Stay at Jack’s Camp
Silence. Nothing stirs. The sun beats down. Salt pans stretch on and on. This is a barren place, not a place of wildlife abundance. But wait. A meerkat pokes up its head. There’s an elephant on the horizon. Maybe lions resting beneath lone baobab trees. And here on the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans you’ll find one of the greatest safari camps of them all. Jack’s Camp is an expedition-style camp from the 1940s, the only structure for hundreds of miles around. It’s a camp with a different vibe from the rest in Africa.
The Makgadikgadi are the world’s largest salt pans. Located in the Kalahari Desert, they're bigger than Switzerland and completely dry for eight months of the year. They’re far away from everything so a fly-in safari is the only realistic option. From December to April (ish) they transform into a haven for migratory zebra and wildebeest herds. Waterholes sustain desert-adapted wildlife for the rest of the year - meerkats, brown hyena, bat-eared foxes and porcupines.
Everything emanates the air of an expedition from day gone by. Like Bedouin touches, Persian rugs, Ethiopian artefacts. A library registered as a national museum. It’s all extremely romantic and old world, as if you’re a wealthy explorer from the 19th century. This small camp is both immensely comfortable and absolutely wild.
Who is it for
We don’t recommend Jack’s Camp if you only have a week in Botswana. The wildlife experience is better elsewhere. However, Makgadikgadi and Jack’s Camp are different to everywhere else in Africa, so it’s an amazing contrast when you have a three- or four-camp safari. Children love it, especially the habituated meerkats. Couples love the privacy and style.
Facilities & activities
Most wildlife is nocturnal here so game drives are best at night. Walking safaris are great as well. You can quad bike across the salt pans, a real adventure that’s nothing like a safari in Okavango or Chobe. Mostly, you stay here to relax.