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Jack Bousfield, a legendary hunter and crocodile catcher, spent many years exploring the remoter parts of Botswana, and set up a camp on the ‘shores’ of the Makgadikgadi Saltpans. Now his son Ralph has created a camp here among the acacias and Mokolwane palms on Hyena Island, on the edge of the ancient super lake and adjacent to the Makgadikgadi National Park – Camp Kalahari.
The style is very much in keeping with the original camp - and more rustic than its sister camps Jacks Camp and San Camp which are a short drive away - with a large thatched library, lounge and dining area. Camp Kalahari consists of 12 Meru tents in total - including one family set-up comprising two twin tents with an inter-connecting bathroom. All tents have en suite outdoor bathrooms, flushing loos and what they proudly claim to be 'the hottest, wettest showers in the Kalahari'. The tent interiors are in classic old safari style with comfy beds, cotton sheets, African blankets and hot water bottles in winter.
There are two distinctly different seasons in the Makgadikgadi, with the dry season lasting from mid-April to the end of October and the wet season, lasting from the November to mid-April. During the dry seasons, guests can whizz about the vast Makgadikgadi Salt Pans on quad bikes, and when the waters come look out for the zebra and elephant migration.
The guides at Camp Kalahari team up with Zu'hoasi Bushmen for a morning walk, with the Bushmen demonstrating their vast and ancient knowledge of plants, animal behaviour and survival skills; and guests can see Chapman's Baobab (the camping site of Livingstone and Selous), go on game drives, and track habituated Meerkats.
Camp Kalahari's chef is renowned for his tasty soups and in particular for his Pilli-Pilli Ho-Ho, a lethal concoction of chillies marinated in sherry and gin. Just the thing to nail a hangover from too many sundowners when dolloped over your breakfast eggs.
Matt, Original Traveller