San Camp is a well-established, well-known, and very well-run camp. It’s owned by Natural Selection, which operates a number of excellent camps and lodges. Among these, San’s brother camp, Jack’s, might be larger and better known, but San has an arguably superior location – and although its design and facilities are slightly simpler, it has a similar Bedouin style and holds just as much appeal for visitors. The price of your stay includes accommodation, all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, and vehicle and walking safaris. The camp is open during dry season – from 16th April to 15th October every year.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The camp is accessed via approximately 20 minutes’ road transfer from Tsigaro Airstrip. It has a wonderful location on the edge of the Ntwetwe Pan, on the northern side of the Makgadikgadi Pans.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT SAN CAMP:
Guest accommodation consists of seven tents, set up in a half-moon facing the Ntwetwe Pan and spaced well apart for privacy. Each is Meru in style – an exterior layer of canvas extends over the inner tent to create a private veranda. This style isn’t uncommon across Safari Africa, but San’s tents have an unusual pavilion look about them – this, combined with their bright white canvas, really contributes to the camp’s unique desert-Bedouin feel. And the 360-degrees views from the veranda are spectacular! You could spend a lot of time here, relaxing on the comfortable daybed and watching out for local wildlife. Entering a tent, you’ll find a double bed or twin beds, a few storage trunks, a mahogany writing desk cum vanity table and leather chair, and a separate seating area. Overall, the interiors bring to mind the David Livingstone era, with their cream-and-green striped walls, sisal matting floors, paisley soft furnishings, and campaign-style furniture. There are Persian rugs too, lending an adventurous feel. The en-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, copper jug-and-basin, and hot running water shower. And access for disabled travellers is available on request.
The lounging and dining spaces at San Camp are housed in other pavilion-style structures, also with breathtaking views. The sumptuous lounge tent, also known as the tea tent, offers plenty of low seating and plump cushions around occasional tables. The dining area is more formal, featuring a smart table flanked by upright chairs. There’s a library adjacent to this space, and it contains the camp’s bar, essentially a wooden chest from which guests can help themselves. The library has a charging station too, where you can rev up your electrical equipment. There’s even a small museum, boasting a collection of locally found artefacts and historical maps of Africa. The tented yoga pavilion provides a blissfully serene environment in which to perfect your poses, while the campfire is fantastic for social gatherings. Finally, the camp has a refreshing plunge pool! Positioned within its own deck, this adjoins another pavilion, with sunloungers and deckchairs in its white canvas shade.
ACTIVITIES AT SAN CAMP:
San Camp offers a thrilling variety of activities, as follows:
- Expertly guided game drives – The Ntwetwe Pan is one of two salt pans comprising the Makgadikgadi Pans, the remains of an immense super-lake. Pristine white and often described as lunar, the landscape really is spectacular and well worth exploring on vehicle safaris. As San Camp is open during dry season only, overall wildlife numbers are fewer than throughout the rainy months of the year. However, safarists can have a lot of fun spotting the likes of brown hyena, red hartebeest, springbok, gemsbok, and characterful meerkat too! And among the bird species in residence are kori bustard, chestnut-backed sparrow-lark, and ant-eating chat.
- Night drives – Ntwetwe by night is every inch as compelling as it is in daylight hours. You can look out for aardvark, aardwolf, and brown hyena again.
- Walking safaris – Guests are invited to join the local Zu/’hoasi Bushmen on walks around the pans. This is an amazing opportunity to get to know the area really well, in the company of people who have lived here for thousands of years.
- Horseback safaris – All skill levels of riders are accommodated on this activity, which usually lasts for about two hours. From the saddle, you’ll enjoy close encounters with wildlife, as most species are at ease with horses.
- Quad biking – Setting off across the pans on a quad bike is ideal for anyone wishing to cover a lot of ground! A really thrilling experience.
- Meet the meerkats – San is close to four colonies of habituated meerkats, and we reckon no stay at this camp is complete without paying a visit. You can stop by during early morning or late afternoon to watch the meerkats going about their daily lives – playing, digging, keeping alert for predators, and possibly even using you as a look-out point!