Kalahari Escape

4 Days from US$2,950 per person

Overview

Escape to the vast Makgadikgadi pans in the Northern Kalahari Desert, where you will spend 3 nights at the famous jack’s camp or the classic “Camp Kalahari,” all of which offer serene sanctuaries at the edge of the world, where you can see the curvature of the earth. A complete desert experience awaits you, including time with habituated meerkats, quad biking across the pans, and san bushmen led walks.

Talk to a Safaris Specialist today.

What's Included

Airport transfers
Scheduled Light Aircraft Flights:
Maun to Tsigaro airstrip, round trip
Three nights accommodation at Jack’s Camp or Camp Kalahari
All drinks, including alcoholic beverages, excluding premium wines, champagnes and premium spirits
Twice daily shared wildlife activities in Botswana and Zambia with professional resident camp guides
All National Park and Wildlife Reserve Fees
Emergency Medical Evacuation Insurance
Laundry services

Highlights

Makgadikgadi National Park  |  Meerkats |  Quad Biking |  Bushmen Guiding |  Flamingos |  Brown Hyena

Makgadikgadi National Park

Rising up from the heart of the Kenyan landscape, the snow-capped Mount Kenya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is Africa’s second highest mountain reaching an impressive 5199 metres in height, which is an awe-inspiring sight. Visitors can explore its surrounding forests, trout-filled streams and game reserve; or for the more adventurous, summit the peak. While Mount Kilimanjaro is an easier climb, Mount Kenya is more of a challenge as it has a higher technical difficulty, however, Point Lenana can be easily reached by a fit hiker. Visitors can look forward to a variety of wonderful activities such as: cave exploration, mountain climbing, camping, and game viewing. Commonly spotted wildlife include: elephant, mongoose, duiker, bushbuck, eland and over 130 bird species.

Meerkats

Located in the Great Rift Valley surrounded by yellow acacia woodlands and bushy shrublands, the Lake Nakuru National Park was created to protect the Lake and its large flocks of Lesser Flamingo, which are drawn to the algae that flourish in the saline waters of this soda lake. The national park is inhabited by over 50 mammal species including hippo, black and white rhino, Rothschild giraffe, buffalo and eland. Known as a bird watcher’s paradise, the park is home to over 450 bird species. Visitors can look forward to hiking through the scenic landscape, picnicking next to this magnificent lake, and spotting an array of wildlife on a game drive. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the beautiful Makalia Waterfall.

Quad Biking

The Masai Mara together with Tanzania’s Serengeti form Africa’s most famous wildlife park, the Masai Mara National Reserve. The image of acacia trees dotting endless grass plains epitomises Africa for many, then add a Maasai warrior and some cattle to the picture and the conversation need go no further. The undeniable highlight of the Masai Mara National Reserve is undoubtedly the annual wildebeest migration traversing the vast plains of the Serengeti and the Masai Mara. It is known as the largest mass movement of land mammals on the planet – with more than a million animals following the rains. Large prides of lions, elephants, giraffes, gazelles and eland can also be spotted in the reserve. Aside from horse riding safaris and traditional vehicle safaris, hot-air ballooning over the Mara plains has become almost essential.

Bushmen Guiding

Located just a few hours drive from the town of Arusha, Tarangire is a popular stop for safaris travelling through the northern circuit on their way to Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. The park extends into two game controlled areas and the wildlife are allowed to move freely throughout. After the Serengeti, Tarangire has the greatest concentration of wildlife in Tanzania and in the dry season the Tarangire River is a magnet for thirsty wildlife. Large herds of elephants and migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland gather and not surprisingly the predators follow. This is also the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as oryx and gerenuk are regularly spotted. Tarangire is also known for its spectacular baobab trees, and its breathtaking views of the Masaai Steppe and the mountains to the south.

Flamingos

Located in Northern Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Crater is best known for its natural beauty and abundance of diverse wildlife; which makes it one of Africa’s most popular safari destinations. Surrounded by Tanzania’s highlands, this UNESCO-listed crater is said to be the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera. Visitors can look forward to spotting the world-renowned Big Five and a host of other wildlife species including large herds of zebra and wildebeest. It is famed as one of Tanzania’s best tourist attractions offering visitors an array of wonderful activities including excellent bird watching, trekking, wildlife viewing, mountain biking and visiting a local Maasai village. Don’t miss the opportunity to jump on an excursion to the magnificent Olduvai Gorge.

Brown Hyena

Located in Northern Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Crater is best known for its natural beauty and abundance of diverse wildlife; which makes it one of Africa’s most popular safari destinations. Surrounded by Tanzania’s highlands, this UNESCO-listed crater is said to be the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera. Visitors can look forward to spotting the world-renowned Big Five and a host of other wildlife species including large herds of zebra and wildebeest. It is famed as one of Tanzania’s best tourist attractions offering visitors an array of wonderful activities including excellent bird watching, trekking, wildlife viewing, mountain biking and visiting a local Maasai village. Don’t miss the opportunity to jump on an excursion to the magnificent Olduvai Gorge.

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Camps & Lodges

Jack’s Camp  |  San Camp  |  Camp Kalahari

Jack’s Camp

Rising up from the heart of the Kenyan landscape, the snow-capped Mount Kenya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is Africa’s second highest mountain reaching an impressive 5199 metres in height, which is an awe-inspiring sight. Visitors can explore its surrounding forests, trout-filled streams and game reserve; or for the more adventurous, summit the peak. While Mount Kilimanjaro is an easier climb, Mount Kenya is more of a challenge as it has a higher technical difficulty, however, Point Lenana can be easily reached by a fit hiker. Visitors can look forward to a variety of wonderful activities such as: cave exploration, mountain climbing, camping, and game viewing. Commonly spotted wildlife include: elephant, mongoose, duiker, bushbuck, eland and over 130 bird species.

San Camp

Located in the Great Rift Valley surrounded by yellow acacia woodlands and bushy shrublands, the Lake Nakuru National Park was created to protect the Lake and its large flocks of Lesser Flamingo, which are drawn to the algae that flourish in the saline waters of this soda lake. The national park is inhabited by over 50 mammal species including hippo, black and white rhino, Rothschild giraffe, buffalo and eland. Known as a bird watcher’s paradise, the park is home to over 450 bird species. Visitors can look forward to hiking through the scenic landscape, picnicking next to this magnificent lake, and spotting an array of wildlife on a game drive. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the beautiful Makalia Waterfall.

Camp Kalahari

The Masai Mara together with Tanzania’s Serengeti form Africa’s most famous wildlife park, the Masai Mara National Reserve. The image of acacia trees dotting endless grass plains epitomises Africa for many, then add a Maasai warrior and some cattle to the picture and the conversation need go no further. The undeniable highlight of the Masai Mara National Reserve is undoubtedly the annual wildebeest migration traversing the vast plains of the Serengeti and the Masai Mara. It is known as the largest mass movement of land mammals on the planet – with more than a million animals following the rains. Large prides of lions, elephants, giraffes, gazelles and eland can also be spotted in the reserve. Aside from horse riding safaris and traditional vehicle safaris, hot-air ballooning over the Mara plains has become almost essential.

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Day 1 | Maun / Makgadikgadi Pans – Northern Kalahari

 

Upon arrival in Maun you will be met and assisted on to your scheduled light aircraft flight south to the vast wilderness of the northern Kalahari Desert. After you touch down at the Tsigaro airstrip, you will be met and driven to the famous Jack’s Camp, the luxrious San Camp, or the classic Camp Kalahari, all of which are set in private concession on the edge of the great Makgadikgadi Pans. These saltpans are among the largest in the world, part of a fossilized super-lake that thrived in ancient times. With it’s harsh, lunar-like environment, life still abounds, and lion, brown hyena, oryx and springbok are just a few of the desert-adapted species that can be seen.

You’ll experience the phenomenal geology and the wide-open spaces of this ancient lakebed as you explore the Makgadikgadi Pans and the surrounding grasslands with palms and giant Baobab trees, on game drives, quad bikes and on guided walks with the San bushmen. You will also have a unique opportunity to participate in up-close encounters with suricates (meerkats), one of the most fascinating and endearing animals in the world. These families have been habituated so you can get up close, and they will even sit on you to gain an improved vantage point.

Jack’s Camp – Jack’s Camp is an award winning classic desert safari camp. Ten green roomy and stylish canvas tents with en-suite bathrooms and indoor and outdoor showers (for those who want to feel the Kalahari breeze on their skin) have been fashioned in classical style and are set into a palm grove. These amazingly decorated “tents” even have Persian rugs and each has it’s own private verandah. The main tent houses the dinning area and the lounge/museum has been designated as a National Museum of Botswana for its renowned collection of desert artifacts. There is also a shaded pool for cooling off in the heat of mid-day.

San Camp – (April 16 – October only) San Camp has just 6 roomy and stylish canvas guests tents with en-suite bathrooms, featuring showers and flush toilets. The camp has been fashioned in classical 1940’s style …Grass matting underfoot, cool cotton sheets, mahogany and brass form a striking contrast with the rugged wilderness viewed from the comfort of one’s own verandah.

San Camp’s hub is a white canvas pavilion, with a fluttering valance beneath its eaves and could be the site for a medieval jousting tourney. Two poles support the main chamber where everyone meets for meals at a long communal dining table. Interesting collections of bones, pottery, stone tools and beadwork crowd antique display cases – the spoils of many family safaris through the area.

Camp Kalahari – Camp Kalahari is set in the same reserve and is, nestled amongst the acacias and Mokolwane palms of Hyena Island, on the edge of the pans and adjacent to the Makgadikgadi National Park. This camp is in the traditional safari style of the old explorers, and is wonderful way to experience the Makgadikgadi. The camp has only 7 guest tents, each with an inter-leading outdoor bathroom with flush toilets and even hot showers. There is also a dinning tent with one long table, and a lounging tent with a full library.

Enjoy a light lunch and rest up in your tent through the early afternoon. After tea, drive into the grasslands and the beautiful evening light. Stop to watch the sun set and listen to an explanation of how the Makgadikgadi pans, the remnants of the world’s largest ever superlake, were formed. Return to for a lavish dinner in the elegant mess tents.

     Jack’s Camp 
                 View Gallery
or
                 Camp Kalahari 
                 View Gallery

     Meals: Lunch, Dinner

 


Day 2 | Meerkat’s and More

 

Set off early in the morning to visit some of the Kalahari’s meerkats. (‘suricate’ to science-minded people and ‘Timon’ to Lion King fans). Get up close and personal with these captivating creatures. On chilly mornings, you might well find a meerkat snuggling up to you for warmth. Or, in the absence of a termite mound or tree, using your head as a sentry lookout post. By spending quality time with these incredibly social, superbly adapted animals, you will be able to see how they interact with each other and their environment.

You also get the chance to see the desert through the eyes of a meerkat which, despite the fact that it’s only a foot off the ground, is a pretty spectacular vantage point, and definitely one of the most special and memorable game experiences you will encounter in Botswana.

After a picnic breakfast, visit a remote cattle-post to learn about the traditional culture of the Botswana people. Close by is the famous Chapman’s Baobab (Also known as the Seven Sisters) which is acknowledged to be one of the largest trees in Africa, and was the campsite of early explorers like Livingstone and Selous when they pioneered the area. This gives you an opportunity to gain a fascinating insight into the history of the early explorers. Return to San Camp for a rest and refreshing lunch.

After tea, travel down to the pans where you will be given a brief safety talk before mounting your trusty quad bike. Head off across the pans. Watch the sun set and the stars rise. This is one of the only places in the world where the silence is so complete you can hear the blood circulating through your ears. There is not one visual landmark to be seen and one swiftly loses one’s sense of perspective. These 9,900 sq. miles (16,000 sq. km.) of baking soda void are inhabited only by you and a few gazillion invisible brine shrimp!

     Jack’s Camp 
                 View Gallery
or
                Camp Kalahari 
                 View Gallery

     Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 


Day 3| Fossils & Hyenas

 

Early in the morning, comb the edge of the extinct lake shore to find some of the many stone tools and fossils that litter the pan surface and learn of the origins of early man. Afterwards return to your camp for brunch.

After another tea and coffee, head off to see one of Africa’s rarest carnivores – the brown hyena. Due to a PhD research program on this cleverly adapted desert species, the cubs are habituated and allow us to observe their social behavior without disturbance.

     Jack’s Camp 
                 View Gallery
or
                 Camp Kalahari 
                 View Gallery

     Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 


Day 4 | Bushmen Walk / Maun

 

Spend the morning walking with Zu/’hoasi Bushmen trackers. The camps have been working closely with the Zu’hoasi people of the Western Kalahari for many years and are privileged to have a small group of these extraordinary men to guide guest, offering a window into the past, they teach us how they have survived in this harshest of environments for some 38,000 years, using their vast and ancient knowledge of plants, animal behavior and survival skills.

Return to camp for one last unforgettable lunch before you are driven to the airstrip for your flight back to Maun, or onto your next safari camp.

     Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

INCLUSIONS

Airport transfers as described in itinerary

Scheduled flights: Maasai Mara – Nairobi / Nairobi – Kilimanjaro

All accommodations and meals as peritinerary

All National Park and Wildlife Reserve entry fees

Services of private professional safari guides in Kenya and Tanzania

Travel in modified 4WD Land Cruiser with unlimited mileage

Bottled water on game drives

Membership in Flying Doctors Service

EXCLUSIONS

International airfare and flights

Alcoholic beverages, sodas and bottled water at meals

Gratuities for guides and camp or lodge staff

Laundry services (can be done for a fee)

All items of a personal nature

Travel insurance

Visas and visa fees

Airport Departure Taxes (usally included in ticket price)

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