Jack's Camp is designed in a classic safari style, with a number of little tweaks that make this camp so unique. Jack’s is a chic, fashionable feast – the rooms and decorations here would not be amiss in a film about colonial Africa! Certainly, it’s one of the most beautiful and sophisticated safari camps we know.
But know that Jack’s is not cheap, and when you take on board the fact that it’s not a big-game safari camp, it’s easy to question why to stay here. We don’t advise swapping one of the safari camps for time at Jack’s. We do recommend adding it to an itinerary – however, this increases both the cost and the time needed to explore the country! We’d love to send more travellers to this unique safari camp, but we tend to find that Jack’s sits a little awkwardly in most people’s itinerary. That aside, if you’re keen to experience something different, Jack’s is one of Africa’s best surprises.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Located in the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans in central Botswana, Jack's has an excellent reputation for guiding, walking and tracking. Overall, this is a superb safari camp that offers a refreshing contrast to the wet big-game viewing areas of the Okavango, Moremi and Chobe.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Jack's Camp is modelled on the style of the early colonial explorers – inside it is all dark wood, antique furniture, polished brass, raised four-poster beds, leather recliners and natural artefacts, such as bones and animal skulls found on the pans. The bathrooms literally contain ‘thrones’, complete with leather-seated covers and arms, and there are indoor and intimate outdoor showers.
The main area reflects the same theme and has swinging day beds, a museum of cabinets displaying natural curios collected locally, and family photographs documenting the adventurous childhood of the camp’s founder and co-owner, the famous guide and personality, Ralph Bousfield, and his late father, after whom the camp is named. In the centre is a huge dining table around which guests dine communally. There is also a large covered swimming pool and the ‘tea tent’, which follow the same style.
Well known for extremely high levels of guiding, Jack’s Camp is not your average safari camp. Big game is not the focus here – it’s the setting as well as the appreciation of wilderness and the open air that this camp is all about. That being said, there are unique species to be seen and you can drive into the neighbouring national park, which has impressive and unusual congregations of game, particularly in the wet season, when the thousands-strong zebra migration is also in the area. Visiting a habituated group of meerkats, walking with the San Kalahari bushmen, quad biking on the vast flat expanse of the pans themselves (dry season only) and searching for rare brown hyenas is what you do here.
Jack’s is about appreciating the finer things – how about enjoying a leisurely cooked breakfast at the lodge before setting out for the morning activity, or a picnic breakfast – savoury muffins and hard-boiled eggs packed in a heavy wooden hamper and stainless steel tiffin tins – in the company of warming-up meerkats or thousands of inquisitive zebra.