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Camp Kalahari

When To Visit Makgadikgadi Salt Pans:
When To Visit Makgadikgadi Salt Pans:
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“The friendliest staff in Africa! This laidback and homely camp is so relaxing and a great base from which to explore the amazing salt pans.”


This explorers-style property offers an adventurous and friendly base camp within the magical Makgadikgadi Salt Pans! An exciting variety of activities is available too.

Camp Kalahari is owned and run by Natural Selection. It’s one of the company’s most recent additions to its stunning portfolio of safari camps and lodges featuring Jack’s Camp and San Camp. Camp Kalahari is the sister camp to Jack’s and San camp and offers a much more rustic accommodation. The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, a selection of activities, and a laundry service. The camp is open all year round and operates different activities at different times of the year so make sure you are going at the right time for your activity.


Camp Kalahari is accessed via 15–20 minutes’ road transfer from the nearest airstrip. It’s situated on the edge of the pans, specifically on a shrub-rich outcrop called Hyena Island.


Guest accommodation consists of 12 tents, including two for family use. Each is Meru in style – an exterior layer of canvas extends over the inner tent to create a shady private veranda. The veranda is set with comfy seating and a table, and it’s a great spot for relaxing and enjoying spectacular views over the pans! Entering a standard-size tent, you’ll find a double bed or twin beds, bedside stands for lighting and other useful items, a writing desk and chair, and a few trunks for storage. The traditional safari style of every tent is inspired by the explorers’ era, and it’s easy to feel like one of the great adventurers while you’re staying here! En-suite facilities are positioned at the back of the tent, and they comprise flush toilet, twin washbasins, and walk-in shower. There’s an outdoor shower too. The family tent option has an additional bedroom for children, with a shared bathroom linking the two bedrooms. The camp is happy to accommodate disabled travellers, if possible.

The communal spaces at Camp Kalahari also have that traditional safari style. They’re housed within two conjoined open-sided structures, both made out of timber and thatch. In one structure, there’s the camp’s lounge, featuring well-cushioned wooden benches around a coffee table, amidst some interesting artefacts and antiques. The other structure contains the dining room, where one long table is flanked by classic safari chairs. Everyone eats together here, tucking in to tasty and satisfying meals while sharing stories of their adventures in the pans! The lounge and dining areas are joined by a library, which offers a good range of reading material. Venture outside, and you’ll come by the swimming pool, its adjacent thatched sala full of inviting deckchairs. This too is a pleasant place in which to relax, and it isn’t uncommon for elephants to stop by for a drink during the heat of the day!


Camp Kalahari offers a great range of activities, as follows:

  • Expertly guided game drives 

    – The Makgadikgadi Pans are made up of two salt pans, the remains of a super-lake. Pristine white and frequently described as lunar, the pans are truly magical and well worth exploring on guided game drives. During green season, usually November to mid-April, the area experiences an amazing influx of zebra and wildebeest (see Zebra migration viewing below). Mid-April to October sees less wildlife overall, but safarists can enjoy looking out for brown hyena, red hartebeest, springbok, gemsbok, and charming meerkat too! And the bird count features kori bustard, chestnut-backed sparrow-lark, and ant-eating chat.
  • Night drives 

    – The pans by night are particularly intriguing! Head out after sunset, and you’ll likely spot aardvark, aardwolf, and brown hyena again.
  • Bush walks 

    – Guests are welcome to join the local Zu/’hoasi Bushmen on walks around the pans. This is a wonderful opportunity to find out all about the region, from people who have lived around the pans for thousands of years.
  • Horseback safaris 

    – Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced, you can go on a thrilling horseback safari lasting a couple of hours. Experienced equestrians can opt for a multi-day trip! As most of the pans wildlife is at ease with horses, you can expect close encounters with hartebeest, springbok, and more.
  • Quad biking 

    – This is a dry-season activity. Anyone wishing to cover a lot of ground can set off across the pans on a quad bike – and two-night expeditions from Camp Kalahari to Kubu Island are offered to particularly keen bikers!
  • Stargazing

    Take a little time at the end of your day to settle back and marvel at the night sky. This too is offered during dry season only.
  • Meet the meerkats 

    – The pans are home to a few colonies of habituated meerkats, and guests are invited to pay the furry fellows a visit. You can pop by during early morning or late afternoon to observe the meerkats going about their business. This involves playing, digging, watching for predators, and sometimes even using you as a look-out post! We highly recommend this activity.
  • Zebra migration viewing

    – If you’re here during green season, you can look out for an astounding amount of zebra and wildebeest, as the period from November to mid-April witnesses these herbivores moving into the area to chomp up all the greenery. The last remaining migration in Southern Africa, this is a memorable spectacle – and second only to the Great Migration of the Serengeti and Maasai Mara realms.

*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert when walking around the camp and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.

Makgadikgadi Salt Pans

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