Jack’s Camp

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.

Makgadikgadi Pans, Makgadikgadi and the Kalahari, Botswana
Jacks Camp
  • The completely renovated Jacks Camp has kept its enchanting 1940 feel, still full of antiques and deep red and green canvas. The tents have now doubled in size and each boast their own private plunge pool looking out over the salt pans.

  • Jacks deserves more than one visit – it is a year round destination but the two seasons could not be more different. Cool and dry in the summer with a myriad of activities compared to hot and wet in the winter with flocks of flamingos and huge herds of zebra.

  • With a family of habituated meerkats near by you can get up close and personal, they might even use you a look out post!

  • Take afternoon tea in their spherical tea tent, adorned with Persian rugs and completely open walls to make the most of awe inspiring views.

     


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.

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Top tip:

Lie on the pans after the sun has gone down and listen to the complete silence!

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Location

Makgadikgadi Pans, Makgadikgadi and the Kalahari, Botswana

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.


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