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Game viewing in the Kalahari Jacks Camp INTO BOTSWANA.COM - LUXURY SAFARI OPERATOR

Jack's Camp

Jack's Camp is located deep in the Kalahari Desert, on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans - the largest saltpans on earth. Jack's Camp is a classic desert safari camp accommodating just twenty guests in ten large walk-in luxury tents, each with en suite bath facilities. Accommodation is comfortable and elegant, in keeping with the character of the Makgadikgadi. Facilities include a mess tent for dining and a tea tent with Persian carpet cushions for socializing. After the rains (December to April), there can be enormous herds of Wildebeest, Zebra and Springbok - with the accompanying predators - on the open grasslands. The summer rains also leave a warm shallow layer of water that entices Waterfowl and Pink Flamingo. Activities are conducted in open 4x4 vehicles custom designed for this terrain and accompanied by knowledgeable guides. In the dry winter season, all-purpose ATV vehicles (a four wheeler motorcycle/Quad bike) are available, allowing guests to explore the saltpans.

Walks with a Bushman tracker and a visit to Chapman's Baobab - the historical baobab tree used by Livingstone, Selous and other early explorers - are also on offer.

Jack's Camp Wildlife:
Dry season game viewing: Meerkats, Yellow Mongoose, Ground Squirrel, Brown Hyaena, Aardwolf, African Wildcat, Caracal, Spring Hare, Porcupine, Steenbok, Kudu, Jackal, Honey Badger, Genet, very occasionally Kalahari Lion.

Ralph Bousfield, owner of Jack's Camp, is a pioneer of cultural and Bushmen safaris in Botswana. He was also the presenter of a 13 part series on DISCOVERY CHANNEL entitled Uncharted Africa, a workshop that designed all the furnishings and linen at Jack's, with the designing help of Ralph's wife, Catherine - who worked as a former stylist in Australia and New York.

Suite at Jacks Camp
Your suite at Jacks camp

Jack's Camp - Makgadikgadi Pans / Kalahari:

Makgadikgadi Pans
The Makgadikgadi pans consist of two major basins that are relics of a massive super lake and swampland that existed over much of northern Botswana over two million years ago. On the edge of the western basin, also known as the Ntetwe Pan is Jack's Camp, situated on an isolated island filled with tall fan palms and commiphora trees. Named for the legendary Jack Bousefield, a pioneer of these remote areas. Jack's Camp remains one of the most intriguing and mysterious places in the Kalahari, now owned and designed by Jack's son, Ralph Bousefield and his wife Catherine Raphaely. Jack's and nearby San Camp offer guests access to a completely unique area.

During summer (November to April) the focus is on the thousands of zebra which have migrated from the Boteti River and Makgadikgadi Pans National Park immediately to the west. During summer, the pans fill with water and attract numerous species of birds from flamingos to wattled cranes and pelicans. During dry winter months, the migration moves westwards to the water available in the Boteti River but many desert-adapted creatures remain resident.

This is also the domain of the brown hyena, a shy and elusive creature - as well as suricates, aardvarks and small bustard species. Ralph Bousefield and his guides have made many important finds in the field of palaeontology, with stone implements and other evidence of Stone Age dwellers. This is a very fragile environment filled with fascination and interest. The management and guides have an approach of maximum care for the environment and this is a destination for the true lover of remote experiences.

Notes from the Ranger's diary (2005):
"May is always an exciting month at Jack’s as the traditional “season” begins. The hornbill chicks have now learnt to fend for themselves and as often with juveniles, are obligingly habituated and provide staff and guests alike with endless amusement. The cold, dry months are now setting in with determination, treating all to awe-inspiring night skies and morning drives where ponchos and gloves are welcome. Evening quad biking on these clear nights never fails to amaze guests, setting off after tea the light is still so sharp and the reminder to bring fleeces and jumpers seems almost excessive – yet come sunset the chill factor sets in and woollies are very welcome. Guests are always amazed by the night sky while on the pans – most have never even imagined the textures possible in a night sky which is un-illuminated. Morning quadbiking is the opposite – layers are peeled off as it warms up, and the hallucinatory mirages which dance on the pans appear as if by magic.

Cobra, a Sowaquai, one of the original Bushmen from Jack’s days in the pans, joined us once more in May. Certainly one of the most photographed faces around – and with good reason! He has been accompanied by four younger Ju/’hoansi Bushmen, recently arrived from Xai Xai. Xooshe, Xaashe, Xoma and another Cobra have, as always, added a whole new dimension to the Jack’s experience, and our guides are still enjoying the walks as much as guests do. The bushmen often say how they are amazed at how interesting guests find what they perceive to be ordinary skills.

We have continued to welcome guests directly off the now-not-so-new Cape Town flight, and it is always a source of amusement to see their incredulous faces as they take in the contrast!"

Jacks camp lounge
Kalahari walking safari