San Camp

Scroll Down

San Camp, Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, Botswana

San Camp is situated on the edge of the vast and mysterious Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, the remnant of an extinct super lake that once covered most of Botswana. Turn 360° and nothing crosses the eye but the bowl of the sky. This is God's own minimalism.

Classic white tents stand majestically on the shore of an enormous sparkling salt pan, each sheltered by a cluster of stately desert palms. Pared down safari elegance with minimal ecological impact is combined with spectacular vistas.

San Camp runs almost entirely on solar energy, thus dramatically reducing the use of fossil fuels. Expert guiding, incredibly friendly habituated meerkats, unique desert species, old-world safari styling and superb cuisine all come together to create an experience that is completely different to any other. The perfect place to relax, unwind and retreat.

Facilities include a magnificent mess tent contains a small natural history museum and library, a tea tent spread with cushions provides a sheltering sanctuary and a tented yoga pavilion. San Camp has a reputation for delicious, fresh and original menus. Plated meals are elegantly presented and indulgent, decadent teas are served daily.

Jack's Camp and San Camp are unique in that they are the only permanent camps to offer a chance to explore and understand the Kalahari. Our concession adjoins the Makgadikgadi National Park with its endless vistas of rolling golden grasslands. Desert palms line the horizon… Through the tent flaps, the Makgadikgadi Pans run over the horizon like the mother of all Norfolk beaches.

Venturing far into the centre of the Makgadikgadi, on 4wd quad bikes, we are able to explore remote archaeological sites, periodically discovering never before documented fossil beds of extinct giant zebra and hippo. The fact that you can travel across the pans at great speed and still arrive nowhere only underlines the pans immensity. There is nothing out here. Absolutely nothing.

No outcrops, no features, no grass, no trees, no sound but the crunch of your boots in the crust.

The Kalahari desert is its own universe. It is the only place where guests are virtually guaranteed to see the rare and elusive brown hyaena and be able to walk through the Kalahari with a gang of habituated but, wild meerkats!

The Guides at San and its satellite, Jack's Camp, are an erudite breed.

Often graduate students who combine research with guiding, they team up with a small group of Zu/’hoasi Bushmen to guide our Guests on a morning’s walks and game drives.

Offering a window into the past, the Bushmen teach us how they have survived in this harshest of environments, using ancient knowledge of plants, animal behaviour and survival skills. The cunning tricks and survival struggles of the feisty inhabitants of the Makgadikgadi are not certainly without drama and, here, the emphasis is on

observing the intricacies of a truly unique ecosystem to which Uncharted Africa Safari Co. has added a few stylish adaptations of its own...

The ancient lake has run dry but, the imagination runs wild.

Horse Riding

Meerkat Experience

Quad Biking

Yoga Tent

The footprint of San Camp is absolutely minimal. Natural Selection knows better than anyone just how special this area is, and they’re careful to take good care of it. The camp runs almost entirely on solar power, meaning hardly any fossil fuels were pestered during the making of your safari. All of the activities are run in ways that are totally sensitive to the environment (and often with the help of the local bushmen), and, if they really wanted to, they could pick up the camp and move it in the blink of an eye, leaving not a trace behind.

All of the camps surrounding the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park support the Makgadikgadi-Nxai Pans Conservation Initiative, a project aimed at creating optimal conditions for the mammal migration through the area. What is believed to have been Africa’s greatest large mammal migration used to occur here and, over the last decade, we’ve seen its gradual return. But since the migration last occurred (pre-1960), the landscape has changed considerably. This has led to land use incompatibilities primarily due to livestock and fencing, and the safe passage of the migration is not guaranteed. The Makgadikgadi-Nxai Pans Conservation Initiative therefore aims to address human-wildlife conflict around the park through community-informed land use planning and the introduction of sustainable economic incentives for wildlife-friendly land use practices.

Other Camps in Botswana