacy and perfect views through the palms and acacias, although a number are located closer together, ideally suited for families. The tents are kitted out with four poster beds, campaign furniture and items from Jack's own collection. The en-suite bathrooms are bedecked in dark wood and brass, with both indoor and outdoor showers and piping hot water.
Meals are served in the central Mess Tent, a registered museum, where the chefs work wonders to prepare delicious breakfasts, light lunches and three course dinners. Jack's is also enjoying a recently revamped wine list, showcasing a selection of delicious South African wines.
This is one of the most original and exciting camps in Africa, set in a truly fascinating area. The camp is well run and the activities are endless, although it should be noted that other than during the migration, this is not a typical ‘big game’ destination.
Game walks and drives take place every day with experienced local guides and qualified overseas zoologists and biologists to show you the unique desert flora and fauna. In the dry season, around May to September, guests explore the inner pans on quad bikes and learn about their ancient history, both geological and human.
Guests also have the opportunity to spend time with the Ju'Wasi Bushmen, who first accompanied Jack to the area. Walking with the Bushmen is an unforgettable experience and a great way to learn about their fascinating way of life at first hand.
The classic tented accommodation is in ten roomy and stylish canvas tents, with en-suite bathrooms and indoor and outdoor showers (for those who want to feel the Kalahari breeze on their skin) and are set into a palm grove. Persian rugs underfoot and cool cotton sheets form a striking contrast with the rugged wilderness viewed from the comfort of the verandah.
Children of all ages are welcome at Jack's camp however, if guests are traveling with children under the age of eight years, a Private Guide & Vehicle is required. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to have their own tent and would need to share with a parent.
Creative menus emphasising fresh tastes and original cuisine; home to a unique national museum, library, pool pavilion and plunge pool.
The activities all revolve around game viewing and the guides at Jack's Camp are often graduate students who combine research with guiding, they team up with a small group of Zu/’hoasi Bushmen to guide guests on morning walks and game drives. Venturing far into the center of the Makgadikgadi, on 4 wheel drive quad bikes, guests are able to explore remote archaeological sites, periodically discovering never before documented fossil beds of extinct giant zebra and hippo. Horse-riding (experienced riders only) can also be arranged at certain times of year, for a surcharge - this must be prebooked before you travel, so please speak to your Travel Consultant to find out more.
Location & Directions
Situated in the Makgadikgadi Pans, which was once the largest inland sea in Africa, Jack's Camp is quite literally in the middle of nowhere.
When to go
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.